Failure, Fear and Giving Up

Failure, Fear and Giving Up

Sep 17, 2014


I’m not going to harp on what happened 15 months ago.  I am, however, going to admit something very hard.  I failed.  I feared.  I discovered that I was not invincible – when I was.  Then I gave up.

Talking to the doctors – jumping in a vehicle and driving 19 hours from Canada back to home with a catastrophic injury for proper care – there is strength in that.  Making light of things and making it an adventure.  Getting frustrated.  Not depression, but depressed about my new limitations.  Making only a few attempts and waving off the others in competition because of what was between my ears.  Getting cramps or pain and stopping during lifts.  I had switched to being a bench specialist during recovery and was stuck in a rut – my max stayed where it was all year – fearing failure again or the potential having another injury.

With good news at the beginning turning sour, even now, as the leg refuses to heal properly.  Decisions on whether I should go back into surgery or fight through to see if it heals and listening to the doctor stating that I should ‘back off’ using the leg at all.  Difficulty climbing stairs due to weakness associated with the injury and lack of use.  Strange pains during sumo lifts and being able to move relatively light weights.

The result?  It effected work, training, relationships.  I was becoming what I am not.  I have never feared stepping into the unknown and I have always turned weakness into strength.  Where was my edge?  My fire?

This summer we built a gym in which I am a partner.  Why?  Definitely not to make a lot of money – but that is how I turn failure into success.  I use failure to realize my dreams.  I learn and come back stronger.  I found my weaknesses and I am crushing them.  I am realizing a dream I had half my life ago!


^^Grand Opening 2XL Powerlifting LLC – Partners Joe Atef (left), Eric Stone (center), Yours Truly (right – but aren’t I always?)

In the day world I had allowed the weakness to cause problems.  It literally took subordinates and co-workers to come and say – we want ‘EvilHowie’ back.  The guy who would get in your face and tell you the way it was.  Instead, I had let the small minded get in my way and found myself backing down on occasion.  My people were losing faith in me.  I listened to bad advice about how I should manage – when my leadership has never been in question – I mean, hell, I won leadership and innovation awards in all aspects of my professional and volunteer life since I was a teenager!


^^Teaching Nukes in S. Korea

Yes, I will admit that I took a step backwards.  I have before and the step forward has always been very interesting and landed me leagues ahead of where I was.  The step back has always helped me identify who I could depend on and who I should crush/remove from my life.  I have no mercy for those who would take advantage instead of support.

Finally – I gave up.

I gave up worrying.  I gave up fearing.  I gave up questioning my strengths.  I gave up listening to the weak and sniveling trying to hold back the lion.  I gave up listening to people to tell me to reign in my ‘ego,’ when I really didn’t have one to begin with.  I gave up allowing distractions to get in my way.  I gave up allowing others to decide how I would react.

I gave up holding myself back.

I gave up allowing those who would try to hold back success by bringing down successful people from having any impact on my decisions and actions.

I gave up worrying about how they felt as I did what I think is right.

I gave up not being excited about what I do in all aspects of my life.

I gave up not standing on my pedestal and letting out my ROAR!

I had a few acquaintances and friends say, ‘where have you been?’ and I have seen them almost every day.

Yes, it is ‘I’ because I am the only one who can make that choice for myself.


^^The sleeping lion awakes hungry

Throughout life you will have setbacks and failures, you will find yourself briefly weakened.  People will take advantage of that weakness.  They are not worth your time or attention.

This week my raw strength in the gym is greater than it was before the injury.  Those who took advantage are no longer around.  I chose to hold myself responsible for my success once again.

There is nothing scarier in this jungle than me.

I switch back to full power equipped next week.  There is nothing and no one worth avoiding my dreams.




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