At first you won’t notice. You settle into routine, go about your activities without much other thinking. Your gym sessions, when you actually make it there, will be lackluster at best, going through the motions with the vigor of a Ferris wheel. You find you have aches and pains from…well…you’re not too sure. Drinking more beers than you have fingers and toes on Saturday takes all of Sunday and part of Monday to feel normal again, and just a few minutes ago you said something akin to “I can’t do X or Y like I used to.”
Then it hits you. Like a palm forged from embarrassment and frustration, it hits you.
What happened to that fire? That absolute unbreakable spirit that dominates the psyche of strong young men? It just faded, the wind died down and now it is but a smoldering pile of coals, but you’re way too young to feel this way. “Slowing down” like this is for geriatric people in warmer climates. You’re about as aggressive as a pussy-whipped suburban dad who was forced to use his Corvette savings to buy a new minivan for his ever-fattening wife to drive the kids to soccer practice. Is this hormonal? Do you have AIDS? Maybe this is aging…can’t be, I’m only twenty.
“I thought I could have written about all the years where I made no progress, and felt very content with myself for no god damn reason at all. Whether I lost my drive or desire, I have no idea. However eventually I woke up one day and realized….holy shit I’ve been lifting the same things for years and years now. I’m not any stronger. I’m not any better. Fuck, I’m caught in the weight training version of Groundhog’s Day!”
– Paul Carter of Lift-Run-Bang.com
Contentment. To truly solve a problem it must be understood why it was allowed to happen. If a water pipe in your house leaks, it does not serve you well to just patch the hole. That is a Band-Aid solution, and Band-Aids are temporary. Think deeper, corrosion may be to blame; a blockage causing turbulent flow may be speeding up the corrosion. The same thinking must be applied to your recent epiphany. Let us brainstorm a little: males of this current generation, aged between 18-21, have it pretty good. Shelter, food, and water are, for the most part, of no concern. Post-secondary education is available for many budgets and fields of study. There is no major war taking place, so we don’t have to worry about getting drafted and dying in a foreign town we can’t pronounce. An unfathomable amount of free information, music, movies and porn is available at the tip of our fingers on multiple devices, and to top it off, you can drink, smoke, and gamble legally (I live in Canada). We are softer than our fathers and grandfathers who left us this wonderful life, by a tenfold. We are allowed to be comfortable, living on the edge is optional. We are allowed to be content too early, and contentment, although comfortable, dulls progress.
“Stop all the things that make you a pussy and steal your energy. Get your life back.”
– Jim Wendler
The fire in you, although weakened, is not completely smothered. You need to remove the ashes and damp logs, allow clean air to flow, and add some fresh kindling with a splash of gasoline. From there, larger and larger pieces of wood will be added until the campfire turns back into a raging wildfire. Start with your computer, or your smartphone, if you have one: Delete all the apps and other bullshit that doesn’t complement your rebirth; memes used to be funny, but you’re an adult now, delete ’em. Seek to master your chosen profession, or ditch the desk and learn a trade, if you need a change. Clean your fucking vehicle and put some women in it, and if going fast is your thing, get a motor between your legs. Start up a performance-based training program, straighten up your diet, and prepare to hit weight and rep PR’s like clockwork.
Re-ignition. I’m proud to say that rather than surrender to mediocrity, I chose to reinvent myself by myself. I became my own therapist by nourishing my mind with quality information and my body with quality nutrition. I studied game on ROK and various books, and began dating one of the few girls in my town that wasn’t insane. I learned to further enjoy my job as a pipefitter by committing to getting better. Hell, I even got back into snowmobiling, because few things beat the feeling of doing 120 MPH on a frozen lake.
I was back to my old self by the time I turned 21, my fire was once again burning strong. If a swift kick in the ass and a little excitement can’t get you out of a slump, then you are broken. Get your fire back.
Read More: Are You On Pace To Reach Your Goals?