What drives a man to become all he can be? When there are no lights shining down, no crowds of people with their eyes focused in his direction? I’m talking about when it’s the early mornings or the late nights, the empty gym when it’s just you and the weights, or the list of things to do is laid down in front of you and it’s up to you to get it done. It’s not strength or talent that’s going to get you through all of it, it’s an unseen energy called Will Power. But what is will power? Here’s my personal take on will power and the blessing of being able to harness it.
The gym: a personal forge of iron and concrete that I’ve spent countless hours inside its four walls pushing myself to perform better than I did yesterday, last week, or even a year ago. It’s not always the easiest to do. There are days when my body is tired, my mind tells me to sleep more or take it easy today. I always do routines correctly, make sure my form is right to avoid injury, I don’t take shortcuts or skip movements. I’m smart about the weight that I’m going to pick up or move, I’m not going to kick myself in the rear for not hitting a PR (Personal Record) each week and I’m not going to compare myself to anyone else’s work.
The results I’m looking for don’t come from physical actions alone, it takes a lot of mental preparation and discipline to accomplish. That’s where the drive to get to the gym and put in the work after a long day on the job or a short turn around off the nightshift comes in. It meant changing how I ate completely, changing to reading the nutritional facts, a lot of number crunching, tracking meals, what I could and could not have at certain times of the day. After so long it’s no longer a diet, it’s a lifestyle change and it became a habit, a habit that has been going on since March 2011.
There was a lot of studying going on with this, whether it was reading articles in magazines, asking questions to old school body builders and gym addicts, and most important listening to good advice. In turn, all that knowledge is stored in my mind and it’s my responsibility to pass on that knowledge that I’ve been taught and learned through trial and error to help others reach their respected fitness goals.
All the physical and mental discipline and self-control didn’t stay in the gym, it sharpened these tools that I use in everyday life outside the gym. I started my job in June 2011 just three months after I started training and eating better. My job requires me to work twelve-hour swing shifts, answer call outs, and keep improving my skills and getting better at my position. I’m motivated every day I slip on my steel toed boots then head out the door for another day of work. When I was hired, I made my employers a promise,
“I will be the hardest worker at this plant, I’m going to work hard, learn my job and more, and be the man you can depend on.”
That promise I held myself accountable to, and I would drive to stay true to my word. That was in no way saying I wouldn’t make mistakes. Mistakes are a bitter pill to swallow but are a part of life. My aunt told me a quote, “If you make a mistake, learn from it and get better. If you repeat the same mistake it’s a habit.” It’s mistakes that we make, the bad days, those snakes in the grass, or the tough times, that is when character is tested.
None of it hit home as much as the will of a man himself, the gym sessions and work employment are only part of life. The man in his home with his family is where this all comes to fruition. His work life provides income to provide for his family and himself, the workouts in the gym shape and improve the body to make tasks simpler. It’s how the man betters himself and what he does in life that make the most importance. Learning new skills or better techniques, expanding knowledge, getting more involved within church functions, and being an active member of the community. Get your hands dirty and do things the old-fashioned way instead of picking up the phone to have it done.
If there is something you always wanted to learn whether it is starting a camp fire with primitive methods, archery, or painting, learn how to do it! If there are adventures you wish to embark on then plan it, go hike nature trails or even your own back woods, maybe spend the weekend camping. None of this is easy, to learn something new it will take practice to master it won’t happen overnight. Going on an adventure isn’t slipping on a backpack and a pair of hiking boots. It takes planning, researching the area, getting supplies, taking time off work, and of course staying safe.
My goals are different from others and that’s completely acceptable; goals like people, are unique in their own ways. In the gym I’m not looking to be the strongest, fastest, or the best looking. My goal is to be the best version of me; keep improving strength, mobility and endurance, and keep a lean physique year-round. Overall be the hardest worker in the room. In the end, the overall goal is to be happy with what I work to achieve. That’s not the only place where my goals are located; I have goals at my workplace, goals for my home and land, as a husband and one day a father, to continue sharpening and learning skills as a man. It will take sacrifice, time, hard work, and lessons learned along the way. I’m determined to reach every goal I have set and I know I have the will power to make it come true.
So, what is will power? To me will power is to have determination and self-control to complete goals despite the difficulties involved and to have control of your actions, mind, body, and spirit. If you can master will power then nothing is impossible for you to achieve.
– Cole Moorman