I’m writing this article as a respond to the hype being built up by the Daily Express, Sabah for Orang Kuat Sabah 2011. When your competitors and media mark you down as the “Man to Beat” it is truly very flattering at the same time attracting unwanted attention too. At the end of the day it sells newspapers! So here is my take.
I’ve always prided myself as being grounded and real. The notion of winning several titles in a row has come my mind but most of the time it also comes as a rude shock too when you do not win anything. Thus managing expectations is another thing that a high level performing athlete has to come to terms with. Titles are always up for grab every year, so are bragging rights and that exclusive induction into the champions or winners roll! I’m not going to lie… the taste of winning and victory is addictive thus it pushes an athlete to greater heights and better peak performance.
So how does this apply to you at the gym or training or preparing for competition or just wanting to reach your personal best? It’s simple…below are my reasons
- Being humble is important because…. it keeps you grounded and not get light-headed or airy fairy to your own ideals of self glorification! Nobody likes to train with someone who thinks he is the best! Yes high level athletes tell themselves they are the best at what they do… but at the end of the day they still listen to their trainers and coaches
- Being humble is important because… it helps you focus on your own training and not compare yourself with others! Comparison with others just brings you down, at the end of the day… you are your worst enemy and your best ally… yes you are competing with someone else, but everyone has their own Everest and personal achievements count more than the number of trophies in the other guy’s trophy cabinet
- Being humble is important because… your fellow competitors no matter how much they “fear” of having to compete against you they will always respect you for not being a loudmouth, or a bragging queen or hate you. Mutual respect goes a long and mutual respect pushes athlete beyond their own level of performance thus this will increase your own!
Do you ever see Usain Bolt bad-mouthing Asafa Powell??
No thats because they are training partners… Bolt may be the Olympic Champion, but Asafa Powell broke Bolt’s record in 2010!
Do you see Zrydunas Zsavickas shooting his mouth to Marius Pudzianowski???
No, they always start with a handshake and end with a hug and a handshake! Thats mutual respect!
Do you see Lance Armstrong shooting off his mouth he is the best in the world after winning 7 titles??
No, now he is a pack rider and supporting the main rider!
Do you see Fandi Ahmad bragging how good he is??
No, he always gives back what he learnt!
Or do you see Olympic Silver Medalist Tan Howe Liang talk about his Silver Medal all the time??
No… in fact he will tell you another story and impart some of his sagely wisdom and technique to you!
P.S, the photos of the athletes above are just for recognition purposes only.
- Being humble is important because… it keeps your mind open and always seek advice, feedback and critique. There is no such thing as a single perfect technique! Yes practice makes perfect but practice without the openness to feedback, supervision and critique ensures you will be stuck in a rut and forever remain at your comfortable plateau!
- Being humble is important because… this will ensure your longevity in your sport of your choice, be it Kettlebells Sport, Strongman, Football, Weightlifting, Rugby, Martial Arts or even your day to day life.
- Being humble is important because… it will keep you injury free, this is the most important thing to an athlete… being injury free. People who don’t listen or EGO-Lifters or i call them CLANGERS are the one i detest the most. They make the loudest noise, talk a lot of smack in the gym and they think they are Gods gift to any gym. To me it’s very simple… if you are strong enough to lift it, you are strong enough to set it back properly! By just dropping the weight it might cause unwanted damage to yourself, the equipment or worse another person in the gym… Personally, i’ve met this kind of people in the gym and usually i will tell them off and I really have no respect for them at all.
- Being humble is important because… if you think you are strong or the most AWESOME person in the world. Truth is there is someone out there better, stronger and has better technique and genetic ability than you!
At the end of the day, a competition is only a competition when there are other competitors to compete with thus the need to respect them, because like it or not… you need them! I’m never about blazing or burning anyone in my way to earn or win the title. Titles will come and go at each passing year, i wont lie and say i dont like winning… I say again! Winning is addictive…but what’s the takeaway from the win? Do you like winning the title 1000 times and earn nothing else. I rather win the title 10 times than 1000 times and earn the respect of my fellow competitors, officials and supporters and know that you are truly a worthy champion who has heart, soul and respect of your fellow competitors.
But more importantly I compete because I love to compete with like minded athletes who will push me to better heights as i reach for my own personal Everest! Because without them… i’m just as good as a hermit in his cave. I’m very fortunate that i’m surrounded by good coaches, trainers and friends who I hold up in high esteem and vice versa!