Patience, Daniel-san. Patience
5 Rope Climbs
10 Pistols (each leg)
30 Kettlebell Snatch (24/16)
40 Push Ups
50 Walking Lunges
100 SquatsI was reading a blog the other day about having patience as a writer, and my mind immediately jumped physical training – especially the specific sort of functional training we do. Patience? In a modern world where info is at the tips of our fingers, mail gets delivered at the speed of light, we’re used to instant gratification, and desire the path of least resistance (I actually saw a private training gym the other day called “Easy Fitness”), patience is a hard thing to come by. Problem is, without patience, mastery is unachievable. I started thinking about it, and came up with five reasons that patience is absolutely necessary for mastery in fitness, athletics and sport.
1. It takes time to learn the movements. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes some people years to learn the fundamentals of the Olympic lifts. Years!
2. It takes time to become proficient in the movements. It took me about 5 years to develop my squat. 5 years!
3. It takes time to develop strength, true strength. Ever wonder how your dad developed those Popeye forearms? A LIFETIME of doing stuff… a lifetime. Think about that for a minute… 40 years, 50?
4. It takes time to develop stamina and endurance. When I was first training for the Physical Fitness Test in the Marine Corps, it took me 5 years of training to get my 3-mile run time down to 18 minutes (from 24 minutes). Collegiate elite runners have been running for most of their teenage and adult lives.
5. It takes time to develop flexibility. This one is the most obvious. I’ve been working on my flexibility for what, 15 years. It’s still not where I want it to be, and probably won’t ever!
And what does it take to have patience?
Patience takes courage. In your journey, you will stumble and fall, it’s part of the process. It takes strength and courage to stand back up, dust yourself off, and keep going. For true mastery, quitting isn’t an option.
Patience takes discipline. It’s easy to let yourself off the hook when you wake up in the morning and “don’t feel like it”, or are “too wiped out” after work. Excuses are a dime a dozen – funny how you never hear a true master offer an excuse. He is there day after day, week after week, month after month, practicing his craft, showing up, making it count.
Patience takes practice. How do I know? Because I’ve been practicing fitness since I was a freshman in college – 28 years. I’ve had many failures, some successes, lots of time off, injuries and sickness, and lots and lots and lots of long stretches of uneventful, boring, mundane training. Many times without seeing results for months or even years.
Next time you start feeling like you should be “getting it” faster, or after 6 months of doing this, you’re not where you think you should be, consider how long it takes for most people; you’re probably moving right along, exactly where you’re supposed to be.