Is your body the limitation or your mind?

Posted on March 30, 2011. Filed under: Misc | Tags: , , , , , |

It’s an old story.


Stop me if you’ve heard it.


But it has been my experience there is no situation that can not be made better or given more clarity by a good story.


It happened on a day no different or similar than any other day.  A local town reporter was walking the ground of  circus that had come to town.  He had talked to the ring master and was now making his way around the grounds.  He saw many sights and heard many sounds.


Different performers and animals moved in and out of view, till he came upon a sight he could not believe.  There stood an elephant.  Gigantic, powerful, an imposing wonder of nature.  And attached to the elephant’s trunk was thin piece of rope.  Which was then attached to a wooden post.  The elephant would move around, but once the string became taut, the elephant would stop and move back in toward the post.


The reporter found this to be amazing, and quickly sought out the animal trainer.


“How is it possible?”, he asked.  “That an enormous powerful animal like that, can be held fast, by a simple piece of rope.  It’s smaller than a piece of floss in comparison.”


The trainer explained.  When the elephant was newly born and young.  The rope was attached to it.  And it was left alone.  The baby elephant pulled and tugged against the rope with all its might.  And was unable to pull free.  After some time the baby elephant gave up.  And they use the same rope every time.  Because the elephant remembers not being able to break free, it assumes it can not ever break free.  Even to this very day.


I often think of this story when people tell me what they can not do.


It’s my genetics.  I can’t lose fat

It’s my genetics. I can’t gain muscle

It’s my genetics.  I can’t succeed


Now granted, genetics play a part in our physical development.  I could do every workout the Lakers do and I will not get any taller.  Nor do I think Cindy Crawford looks the way she does because of her workout tapes, more likely because she was born Cindy Crawford.  So I understand.


However in my experience.  Knowing the level of misinformation and bad training out there.  I would wager only 3% of the world population reach their full genetic potential.  And even with that I feel I am being optimistic.


When you think about it.  One has to have chosen the right activity, with the right coaching, and have enough discipline to see it through.  Every coach I know has a story about someone from their old neighborhood who was unbelievably physically gifted, and went nowhere.  either due to injuries that could have been prevented, lifestyle, or jut bad coaching not knowing how to develop the talent.


So when I hear people blame their genetics for the lack of results, I wonder are they just being held fast by the rope.


Did they make an attempt to gain muscle or lose fat the wrong way and fail.  Then simply gave up, and stopped believing they could accomplish the goal.  Or worse, they took measures too extreme and the rebound effect was even more psychologically damaging.


You often hear people say in person or on commercials, “I tried everything.”  This is both a lie to themselves and to those they talk to.  simply put if they had tried everything they would have found their solution.


What they mean is they tried everything they knew of, or everything they found convenient.  I’ve been lifting for many years.  I have done 200 bodyweight squats, and maxed out with 550 lbs.  I have done plyometric routines, and distance work till I could do 2 miles in 11 minutes.  I have tried a wide variety of sports and I can assure you, I have not come close to trying everything.


Which is why I love this industry.  🙂


So if you find yourself stuck, take a step back and re-evaluate.  Talk to a coach, or other health professional.


I have seen those with sciatica, thyroid issues, breast cancer survivors, fibromyalgia, IBS, and more put forth the effort and see the results they wanted.


No it does not always happen overnight, or in 30 days, or 12 weeks like it does on TV.  But it does happen.


You just have to be willing to realize that maybe that chain weighing you down.  Is nothing more than a piece of string.




Best Health,

Coach W


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One Response to “Is your body the limitation or your mind?”

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I like that story, and no I had not heard it before. 🙂

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