A Type

A Type

Mar 26, 2017

A Type

By Josh Hunt

I am a very A Type person. Additionally I have a high need for accomplishment. In some cases this is a great thing and these two attributes are synergistic. In other situations this combination of volatile ingredients can be damaging and parasitic. On the one hand I have been able to be moderately successful professionally, in the weight room, in school, and several other avenues of my life. On the other hand I have created frustration for myself and those closest to me, I have been close-minded about constructs of other peoples lives, and in some cases have been so draconian I suffer physically and mentally. It’s really a mixed bag, and it can be addictive. Since high school I have chosen to live a fast paced and regimented life. I had to, how else was I going to play football, be on the track team, be a member of the National Honor Society, work for a ski shop in Phoenix (yes you read that correctly), work part time for the company my father was employed with, and try to get into college? A tight and controlled schedule helped me to get through a very demanding military school that made me balance; my course load, the student regiment, athletics, extra circulars, and trying to find myself. Over the two plus decades since I left high school I have refined my methodology in order to accomplish the most amount of goals in the least amount of time. The problem with this is two fold, one I have become incredibly inflexible and intolerant to change, and two this way of living has empowered my insecurities and need to control as much as possible.

I competed in Wisconsin a few weeks ago and I will be starting up a new template next week. Which means I’ve been trying to function with no laid out plan in the gym. This has been pretty difficult for me. I always have issues with figuring out what to do on the fly. Typically a non-templated workout should be fun, spontaneous, and allow you to work on things you normally don’t. However, this is not how it is for me. I walk around the gym like a lost puppy wasting time wherever I can and defaulting to the exercises I do on a regular basis. One would think that a bench only guy should maybe do some squat variations or mess around with some dumbbell work. Yeah, one would think that, but what I do is bench, bench some more, and then guess what bench even more. What is even sadder in my mind is the fact that these non-templated workouts should take me no more than forty-five to sixty minutes, but that doesn’t happen. I end up spending the same amount of time in the gym doing these easy workouts as I do when I am on a competition template, generally two to two and a half hours. I have a very difficult time floating or being flexible. Which is not a good thing, because how often is training perfect? The answer is never.

I struggle with this concept a great deal because I want everything to fall into place the way I planned it. However, I know this will never happen. It is hard for me to get motivated to lift when I get out of work late. I’ve run into the though of making up a day in the weight room at another time because I got off work thirty minutes late. The timeline starts to unfurl in my head; get to the gym at 5:00 pm instead of 4:30 pm, this means I get home at 7:30 pm instead of 7:00 pm. Oh crap that means by the time I get ready for tomorrow and cook I am not eating until 8:30 pm instead of 8:00 pm. Which means I might not be able to get a few things done around the house like dishes, which means I won’t be able to cook in the morning because there are no plates, which means I’ll have to stop at McDonalds on the way to work and eat something unhealthy and spend money I haven’t budgeted for. This chain of events also means that I’ll be going to bed later than I have planned which means won’t get the rest I need and my work out and professional daily plan will suffer. Then things will get pushed to the weekend and I won’t have the time to do the things I feel I need to do around the house or things I want to do. Then I get upset that I got off thirty minutes late at my job because why should I be the one doing this, why can’t other people be as focused as I am. As you can tell it can be a downward spiral that is hard to break.

But, here is the thing, this stuff happens all of the time and there is no way to make everything work out. Training and more importantly life should be modifiable and reactive. All of us are going to have to fit training into our lives wherever we can. Works, kids, personal plans like going to a concert are going to get in the way, and we have to accept that. Some days workouts are going to take too long and we have to be able to realize this and have the power to just leave. At some point we will do more for ourselves leaving a couple of reps unaccomplished than trying to do everything. If we are smart and flexible we’ll be able to figure out a way to make up the exercises that we missed, and if not we should be able to realize that it was more important having that cup of coffee with a friend in need that getting in all your reps of curls on Tuesday. It is great to be able to keep on a schedule and do everything you plan to do, and this should be a goal. I say this because a regiment can be a valuable tool that will get you to where you want to be. I do want to point out that I used the word tool, because it is just that a tool. It can’t be a complete lifestyle because that is not sustainable for one person let alone a person in a relationship, with a family, or with duties to important people. Yes, it is good idea to try your best and follow the plan. But, training isn’t the end all be all. Powerlifting/athletics should just be one aspect of who you are as person. This is where I’ll ask you if your plan, your holistic plan, has room in it to discover new things, to spend time with friends and family, to have quiet time? Our workout templates are not mutually exclusive to the rest of our lives; they are a puzzle piece to a much larger picture.

I hope that this doesn’t seem like I am on my soapbox preaching at you. In honesty I am writing this for myself. I am off today and I’ve decided to try to have a down day just because, and it is really difficult. I planned on going to the gym this morning, but due to some allergy medication (the pollen is killing me right now) I over slept. This has affected the rest of my day. The control I felt I had has turned out to be an illusion. I will eventually go to the club and I will get in the work that I need to do, but until then I am going to feel as if I should be doing more, I should be following a schedule. This is where I am working on not being so A type because these feelings of uncertainty and guilt to a degree are only negatively affecting me. So what, I couldn’t make it to the gym this morning, I am still going to go this afternoon, it is really is a moot point. As I practice my flexibility I believe I will become a better person and lifter, because there are always variables thrown your way, that’s just life. Flexibility should be something we all try to work on as part of our daily practices, because all too often the plan derails or is just slightly off and this should not stop us from trying to accomplish what we have set out to do.

P.S. I have decided to stop inserting a lyric from a band on my writings. I originally did this because I wanted everyone that read my stuff to know that I have a large knowledge of music, but this really doesn’t matter to me anymore. If you want to talk music let shoot me a line. Additionally, I thought posting a lyric would be a cool little calling card that made me unique, but I’ll just let me writing speak to how unique or hackneyed I am.

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