Bodybuilders call them reps.
They feel and grip a heavy dumbbell, curl it up and down, and repeat. They do this over and over and over again. Set after set. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year.
A lifetime of repetitions. A lifetime of teardowns, and rebuilds.
They embrace every rep even when it’s cold outside or when the outside air is blistering with unbearable heat. They squeeze a little harder and keep going just a little bit further, even when they’re tired. Especially when they’re tired. When they are tempted to quit. When they no longer believe or have any clarity of purpose. When they’ve been hurt by criticism or self-doubt. When they’ve had enough.
They keep going.
They keep repeating.
Set after set. Set after set.
You should keep going too!
Most champions aren’t born as winners. They train themselves to be champions by pushing deeper and further than the person who gives up, only a few strides before they make it.
Champions are made. They are not born.
They don’t save any energy for the swim back.
They are willing to die in the middle of a cold lake, racing towards the uncharted middle, with all their strength, beyond the pain, ignoring and expanding the energy they had reserved for the long swim back.
Reps prepare them for that.
Of course, life is a little less melodramatic than that. Our repetitions are a bit less exaggerated.
We are usually quite capable of swimming back to the shore, but what is hidden here, is the tenacity needed to win the race, at a heavy cost.
Because there is no coming back.
There is no do over. There is no dress rehearsal. This is our life.
And what are you willing to do?
Can you keep working, even when everyone else has gone? Not so your company can make more fat stacks of money, or that you feel like you’re, oh so close, to a promotion, but because it matters; because you are determined to make a difference. To live a life, you’ve always wanted.
How are you with your reps?
Can you write, sing, or dance, every day? Finish your book or the Sistine Chapel? Stick to your diet? Clean your house? Prepare your taxes? Quit smoking?
Get over yourself?
Curl some dumbbells?
Do what you said you would do.
This is all going to take some reps. A lot of reps.
Reps that will become monotonous and too predictable after a while. Reps that can be easily replaced or effortlessly ignored with far more important things. Especially when it aches so much, right here. Or you find a bit of a sniffle, right there.
You’re not a quitter. Your flaws and mistakes aren’t fatal. Nothing is fatal, until it is final.
Until then, it’s just you.
Surrounded by heavy, cold, and unfeeling dumbbells. Ready to be lifted, pulled, and curled.
Begging for your tenacity to be repeated.