Motivation is a Feeling, Resilience is a Skill


Written by: Kevin Cann


I am sure many of you reading this can speak to the lack of motivation they are currently feeling.  I know for me; I made a plan to do a bunch of things that I have not been able to get to.  Finding the motivation to do this is nearly impossible.


My previous article I wrote was very personal.  I explained my upbringing in an abusive, low income home, and how sports was a major outlet for me.  Sports allowed me to get out my built up aggression, find a social support system, and got me physically out of the house.


I feel like I have been tossed in a time machine and thrown back to those awful days, minus the physical abuse I endured.  I am being forced to stay home in this uncertainty with my negative thoughts about the future of my business.  My identity as a coach has been stripped from me as well as my hobby and outlet, all at once.


I was working 70+ hours per week.  Maybe this was a distraction away from dealing with all of the aggression and anger that built up inside of me over time?  Who knows?  I started working that hard when I was having a lot of problems.  It really gave me purpose and hope.


This is how I was able to grow a successful business.  I didn’t worry about anything other than getting better at my job and my previous sports.  I basically lift now to be a better coach and to get out some aggression.


Now all of that has been taken away from me.  I have been stripped of my identity and my distraction and my outlet along with my social support.  To add to my loss of identity is this crushing weight of the financial instability that this situation brings for me.  I am left in an extremely negative situation with no social support and no outlet.  This is why I find the gym to be essential.  Going for a walk doesn’t cut it for me.  It is not about losing my gains, but having my purpose, identity, and an aggressive outlet a few hours a week, even in a limited capacity, this would help.


I am finding it very hard to attempt to get any work done in this scenario.  I absolutely am not motivated to do it.  I have all of the time in the world to do it, but it takes a lot to actually get moving and get it done.  There is one line that I have always lived my life by though:


“How we handle adversity is what defines our character and who we become.”  It is not our circumstances that define us, but how we handle those circumstances and rise to the occasion.  Just because I am not motivated, it doesn’t mean that I will not get shit done.  If there is one thing that my life taught me, it is to be resilient.


I have finished a book that I was writing.  It is 190 pages.  I prepped for a seminar and put on a 2 hour talk on the disbursement of training intensities.  I have coached harder through videos than I normally do, as in these cases every repetition is a chance to get better than someone else.


PPS will not use this time as an excuse for performance to slip, or our resiliency to be shaken.  This is an opportunity to teach us to be more resilient.  To get creative and make the best of this situation.  We need to come together creatively to come up with ideas to get stronger with limited access to equipment.


We need to work on our focus and our ability to not let negative thoughts control us.  Every time we go to sit down in a chair, we can work on something in the squat, we can practice our bench setup, and we can visualize executing PRs with improved techniques.


To quote Herb Brooks: “Great moments are born from great opportunity…”. This is a great opportunity for us.  It gives us an opportunity to utilize our thinking and creativity to get stronger.  This is what it was like in the old days.


Many of those powerlifters did not have gyms available or easy access to equipment.  But they figured shit out and paved the way for us to get stronger.  If they could achieve the results in which they did, we can do the same thing.  We have more science to access now.  We can even take those techniques they used and tweak them to make them better.


You will not be motivated to go out and do these things during this time.  That is ok.  You should feel like that.  But this is an opportunity to learn to be disciplined and resilient.  Those are two traits that are needed now more than ever.  Not doing something is also a choice.  You can choose to be a victim of your circumstances.


If you are still in the game, you have a chance to win.  Stay in the game and keep moving forward.

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