Iâ€™ve been a comic book nerd for as long as I can remember. Most comic book fans credit their love for comics to a deep desire to become a superhero themselves. Most wanted to become superheroes; I, however, knew some that wanted to be villains.
Looking back, the one common denominator for wanting to become a part of this league of extraordinary beings was because of their extraordinary super powers. Their arsenals of kick-ass weaponry, bad-ass modes of transportation, ability to attract the hot chick/dude, and put simply, being god-like helped as well. I think it would be safe to say that it was the combination of all of the above that sparked the desire of the average comic book nerd to live the life of their favorite hero or villain.
As I got older, I soon realized there was one issue my fraternity of comic book supporters cared not to share. Everyone wanted to have superhero powers and recognition, yet no one wanted any of the superhero problems, weaknesses, conflicts, or angst. Hmmm, kind of reminds me of how it is in the â€œrealâ€ world, when we look at the most successful people in just about any field.
Most people would love to be rich, but many do not want to put in the work, creativity, and sacrifices needed to attain and hold on to wealth. Why do you think so many folks waste their hard earned money on the lotto? The desire to be healthy and fit isnâ€™t any different. If I had a dollar for every person that comes up to me and asks how they can get rid of the â€œextra meatâ€ under their arms, make the â€œpouchâ€ go away, or get a 6-pack and tone up, but without â€œworking out so much,â€ I wouldnâ€™t need to buy another scratch-off lotto ticket either.
The biggest misconception of superheroes, the wealthy, and even those who are fit or compete in sports, is that they have it easy. What those who mistakenly believe in this misconception donâ€™t realize, is that it is far from the truth. Since I am not yet overly wealthy, I will speak from the point-of-view of one who does participate in competitive sports, particularly, the Kettlebell Sport (also known as Girevoy Sport or GS).
Having originated in Russia, the Kettlebell Sport has existed as an organized sport for a few decades. Within the last decade, the Kettlebell Sport has found its way across the Atlantic to the West. Thanks to the efforts of Honored Master of Sport, Valery Fedorenko, the rules and culture of competitive Kettlebell lifting arrived in the United States. This furthered the interest in kettlebell culture in the West, which was previously introduced to kettlebell training by Pavel Tsatsouline.
One of the reasons I am not only a competitor in the Kettlebell Sport, but also a die-hard fan, is because it gives me a chance at redemption. It gives me, as with other former athletes who compete in the sport, a chance to become an athlete again (or for some people, the chance to become one for the first time). What makes the Kettlebell Sport even more tantalizing is that you can become a GS athlete at just about any age.
Iâ€™ve seen kettlebell athletes from the age of 6 though the age of 91 give everything they have on the competitive platform. Even so, I often hear this statement from people who are unfamiliar with the sport: â€œWow that looks so easy. All you have to do is the same move over and over for 10 minutes? It canâ€™t be that hard.â€ What they fail to realize is how many hours, the amount of repetitions, and how much attention to technique and minute detail that each kettlebell athlete must address before stepping on that platform.
Of all of the moments that a kettlebell sport athlete experiences, Iâ€™m sure none compare to the first time that he or she steps on that platform. Itâ€™s scary. Itâ€™s uneasy. Itâ€™s surreal. Itâ€™s the moment you realize, â€œAm I actually going through with this?â€ You bet your sweet you-know-what, you are! Itâ€™s also the moment you realize that you now have the opportunity to go from ordinary to extraordinary. Youâ€™re doing what many wonâ€™t. Youâ€™re taking it upon yourself to no longer hide your inner villain, known as weakness, insecurity, and self doubt.
For what seems like an eternity (masked as 10 minutes), your inner battle is made public. During this moment, the comic book nerd inside me finally has his dreams realized. As I step on that platform, awaiting the countdown to begin with my first lift, I reflect upon how my favorite comic book heroes and I share one common quality. Their biggest battle was not from their foes from the outside world; their biggest battles came from the voices in their heads. The one villain each of my heroes had to conquer was the villain of knowing and coming to terms with who they actually are.
Before I go any further, youâ€™re probably wondering who my favorite superheroes are. My top 5 are Wolverine, The Punisher, Hans Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Spider Man.
Just like the heroes listed, I have found myself constantly in the company of greatness. I have been afforded the opportunity to have met, trained with, been coached by, and/or picked the brains of some of the best coaches in the kettlebell world. When you surround yourself with greatness, itâ€™s only a matter of time that you have to step your game up and strive for greatness as well.
It was no accident that I found myself in the company of these great coaches and mentors. I tried to just teach kettlebell training, but deep down inside the athlete in me was ready to make a return, and Kettlebell Sport was my ticket back in.
Like my favorite heroes, I made the mistake of listening to the villain known as â€œEgo,â€ and thought that I could achieve greatness on my own. Unfortunately, I was in for a harsh reality. After training myself for my first competition at the 2010 Arnold Classic Sports Festival, I found a new appreciation for the old saying, â€œThe man who represents himself in court, represents a fool.â€ The first time kettlebell competitor who trains himself for a few months, competing surrounded by thousands of spectators, and expects to achieve rank and complete 10 minutes during the Kettlebell Long Cycle (the Clean & Jerk with two kettlebells), is an even bigger fool.
I long to achieve the kettlebell rank of â€œMaster of Sport, which is like â€œJedi statusâ€ for kettlebell athletes. However, like a one-handed Luke Skywalker, a la â€œThe Empire Strikes Back,â€ I realized my training will never reach that level as long as I continued to coach myself. Thus, I defeated the villain and sought a great coach.
I shared my goals and timeline to reach Master of Sport with my coach, and he is customizing my training accordingly, something I feel I could not have done successfully on my own. With time, patience, consistent training, and the hunger to continue learning, I know my goals will be attained. Plus, it doesnâ€™t hurt to have a great coach who also has an even greater mentor, and is also continuing to evolve.
Such is how you create your own alliance to help defeat the villainous empire of voices inside your head that are attempting to hinder your destiny. I truly believe there is greatness in us all. However, it is only when we decide to stop listening to the villains in our head, telling us what we canâ€™t do, and listen to our gut telling us what we are destined to do, that we can begin our journey to greatness. Once we accept that mission, and form an unstoppable team of mentors and supporters, can go beyond simply being great, we can finally become Superheros!
|This article was featured in the December 2010 Issue of the My Mad Methods Magazine. "The Superhero's Guide To Battling The Villains Within" was written by Sincere Hogan. You can purchase this issue by Clicking Here.|
Sincere Hogan is the owner and coach of New Warrior Fitcamp (formally JoshOne FitCamp), based in Houston, TX. Better known as â€œThe Peopleâ€™s Fit Coach,â€ Sincereâ€™s mission is to coach, empower, and inspire individuals to tap into their varied resources, in order to create the health and fitness lifestyle they truly desire. Sincere is not only the ultimate fat killer, but the consummate self-confidence builder. Find out more at http://newwarriortraining.com/.
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