“Genius without Education is like Silver in a Mine.”
— Ben Franklin
We could make that more specific and say, “Talent without Training…”.1
A coach with any experience knows that athletes with talent are a dime a dozen. There are literally millions of them and you’ll see hundreds (even thousands) in your career.
What you’ll find to be rare, and worth mining, is that quality in a person that drives them to work their tail off without regard to where they began. They only care about taking the next step and taking it well.
Strangest of all, they keep coming back to the gym after endlessly brutal workouts, without having any experience that would look like “fun” to an outsider — yet they do find it fun.
These mythical athletes, these workers, need not hit personal records every week to stay happy — knowing that is a fool’s fantasy. They need not have any “success” at all. They aren’t in it for that low-brow shit.
They are in this for the training itself.
And, ironically, they will leap-frog over the success-obsessed over-talented athletes who were born with silver in their mouths — those pampered whiners whose parents always told them “how special” they are — those wimps who will live out their lives in the mine.
I look for only two things in an athlete:
Never “talent”. I’m suspect of new lifters who show talent, who are already strong, who already seem better than half the others in the gym. I don’t trust them.
Talented kids grow into complacent adults.
I want to see fire in the eyes. I want to know this person embraces struggle, seeks it out, lives for those moments when the only choice is to face a new fear and overcome.
If you come in with a passion for work and are willing to keep at it especially when its hard, then you can stay. Everyone else quits eventually.
In the story of The Tortoise and the Hair, we always take away the wrong lesson. We think its a motivational story: that we’re the turtle.
No. We’re the rabbit.
Our biggest problem is NOT that we don’t have enough talent coming into the race… it’s that we fall asleep halfway through. We rest on what we already have.
The truth is that where you start tells me nothing about where you’re going. Only your actions tell me that.
Take action, and don’t stop taking action. That’s the “sneaky” trick.
Now go lift something heavy,
P.S. You can still get 50% OFF of your monthly subscription (forever!) to Nemesis: The Journal of Rational Action – Click Here – Your Source for Smarter Strength Training. (PLUS, 4 Huge Bonuses!) ENDS Friday at Midnight.
- Tamara bought Ben Franklin knee-high socks for lifting in. She’s got a contest this weekend. We’ll see if they work ;-) ↩