15 Aug Embracing The B-Squad
Old crabby coaches like me like to bitch and moan about the way things used to be. We had more respect when we were starting out and we knew our place and I think the sky was bluer.
The biggest change social media caused in strength and fitness was awareness. It revealed how many strong people there really out here. Really strong people.
You used to have to go to competitions to see where you stood compared to everyone else. If you only competed locally and were one of the strongest in your little bubble, you’d think you were pretty impressive, not knowing what kind of monsters were actually out there. Sure, you’d hear about them if you read the one powerlifting magazine available, or you’d see them on the Olympic stage every four years, but it wasn’t constantly in your face like it is now every time you scroll through your Instagram feed.
Human beings are funny. Instead of being humbled by seeing these monsters lifting on their little glowing boxes every day, some of the less talented have begun to mentally attach themselves to the truly strong. They start to identify with these incredibly strong lifters, whom they have never met, that they see lift online. Rationally they know they’re different from them, but they become emotionally charged through watching them and start to believe they can rise to a rank they will never be able to.
Dealing with lifters like this isn’t easy, because they tend to be more cerebral and introspective than the athletes they idolize. So, they become very sensitive when you call them on their bullshit.
I’ve seen that different race of idolized humans up close. I was lucky enough, still am lucky enough, to coach some of them. But I have never been a part of them. They don’t move like me and you.
YOU, the one who’s already offended by what I’ve already written.
They’re not bound by the physical and even mental limitations that you and I are. Their bodies don’t react to physical stress the way ours does. When they’re asked to move faster they move faster. When they need to be stronger, they are stronger.
It took me a really long time to get strong. What I defined as strong for me, after twelve years of lifting weights, some reach after not even a year of training. But because it took me so long to do what pure athletes can accomplish in a year, I understand it so much better. The time spent struggling gave me a deeper appreciation of the process and the details needed to be understood to progress.
If you’re my people, the B-squad, stop complaining about how far behind you are from the top athletes. I’m not here to be your mother, you’ll never catch up to them. Stop feeling bad for yourself that you’re not like them. It’s OK. It can be used. The acceptance of your truth can free you and it can help bring out the qualities of your being that can be helpful for everyone, including the more talented.
Being on the B-squad gave me the tools to be a good coach and training partner for the A-squad. But only after I accepted my truth. Only after I stopped wasting time thinking I was playing at a level I never was. Only after I rewrote the rules and played my own game.
Let’s hear it for the B-squad.