We are all subject to our feelings. Don’t give me that BS that your feelings don’t control you. You’re wrong. Why do we eat? Because our body tells us too. Our body feels hungry. Why do we sleep? Because we feel tired.When we are having a good day, we are happy and excited. And being happy and excited makes us more happy and excited, which makes our day even better. It works the same way when we are having a bad day. Happy, excited, sad, annoyed, angry; they are all feelings, and they all influence our everyday life.
Thing is, not every feeling we are subject to has the ability to control us. One feeling in particular that we need to learn to control is fear. In my opinion, fear may be one of the strongest feelings, with only love being stronger. However, in the case of strength training, not many of us love to be in the gym for hours on end training for our sport. We may love to play our sport, but we don’t love to train for our sport. If you are one of those who truly does love to train for your sport, give yourself a pat on the back, and get back to your training session, you’ve done good.
For the rest of us, fear is a much more tangible feeling when it comes to training for our sport. It is a feeling that can be felt in many different ways. Fear can manifest itself as dread, as we may dread a day’s training session. Fear can be found as hatred for a particular exercise, or training session that we may not be particularly good at. Fear is sometimes just fear. If you have ever looked at the weight on a bar and thought “I’m not sure if i will be able to lift that without seriously hurting myself,” you’ve experienced fear at its purest form in the weight room. If you have not had that thought go through your head, chances are you need to take off the diaper and start training harder.
Fear is a powerful feeling. It is a feeling that allows us to lift a bar that is entirely too heavy for us. For that reason, we need to learn to harness fear, and use it to our advantage.
When we look at the bar and think we could hurt ourselves, we spark fear inside of us. From that moment on, the exercise scares us. Now, there are two reactions to this. There is the easy way out, which is to succumb to the fear and either fail at the exercise, or not even attempt the exercise at all. Then there is the hard way, the way that harnesses the fear. For those of us that choose the hard way out, there is only one choice, complete the exercise and do not fail. To do this we embrace the fear, let it in, and let it take control of us. The fear becomes an extra boost of motivation. It creates a hormonal response in our bodies that pumps out adrenaline. We become extra amped to complete the lift. Our heart rate increases, our blood pressure follows, our focus narrows, our mouths begin to foam, our veins pop, and our eyes bloodshot. Okay, not the last part, but you get the idea; IT HELPS US COMPLETE THE LIFT.
The best part about fear is that anyone can harness their fear. It does not take any special training to learn how to use our fear in a positive manner. It simply takes a deep breath, and a bit of guts. The next time you are in the gym ask yourself if the weight you are doing scares you a little bit. If it doesn’t, throw a few more plates on the bar and give it a go. Embrace the fear, and take control of your training.
No pain no gain? More like no fear no gain.