Well we are 4 months in to the shit show lovingly embraced (I made that up) by all you readers out there (all 4 of you) in internet land…….and I’ve so far been irreverent, sorta serious, and outright nonsensical, so this month maybe I should try to ruffle some feathers and be generally bitchy and unpleasant (too late, I am already those things).
Anyhoo, in that vein I bring you this month’s labor of love, which I’ll call The Disparaging Peacock Syndrome.
So what is the The Disparaging Peacock Syndrome?
To me, it is the all-too-commonly seen online phenomenon of lifters mouthing off and strutting around disparaging and discounting other lifters efforts because they did not adhere to some currently popular, somewhat arbitrary, and not-even-based-in-current-powerlifting-federation-rules standards, in order to make their own lifts equally laudable or “better” in comparison.
What. The. Fuck. Did. That. Even. Mean.
I know, I just spit out a bunch of $5 words and it got a little abstract there so let me explain it in a simpler way, with examples.
We have all heard this……”sure Bob squatted 700……but I squat 650 and walk my squats out.
And my squat was beltless…..and I don’t have a nutrition coach, or a programming coach, or a crew, or blah blah (pick your reason why Bob squatted more, as long as that reason isn’t that Bob is stronger than you)”.
Or this…….”well yeah Sarah pulled 500, but it was sumo. I pull conventional, sumo is for cheaters”
Or this one…….”well yeah I could bench that much if I could arch like that. That’s practically cheating, he/she has like a 4 inch range of motion”.
Orrrrrrrr this one……”well I squat that weight and weigh 30 lbs less than he/she does, so I’m really stronger than him/her.”
Before you think I am an asshole, I have done some of this shit too.
We all have.
If you haven’t, you are lying, or a saint in human form, and in that case I have a boil on my ass I’d like you to heal.
Why do we do this?
I feel it is a way to mask insecurity, reassure ourselves we are really stronger than others, fight for a higher place on the ladder of who’s who in powerlifting.
Instead of acknowledging we have a lot of work to do, that we are weaker than someone else (or a bunch of someone else’s) we instead try to level the playing field by TAKING AWAY FROM OTHERS.
Instead of taking ownership of our faults, weaknesses, and failures, we attribute our lower spot on the ladder to the unfair advantages of others, whether it be that they got more sleep, have a huge arch, have a pro coach, or more time to train.
So why is The Disparaging Peacock Syndrome a big deal?
Because it takes away YOUR control over YOUR OWN SUCCESS.
It lets you play the victim, and it allows blame of others rather than an honest look at where you need work.
It also creates bitterness in yourself, in how you look at other lifters, and with the sport itself.
Looking at everyone else like competition that needs to be knocked down or leveled with reasons why they have unfair advantage is a great way to burn yourself out, and fast.
It also makes you a real asshole. And not the good kind, like me.
Because trust me…..if Bob is squatting 900 out of a mono and you are walking out 700, BOB IS STRONGER THAN YOU……AND THAT’S OK.
In this sport there are very few people who have no one above them on the ladder.
Someone always is, or will be, stronger.
And is that not why we do this shit anyway?
To better ourselves?
To exceed our own expectations, crush our own goals, do things we did not think we could do?
It’s why I do it.
And all those goals rely ONLY ON ME.
What I do, how I train, what numbers I can get…..it really does not matter what Bob or Sara are doing, how they train and what they do should not be affecting my goals, or my perception of myself.
I am, after all, only really competing with myself.
Sure I may want to be “the best” but really isn’t the point to be better than you were yesterday, last month, last year?
You will NEVER be able to level the playing field.
Someone will always have a better arch, a better coach, a better belt, or a goddamn mono when your whole state seems to possess only squat racks.
You can either hate it, or move on.
Be a victim, or be a GODDAMN POWERLIFTER.
Suck it up, princess, this sport isn’t for the weak……not the weak of body, and DEFINITELY not the weak of will/mind.
So that is my gibberish for this month.
In case you cannot tell, I tend to write free-form as I think, so my writing can yield a mass of textual vomit.
I do apologize.
Besides, it’s my damn column, which means you are subject to whatever ish I decide to visit upon you.
If you don’t like it, go squat…… Beltless….. On two hours sleep….. Blindfolded….. And on the back of an angry alligator…….
And then I might think you are tough. 😀