Unsolicited Advice by Michele H
Hi Locals, My name is Michele, and I want to talk to you guys a little bit about competition. For those of you who don’t know me, my husband Andrew coached at Local for a long time. Basically I was Local’s unofficial drive-by coach. I was that creeper in the background who comes up to you while you are practicing your Olympic lifting and corrects something about your form when you didn’t ask for advice or help. Most often you could find me telling females to put more weight on the bar. I even started expanding my creeping venues to include social media, and you guys are in luck, I have some unsolicited advice for you!
Through Local’s page I have seen a great deal of excitement, PR’s, teamwork, unconditional support, and extreme mental fortitude. You guys have been putting in some hard work, and taking names. You are seriously competitive! This is a good thing. It’s in all of our natures. You wouldn’t be where you are in life if you weren’t a driven person. Every day I am humbled by the success of the people that work out at Local. You guys take names in the gym and in life!
Throughout most of my life I have been extremely competitive as well. Sometimes it feels like I came out of the womb ready for battle. Much like you, I have lofty aspirations both inside and outside of the gym. There have been times where I have met and exceeded these goals, and there have been times both physically and professionally that I have fallen short. In the last year I have made it a practice to be more self-aware, and in doing so, I have noticed a pattern in my behavior surrounding the times I have been more successful, and surrounding the times I have not. In addition to all the positives, however, I have noticed some of the patterns that have prevented me from success in the past. It is my hope that you will learn from my unsolicited advice and kick these habits to the curb ASAP!
The first obstacle I noticed was too much self-imposed pressure. I have had extremely high expectations for as long as I can remember, and this self-imposed pressure has taken me far in life. Looking back, though, I can see that pressure and performance function on a bell curve. There is a sweet spot where the right amount of drive will generate optimal output, but once you pass this sweet spot, too much pressure can derail performance, and can make one implode. I have struggled the most during the times when I wasted too much of my energy fretting about the “what-ifs.” When it came time for me to perform, I was too exhausted and mentally drained to thrive at the task at hand. Reminding myself to relax and to minimize the amount of energy spent worrying about things that are out of control has helped me immensely.
So how does this translate to you? Easily! First, I recommend that you relax a little bit, and remember to have fun! Do not waste your energy worrying about a movement or comparing yourself to others! Work with your coaches (and your drive-by coaches) to pick a plan of attack, and then have fun, and let it fall into place. I promise that you will not only meet, but will exceed your own expectations, and you will enjoy the process! Do not let your own self-imposed pressure cripple you.
Look for Unsolicited Advice Part II next week!