Lately I’ve really enjoyed reading Donny Shankle’s blog. Donny is a modern-day philosopher-warrior who is perhaps the only human being on earth who can write about weightlifting in a way that makes the subject fascinating to non weightlifters.
One recurring theme in Donny’s blog is the idea that weightlifting “reinforces the virtue of courage”. What a strange idea! The linking of virtue and courage seems anachronistic in an age when sniveling has become the norm.
What is courage anyway? Of course you must have physical courage when you move under a bar. That thing is heavy. It could hurt you. But there is another form of courage, namely, the willingness to risk humiliation.
If your only goal in the gym is to protect your ego, you’ll never take the risks you need to get better. Donny Shankle missed over forty attempts at a 171 kilo snatch before finally succeeding. Imagine how much ego strength that required.
Many people think they are a “loser” if they miss a lift, or fail at a pull-up, or finish the workout last. That’s wrong. Failure doesn’t make you a loser. It means you have skin in the game. Always remember that fortune favors the bold.