If you know me or if you ever meet anyone that knows me, I will tell you and they will tell you, patience is one of the number one things I lack. Whatever it may be, lifting goal, new iPhone, or food; I want it and I want it NOW! This can be good and bad. Good because I have the drive to push towards things I want but also bad because I can push too hard or get frustrated very quickly. It wasn’t until I consistently started lifting that I began to curb my impatience and learn to be calm under pressure.
I began to find my patience through iron following my senior year in college. I had always lifted for baseball and enjoyed it but never really had any goals or ambitions in relation to just lifting. During my senior year of college I ended up getting a very terrible case of mono. Oh also, did I mention along with my impatience that I am also EXTREMELY stubborn? I was going to class, practice, conditioning, lifting and games for 2-3 months with what I thought was a lingering cold. This eventually ended with me in bed one morning unable to even stand up and down to 163lbs from my normal 185-190lbs. After I was finally cleared to be active again my friend and fellow Mighty Barbell author, Anthony “Moc”, invited me back to our high school to come lift with him.
I started going in and slowly regaining my strength but not on really any program at all. This is where Moc introduced me to Eric Cressey and his Show and Go program. I had never done any program like this and the closest thing to it that I had done would be our lifting at Northwest Missouri State where we both played baseball for a year. I learned to set goals for each lift and to be patient with my progress. Over that summer we both worked through Show and Go multiple times and I went from the 165-170lb frail human I had become back to an even bigger and stronger 195-200lbs.
After seeing the progress I made I was obsessed and decided to keep busting my ass and try to sign a professional baseball contract. After my senior year I thought I had thrown the last pitch of my career since I had basically missed the entire second half and was not drafted. But the progress I had seen through my patience had given me the boost I needed to give it a go. Long story short I began to coach at my high school with Moc while I prepared for a tryout. Our weight room came to be known as “Swole City” and it was the catalyst for me to find my patience through iron.
I eventually went on to sign a contract with the Hawaii Stars, an independent team based in Hilo, HI. I played the full season with the Stars and even got to travel to Japan to play before I was traded to the Maui Na Koa Ikaika for the playoffs and ended up winning the championship with them. After the season was over I made the trek to Hudson, Massachusetts to train at Cressey Sports Performance in person for the entire off-season. It was the single greatest learning and lifting experience I have had in my entire life. The people I met and trained with were some of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met. Also the knowledge in that facility was beyond anything I had been a part of. I eventually ended my time at CSP and signed a contract with the Brownsville Charros, another independent team based out of Brownsville, Texas. My time was short with them and I was eventually released.
Without the lessons I learned from lifting weights and working towards goals I would have never been able to do any the things I did or experience any of the amazing things I was so lucky to experience. I would not have seen Japan, I would not have been able to call my self a professional baseball player and I would not have had the opportunity to spend 7-8 months at an absolutely amazing facility like CSP. The iron has given me so much to look back on and be thankful for and so much to look forward to and work towards in the future. I encourage you to really look back on the things you have done since you began your lifting journeys and think about how much it has empowered you. I know for me personally I would not be the same person I am today without learning my patience through iron.