Sacrifice to Gain

I’ve sacrificed a lot in my pursuit of strength.

To get anywhere in life, you have to sacrifice things that you may not want to do in the short term to get the end result that you really desire.

There is no better example of sacrifice than watching my dad provide for his only son. When it really comes down to it, I’ve never really had it bad when I say I “made sacrifices”.  Things have always worked out for me in the grand scheme of things.  The few sacrifices I’ve made for such trivial pursuits of muscles and strength pale in comparison to the sacrifice my dad made to provide for me.

My dad has worked the same job for over 30 years; it is a job he says he doesn’t mind, but I know he doesn’t necessarily like it either.  He did it for me, to give me everything I’ve ever wanted and make sure I was provided for.

He never missed one of my baseball games, from the time I was in t-ball all the way through high school.  He’s helped coach, he helped maintain the fields, he carted around dirty kids, he watched in the cold, in the rain, in the extreme Texas heat.  All this after working his ass off building cars at General Motors for at least 8 hours a day.

Hell, he never missed a high school game when in all fairness, we were awful.  Not sure how many times we got our asses kicked, only to be saved by the 10-run rule, but my dad never missed a game, never left early, never complained.  Forever supportive.

“My baseball career” is only a small sample size of the things my dad has done.  I could go on for pages about the man.  In the back of my mind, I’ve always appreciated it.  I’ve always been thankful.  But until last Thursday, I never really understood it on an emotional level.  I don’t think I ever truly grasped how truly great the man was and how he was able to do the things he did for all of these years.

That was until my lil Avery was born.  My first child.

In an instant I knew why he never missed a game, never took a vacation just for himself, why he stayed at his job, why he never bought things for himself.  It suddenly all made sense to me.  Within seconds of seeing her, I’d do anything in the world for her, no questions asked.  Somehow, in that moment, I knew on a deeper level what the meaning of true sacrifice meant.

Crazy the things you can learn from someone who has only been in the world for less than a minute!

This new understanding of sacrifice made me totally re-evaluate my approach in the gym and my quest to get stronger.  If I’d do anything in the world for my baby daughter, how far am I really willing to go to get bigger and stronger?

Much like seeing Avery for the first time, without much thought I knew immediately I’d do anything to improve myself.  I just needed a little eye opener.

I need to make sacrifices.

I admittedly love watching t.v., and playing video games.  If I actually added up the amount of time I spent doing those two things, I’d probably be embarrassed.  If I sacrificed some of that time to learn even more about the strength game, or even cut it out completely, how much better would I be now?

My dad spent arguably the first 22 years of my life making sure I turned out right.  Years of sacrifices.  I’d like to think it paid off.

Now at age 30, armed with a little extra motivation and a new perspective, my sacrifices are just beginning.

And I have my dad and becoming a dad to thank.

So I challenge you to think about the sacrifices you are making in whatever pursuit you are embarking on.  Parenthood, weight loss, mass gain, getting stronger.

What are you sacrificing?  Is it enough?  What else could you sacrifice to make sure you succeed?

You must sacrifice to make gains.

Hours of extra work and less happy hours.  Less X-Box and more sleep.  Years of eating clean and less time sitting on your ass eating pizza. More reps and lest rest.  Less curls, more squats. All in the pursuit of a few more pounds of muscle and bigger personal records.

Are you willing to make the sacrifice?  I sure as hell am.

Let’s do this.


— Tank

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