If you know of me and what I have done in the sports of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and grappling, what I just said may have stunned you (but if you have read my blogs about food, maybe not so much). How can a world class athlete become a fat slob? Doesn’t he know how to stay in shape and keep a proper diet? Why would he let himself go?
In fact, many great athletes will often go between periods of incredible fitness to those of slumbering and gluttonous eras. Why? One reason is that most athletes tend to be extremists. Don’t worry, they are not the kind that will be screaming jihad and blowing themselves up. I mean that they have the mindset of “all or nothing.” So they move between hardcore workouts to crazy parties. Diets switch from living off of bare necessities to those of grandiose proportions. You could also relate that rhythm to enjoying great success, to falling into complete despair.
Another reason athletes fall off the wagon is to finally enjoy the “forbidden fruit.” During training camps, diets are strict, all activities are rigorous, and rest is hard to come by. There is nothing more that I want to do after a fight than go to bed with my girlfriend with a plate full of cookies and a tall glass of milk!
So I am reminded of this phenomenon as I had recently taken 3rd in the world in grappling back in September 27th. Here we are a month and a half later, and I feel like I’m starting all over again. I went into a big training session on Saturday with 20 other fighters for a sparring session. Mind you, I have not sparred in what seems to be eons. My timing is off, my gas tank is only 1/4 full, and my wheels are flat – talk about hard times! I struggled to keep up throughout the workout, having small moments of glory, followed by large gaps of ineptitude.
One thing has remained intact, my need for continual improvement. I am never satisfied with myself and I never will be. That is not to say I’m unhappy – I am happier with my life than I ever have been. Every day is the best day of my life. That being said, I will always want to enjoy more success than I previously have before. So I will work harder, train smarter and continue to improve on myself until the day I die.
Life is all about change – when you stop changing, you start dying.