Sep 192013
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Let’s just make this clear.

I love to lift weights.  Pardon my language but I fuckin’ love it.

Coach Maynard at the university I coached at preached, “EXTREME DESIRE” and “MENTAL TOUGHNESS”.  I remember seeing the football team gathering around him during a Friday 6AM weights session at the Bone Yard outside.  Steam rose up from their bodies, stars were still visible, a deep chill ran through the stadium, and there I was seeing  ”EXTREME DESIRE” and “MENTAL TOUGHNESS” right in front of me.  These sorts of moments continue to inspire me.

Here’s a video I put together during my time coaching in California.  If you aren’t inspired after watching this, you have no heart.

I’m a huge believer that the gym is not only where you can build a better looking body, or get fitter, or be stronger, or whatever goal you have.  I see the gym as a tool for building character.  The sort of character you build is up to the individual.  You give a person a hammer and they’ll either build or destroy.

When I coach it’s about overcoming fears.  We all have them.  Without fear there would be no bravery or courage or honor, just a  bunch of crazies.

You are in a constant battle with yourself because of fear:

One more rep.

Don’t get hurt.

One more set.

But the program said only do 3

Keep going.

I’m tired.

I can do it.

No, I can’t.

Mental Toughness is that battle between these two voices.  You can be your best motivator or your worse enemy, but it’s up to you to choose which one you want to be.  The only way you can do that is to confront challenges and overcome those fears.

This is why I love to lift.  Because in the gym you should constantly push yourself, challenge yourself, and overcome.  If you are too worried what others think about what you wore that day, you compare yourself to others, or you think going to the gym and going through the motions is good enough. Here’s a wake up call – you won’t get anywhere.  You are only training yourself for failure.

These same lessons and thoughts don’t only go in the gym.

Here’s the funny thing.  For me, I feel the most confident and comfortable with myself while I’m in the gym.  It’s when I get out into the real world I still need to work and train my mind.  But it’s the lessons I’ve learned in the gym through constant struggles, challenges, and pain that are helping me create the life I want.

It may be taking me longer than I want, but that’s part of creating mental toughness.  Your patience and perseverance of not giving up.

So with that I’ll say what Coach Maynard would probably say…


Aloha. Mahalo. A hui hou!

Be Ku.



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