Tomorrow's Family Day! Since this is a federal town and many folks won't be getting the day off we'll be open as usual. Besides... All the people I'd want to spend my time with are at the club anyway. 😁
If you haven't signed up yet to compete at our club competition this Saturday there's still time! See the link in our bio to register! ➖➖➖➖ We'll be doing a combined session. Both men and women will weigh-in at 10am. Lifting starts at 12pm!
So, uhhh... It's definitely gonna be a snow day today. Unfortunately, that means we're going to have to stay closed as there's no reliable access to the street or parking lot. I'll keep everyone posted via FB/IG on the gym's status!
Because we're expecting an armageddon-grade snowstorm later this evening the club will be closing early at 430pm today. 😣 ➖➖➖➖ We apologize for the inconvenience, however, this is in the interests of everyone's safety. Live to lift another day!
Who's down to throw some weights this Saturday? Registration for our Club Competition this Saturday closes on Tuesday night! See the link in our bio to register! ➖➖➖➖ Our Club Competitions are the perfect intro to the sport of Weightlifting. We endeavor to provide a fully sanctioned competition in a supportive, fun environment! Spectators are welcome, too!
Here it is, Pillar #4 in my series on self-realization: Have the Patience to Win. ➖➖➖➖ Previously I've emphasized the fact that you're gonna fail a lot. But here's what I left out: In more cases than you'd like you'll actually have done everything right and still come up short. ➖➖➖➖ Working hard, working smart... These are good tips but the universe doesn't care, remember? It sucks, but luck matters way more than it should. Some of the best advice I ever got in business is that you need to work both hard and smart until you have the opportunity to succeed. ➖➖➖➖ We've coached @thedavesavage2 since late 2015. He's been shooting for Nationals as long as he's been with us. In 2016 Dave had the bad luck of the qualifications going up. Then we got closer, and they went up again in 2017. In 2018 he was strong enough to do it at Provincials. His preparation went well, and then the unthinkable happened: he strained his quad. I broke shit on his behalf I was so angry! But, he was cooler than me and still went into the contest with a good attitude despite knowing he'd probably miss the mark again. ➖➖➖➖ Last Saturday we went into @2019winterlift without expectation. Dave lifted well. We were able to finally put it all together. I wish I could say it was the preparation, but Dave just had one of those days where everything clicked. He crushed it! Going 6/6, he mugged the bar, taking an 8kg total record for himself, and finally qualifying for Nationals! In the time that Dave's been a part of this club we've seen many lifters come and go with similar aspirations. The difference between Dave and the others who didn't make it? Dave never gave up on himself, his club, or his coaches. And he never accepted some arbitrary amount of work as being too much for the goal he had in mind. He just put his nose to the grindstone and worked until he made it. ➖➖➖➖ Patience and grit are the difference between athletes like Dave and those who quit on themselves. So the next time you're questioning what you're doing, the next time you come up short? Don't entertain quitting. Be like Dave because that day you want to throw in the towel? It could very well be the day you turn it all around!
After a weekend of competitive lifting at @2019winterlift I found myself pretty wrecked today... Like falling asleep at my desk wrecked. Good lifting never fails to wake me back up, though! ➖➖➖➖ @_m_a_i_r and @gillmlo brought that fire to training tonight as they both nabbed themselves some new Clean and Jerk records with 56 and 63kg! It's always a treat for me to think back and realize that, at the same age, these girls are stronger than I was. That's what coaching is all about: broadening the possibilities your athletes can realize in their lives. Sky's the limit for these two! #iamjustlift
Ready for more motivational wisdom? Today's might be a little controversial, but I promise I mean well. Pillar# 3: Don't Be Yourself. ➖➖➖➖ Just be yourself... Like many platitudes it means well, but is too vague to be useful. Let's unpack this concept and see why it's more disabling than enabling. ➖➖➖➖ Firstly, setting goals is about recognizing possibilities in your life. Adopting new behaviors, ways of thinking, and ditching parts of yourself that are no longer relevant is a good thing. The hard truth is that if you're setting a goal that's going to transform your life, then, you necessarily have to accept that there's a part of you that you don't like, that you're not okay with. Here's an anecdote... ➖➖➖➖ That isn't like him... He's not being himself. Just be yourself, huh? What if who you are is a miserable asshole? Some of you may know that I was a third culture kid. I lived the first 7 years of my life in Toronto, the next 10 in Singapore, and last 16 in Ottawa. When you're an expat you go through friends every 2-3 years. When I came back to Canada I had had enough. I was angry, bitter and lonely. It's too bad that 17 year old brains are just a bundle of raw emotions. Opening up, accepting my pain, and making new friends would have made the last years of my teens enjoyable. By refusing to change I ensured that I was miserable. Being myself, as I was then, was a bad idea that led to suffering. ➖➖➖➖ It took effort, but I have a far happier life now. I'm a partner, a mentor, and a coach. I direct a team of dedicated coaches and athletes who try to better themselves and their community through strength. You can't be a leader in this way if you're a toxic jerk. If I remained myself I never would have realized this potential in my life. ➖➖➖➖ Setting goals and achieving them is hard because they don't come naturally or easily. In fact, they're precisely the opposite of being yourself. Unfortunately, being the person you probably want to be is really hard. I can promise you, however, that it's absolutely worth it!
I was going to write another one of my Pillars today, but I thought I'd save that. Instead I'm going to show you a member of ours who has been through the training process, navigated some of the challenges I've mentioned, and is now coming out on top. ➖➖➖➖ @ireneedehaan has trained with us for over two years now. In that time she's gone from our Oly 1 program to Oly 2, and even done a competition. It hasn't been easy for her, though. When I say that she's had to fight for every kilo I mean it. It's been a long process for her. She's had her doubts. She's even thought of quitting. But she didn't. And now she's coming into her own. ➖➖➖➖ High Performance athletics can provoke awe because we get to see what look like superhuman feats emerge into reality. But what about a High Performance will? You see it's the intention that makes the athlete, and it's the spirit displayed that inspires the coach. I've watched Irene lift for a while now. The bar's beaten her the same way it's beaten me and others. But, as Rocky once said: It's not how hard you can hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward... I've yet to see a day where Irene hasn't gotten back up, dusted herself off, and swung back at the weights. ➖➖➖➖ Lifting is a metaphor for life. The bar, both literally and figuratively, will crush you... But only if you let it. For those of you who are toiling away, some of you years at a time, don't quit! It doesn't matter how wounded, vulnerable, disappointed, or defeated you feel; there's always one more thing you can do, one more solution to try, one last bit of effort to muster. And on one of those occasions? That'll be the day you finally make it. You'll never realize it, however, if you don't keep going!
Good News: It's a Snow Day! Bad News: It's a Snow Day. 😣 ➖➖➖➖ As of now we're closed for the day. All classes have been cancelled. ➖➖➖➖ It is what it is. Enjoy the extra rest! If you're dying to move something go and help dig your neighbours out!
I know... This isn't on time. But, better late than never! Part 3 of Expectations vs. Entitlement! Today we're going over how to problem solve effectively over the long haul. ➖➖➖➖ So, we've established that humans are idiots when it comes to avoiding future problems. An immediate example is the fact that this post isn't on time! How do we avoid the cognitive bias of living only in the present and not also for the future? ➖➖➖➖ 1) Define your problem in detail. Chances are you have some experience at failing your goals (I sure as shit do!). Write down every pitfall, mistake, vulnerability, etc. that you've experienced (or think you will). What's happening? Why? When? With who? Who, what, when, where, why, how are excellent places to start. ➖➖➖➖ 2) Pay attention to You! This means a few things... Firstly, consult experts. Nobody ever did anything amazing by themselves. In fact, this club (and IG page) exists for that reason! Help is useful. Secondly, trust your friends and family. Look, it can be embarrassing to admit you've got a problem/insecurity/goal you need advice on, but if these people actually give a shit about you they'll be there! ➖➖➖➖ 3) Ownership. You have to take responsibility for yourself. And be real. Don't give up. Don't make excuses. Don't reconfigure your goals because things aren't going to plan. That's just lying to yourself. It's okay to fail, assess what went wrong, and adjust. It's not okay to tell yourself you don't want to be stronger, leaner, whatever, because things got hard or you didn't like some of the answers you found along the way. ➖➖➖➖ 4) Don't be too rational. Planning is essential, but so is being able to wing it. Carl Jung once said that [the] most important problems in life are fundamentally insoluble... They can never be solved, but only outgrown. Get going! Now! You don't have to have all the answers right this second. The process of becoming what you want to be will tell you what you need to do along the way. Quality comes from constant refinement... And that's the key! Sometimes you've just got to keep pushing, be smart, and stay tough. Until next time!
As promised, part 2 on Expectations vs. Entitlement. Since IG can't handle my long-winded exposition this is now going to be a 3 parter. ➖➖➖➖ So, we've established that we often feel we deserve outcomes simply for trying. How do we get around this? ➖➖➖➖ First divorce yourself from any notion of being owed something. We've (thankfully) built a world filled with safety nets, empathy, and rights. Remember getting an A for effort in elementary school? I do. If you have social media and can read this, then, you live and probably grew up in a world of constant validation like my school experience. I mean, what the hell is a like button for if not to give the user a virtual pat on the head from someone somewhere in the world for expressing themselves (dopamine's a helluva drug)... That's why the notion of deserving something in this context is bullshit. It's a desire for validation because you got a booboo to your ego when you didn't get what you wanted. You probably even worked hard, too! Tough shit. The universe don't care. But that's the point. This is all about you realizing your potential. No one and nothing else can do that for you. Here's an anecdote... ➖➖➖➖ @oly.lifting.gal has been at this game for 7 years. She's had 4 or 5 seasons that have been up and down. Between juggling her BSc, training, and dealing with a body that doesn't work properly... Let's just say our plans were way different back in 2013. She had a string of freak injuries coupled with the pressure that comes from being a student/athlete/worker that all combined to stifle the career she was supposed to have. Those last few words are where we screwed up. Turns out we had to fail... A lot... To finally start going after what we imagined. ➖➖➖➖ Our best athletes are among the most stubborn, driven people I know. For those of us who've succeeded at some major goals I can tell you this: they all took longer (think years...) to achieve than wanted or expected. At some point we all felt we deserved better. It's when we finally dropped the entitlement and embraced the expectation of doing whatever was necessary, comfortable or not, to master our situations that we were ready to succeed.
I'm back with another rant on self-realization! Pillar #2: Expectations versus Entitlements. This'll be a two parter. Today I'll tell you about how things go wrong. Tomorrow I'll talk about how to make them right. ➖➖➖➖ First things first... In the grand scheme of the everything that exists you're entitled to exactly one thing: death. I know. That was really morbid... But it's true. Everything in-between is up to you... Remember that because that's the one thing I really want you to realize. And you know what? It's a beautiful, if daunting, reality. ➖➖➖➖ When you start on the path of attaining a goal you expect to achieve it, no? You probably planned a bit even. Like most things, though, we get complacent once the novelty of newness wears thin. You've plugged away for weeks. But now things are becoming comfortable. You're in a rhythm, but the path is changing. There's a fork you didn't expect. The path is blocked and you've gotta go off-road. This is where things fall apart. ➖➖➖➖ Human agency has a major flaw. We think we deserve things, as if the cosmos keeps a tab on what we do. Fair enough, just about every major belief system has the concept of a moral ledger for this life, so I get why it's present in our thinking. One problem: our goals in this life have nothing to do with the afterlife. We're concerned with achieving something in this existence. ➖➖➖➖ If that wasn't enough we have one other really, lame cognitive bias: we're absolute shit as a species when it comes to solving long-term problems. Examples: smoking and cancer, obesity and disease, climate change, etc. We lean towards short-term gratification. If I had a dollar for every time someone went off course for this reason... ➖➖➖➖ Take these two problems, smash 'em together, and you've got a bitter, disappointed individual wondering what the hell happened! Tomorrow I'll talk about ways to work around these two problems, keeping your expectations grounded, motivation high, and chances for success in the realm of likely instead of unlikely!
It's a big day for @julialiftsbig! Way back in the summer of 2013 she moved to Ottawa to start a doctoral program. When she walked through our doors she was just looking for a new way to exercise. Let me tell you, though, Julia does nothing half-assed... ➖➖➖➖ That new hobby led to a Gold medal on the national stage five years later. Now, seven months after that she's defending her dissertation (read: kicking her committee's ass)! ➖➖➖➖ Public affection and sentimentality are tough for me, but I'm down to feel awkward and uncomfortable on her behalf, so here goes: I love this woman dearly. Whenever I feel weak I remind myself to get back up because she would. This club and this team would not be where it is without her. ➖➖➖➖ Congratulations, Dr. J, on achieving the milestone of a lifetime!
Remember the other day when I mentioned I was gonna talk about my Four Pillars of Believing in Yourself? Pillar One: Ditch the Moralizing. 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ One of the worst ideas I often see in the fitness world is this preoccupation with Virtue versus Vice as they relate to training/lifestyle outcomes. You see it all the time. Fitness journeys talked about like they're a pilgrimage. Bodies being described as fit where fit implies good and a lack of fitness is ostensibly bad. I mean seriously, what do you think people in the fitness business are getting at when they say your body is a temple? Is eating fast-food analogous to vandalizing a church? 'Cause that's what the language is implying! Do you see how strong the moral dimension to how we talk about goal setting can be? 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ If you're successful in your fitness goals, then, by extension, you're a good, moral person... But if you fail you're bad? Apparently. How many times have you heard someone say they cheated on their diet? Or that they're going to punish/reward themselves based on how they did in their training or eating that day? Because this is the logical conclusion of the narrative I describe above. If you're thinking this is deranged, then, we're in agreement. 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ Here's what's up: drop the moralist language and start thinking about your goals in terms of you and only you. Do you want to lose weight because you think other people are judging you or because you have specific health goals? Do you want to be strong because you know you can be or because you're afraid you don't measure up to others? 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ No more thinking in terms of good or bad, hell, you can even ditch success versus failure. All that matters is change as it relates to who you want to be. Save the moral language for something else because reaching your goals is already an unforgiving endeavor....
Time to do stuff other than just lift weights! We're starting off 2019 with a club social event! 〰️〰️〰️〰️ Many of you know, but for those that don't we've reserved a big table at The Prescott (379 Preston) for 6pm tomorrow. Beer will be drank. Stupid stories will be told. It'll be a good time. Promise!
It's that time again! I've neglected to make a New Years post until I felt I actually had something useful to say, so here goes... ➖➖➖➖➖➖ New Year's resolutions, hopes, dreams, goals, whatever you want to call them... Yes, it's a good time to think about them. Yes, you need to think positively. Yes, visualization can help, etc. All of that stuff works. However, it all hinges upon this one key detail: belief in one's self. ➖➖➖➖➖➖ I remember being a kid surrounded by educators and coaches parroting the most unhelpful bit of encouragement I ever got. Just believe in yourself! No shit, asshole. You want to tell me how I'm supposed to just go ahead and do that if I keep failing? Because, for all intents and purposes, life is telling me I'm an idiot for believing in my own abillity. If you keep failing at something, over and over, you're not wrong to doubt yourself. But those jackasses that incessantly reminded me about what I didn't have? They weren't wrong either. ➖➖➖➖➖➖ The truth is that the process of attaining your goals is going to be more crushing than it is assuring. I should know. I'm both a small business owner and a professional Weightlifting coach. My path has been fraught with failure, frustration, confusion, and hardship. The club would have died many times over, though, if I didn't have moments where I could muster what I needed when it mattered the most. ➖➖➖➖➖➖ There are four more weeks in January. Starting next week I'm going to discuss one concept a week of what I think are the four pillars that support a belief in one's self. ➖➖➖➖➖➖ I'm no guru. I'm not even that successful. But I've achieved a few things in my life that once seemed impossible. If one idea speaks to you and maybe helps you inch a little closer to being the person you want to be? Then I'm gonna get on my soapbox!
I hope you all had a swell Christmas with your family and friends! We'll be back to our usual schedule tomorrow and Saturday. That means there's still time left to fill up that PR board even more! And, since there are no programs until 2019 I'm pretty sure that means go to a max in everything. 😁
#tbt to December 2017. These three popped by last year during the holidays as drop-ins to get their training in while they visited Ottawa... One year later and they're a part of our competitive team! 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ I've said it before, but I'll say it again: what drives me as a coach are the people I get to meet. Every year our team grows by leaps and bounds. Six years ago we were nobodies. A big showing for us was six athletes. This past year we had 25 at one competition! When we started we were all from Ottawa. Now we've got friends and athletes from around the globe! 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ So, here's to the folks that make this pursuit and all its sacrifices worth the effort! To all the old, new, and future members of the club: stay hungry! We're only just getting started!
I'm getting super-pumped for Friday! On Friday Strength 1 is going to realize the fruits of their labor. That's right; it's.... MAX OUT FRIDAY™🔥😡🔥 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ Having watched what Coach/Hypeman @ryan.best has pulled out of all of you these last few weeks... Let me just say that I'm proud to have you here. The training cycle you've all gone through is among the most difficult challenges a lifter can undertake.I'm not lying when I say that the thought of doing it myself actually scares me. That about just about everyone's made it through? You deserve to be proud no matter what numbers you get on Friday. 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ The value of a training cycle like Russian Squat isn't just in its ability to add kilos to the bar. In fact, I think it's real value is in showing you just how much grit you really have. You're going to find hard programs are suddenly not as hard as you expected them to be because you've now experienced one of the most difficult tests you can in the lifting game. Come Friday when you're staring down the bar? Remember that you've earned the right to attempt whatever's loaded on it. Rest up tomorrow and come ready to fight!
Xmas and the New Year are quickly approaching! We'll be closed on: Dec. 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 31st and the 1st of January. 〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️〰️ My brain needs a break, so there won't be any programs coming out until 2019. So, if you're coming in for a lift have fun, and do what your heart desires!