So, as it turns out my parents did know a thing a two about what was best for me while growing up. I didn't always see it then, and their plans might not have always matched to my desires, but they got a couple of things right!
Growing up, the weights that we had in our basement consisted of some cement filled plastic molds, an easy curl bar, a couple of adjustable cast iron dumbbells, and a bench that could hold the bar, but would tip over if you didn't balance the bar while loading weights. The set was given to my brother and I from our neighbor sometime before we moved from Detroit to New York, and probably maxed out at 85 pounds. A couple of years passed, and as I got into middle school I started to really enjoy working out. I remember BEGGING my dad for a new weight set. Real barbells, more weights, something more advanced than pushups, pull-ups from the rafters, and whatever movements were possible with our "weight set."
My Father heard something different.
I asked for something I "wanted." He would provide something I "needed"
Years later I would come across a sermon or speech that says:
"I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brains to work.
I asked courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for patience and God gave me situations where I was forced to wait.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
I asked for everything I could enjoy in life. Instead, he gave me life so I could enjoy everything.
I received nothing I wanted, I received everything I needed."
Now, this could have been one of those nice learning moments where my dad explains this type of perspective to me since he is a minister. BUT...he's also the guy that would take notes, literally, during my Pop Warner games and hand me a spiral notebook of mistakes after every game. So like I said, I would find that passage years later!
So my dad did hear what I was asking for, he understood the purpose of "equipment," and he got me to commit to using whatever "equipment" he would provide for me. I WAS ALL IN!!! So he came home from work, told me to get in the car to help go pick up my "equipment" and we were off.
****Side note, my father grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin****
We didn't drive to a gym or sporting goods store. We drove to the town auto-mechanic shop. He had called ahead and had them set 16 tires next to the dumpster for us. Not what I had expected or asked for, but he provided what I needed. Super Disappointed.
Until we got home.
After spending 60 minutes running through tires, throwing tires, sledge hammering tires, flipping tires, and anything else he could think of, I was whooped. Pretty savvy old man I have.
That's a fun story about my father. Smart guy, thinks ahead, sees the whole picture. Not impressed with fancy things, only worried about getting things done. I didn't need new equipment, I needed a new work ethic. I just had to put in work, consistently. Equipment didn't matter, time under tension did. I needed to learn how to move better, not just lift more weight. I would learn to move efficiently, learn to produce force and power, and learn all about muscle synergy. All in the comforts of my back yard with a set of tires.
Consistency is what leads to results. Not your equipment, not your gym, not your trainer, not anything you can buy or admire...just plain old fashioned consistency. Show up to work out, show up to work hard, but most importantly show up. Everything else will fall into place if you are doing the right things consistently. Stay the course, good things will happen.
Lastly, I love this quote From Brian Mackenzie. He says "When it comes to training, more is not better. More is a byproduct of better."
Consistency will allow use to achieve more. We will get better as we learn. We will learn when we show up.
Thank you Pop.
Here's two more articles for some food for thought: