So if you haven’t yet start at my first blog, where I discuss what it means to be a “Greek Hero”. That’ll give you the context for this conversation. Don’t worry though, it’s not too much philosophy for one sitting. This post however will not be Greek style philosophy. We aren’t going to explore the “what-ifs" and the “if-thens" of my previous post. No, we are going to a page from the Romans and get straight to practice. How can my ramblings and these ancient virtues help you in the 21st century as a strength or physique sport athlete? Find out nine ways you already might be a Greek Hero below…
Reminder Arate is “excellence” of any given trait…so think of the recent film Wonder Woman. Dianna’s Arate was her sense of justice, unwavering she did what was right the whole movie. Your Arate might be...
Motivation: Progress takes time and the process is hard. There is no way to sugar coat it. You must demonstrate excellence in your motivation to come to the gym day in and day out to do the same exercises when you aren’t feeling "it", or you are tired and sore. Progress is made when the last thing you want to do is train, but those that show up to do the work are the ones with unwavering motivation, and that is excellence.
Dedication: Your goals will require some sacrifices. Will you be diligent enough to train early in the morning or late at night? Will you fit your goals and pursuits around your social, work, and family demands? Will you be able to say no after one drink or a sensible amount of food at a celebration? It takes dedication to remain self-disciplined and not lose sight of your goals or compromise other areas of your life.
Determination: You will be tested as you work towards your goals. As we already discussed it takes time to achieve a particular physique, strength level, or body composition. And yes motivation and dedication are required but without determination your motivation and dedication might stop at the first major setback. So, stay determined to allow your motivation and dedication to get you where you ultimately want to go.
Reminder Andreia is “manliness” according to the ancient Greeks, but we can equate that to courage. Once again, Dianna (Wonder Woman) crushed courage in “no man’s land” on the way to Veld in Belgium. Your Andreia might be...(I told you last time ladies, you can be “manly” too and have Andreia…I didn’t pick the word and I wasn’t lying)
Making a lifestyle change requires courage, no question about it. Humankind fears the unknown. We like to be comfortable. We are designed to resist changes from head to toe. Forcing your body to change by changing your behaviors is a scary thing. It’s not easy, and is probably why we hear a lot of “I wish I had done this” or “I wish I could do that”. If you don’t mutter those words emptily you have Andreia.
Coming back from an injury or set back doesn’t just require determination, dedication, and motivation, it also requires courage. You need to be courageous in the face of your own self-doubt. You need to be courageous as you traverse the road once traveled, but this time it might not be quite as easy. If you can overtake your old self you have demonstrated Andreia.
Putting yourself in the public eye, no matter the scale, is something many people have an aversion too. How many of you were psyched to get called on to read aloud in school? How many of you jumped at the chance to give a speech or presentation in front of your superiors or peers? Being open about a weight loss, physique, or strength goal is much the same. You let people know what you want to do and you make yourself vulnerable. When you convince yourself you can “take it easy” for a while, the people around you will quickly remind you that you are full of it. To willingly put yourself in the public eye and thrive requires courage.
Reminder Sôphrosune is “temperance” or self-control over negative emotions. Unfortunately, Dianna was not great with self-control, but then again we can cut her some slack since her entire world was flipped on its head. Also, historically heroes have one critical flaw. Achille’s heel is a great example of this tragic flaw idea, as well as the origin of that particular euphemism.
Your emotional fortitude will be tested. You will become more irritable as fatigue accumulates and calories decrease. To not lose “it" being “hangry” or physically drained 24/7 requires a lot of self-control.
Your mental fortitude will be tested. You will be hard pressed to find someone who did not have self-doubts during their journey. To control the narrative in your head, always work towards progress not perfection, and not dwelling on the little failures requires a great deal of temperance.
Your physical fortitude will be tested. You will be putting in long hours to complete the requisite training for progress. You must have temperance to retain the ability to appreciate the small victories along the way that others overlook, like completing training sessions with the same weights but higher quality.