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1/25/2012 12:05:17 AM -
A few words about discipline and sacrifice

Tonight was one of those nights where I absolutely did not feel like a doing a damn thing when I returned home from work. Work was hectic right until the last minute and I just felt burned out mentally and physically by the time I pulled into my driveway at 9pm. The last thing I felt like doing was dragging myself down into the basement to train. To make things worse Lauren was sitting on the couch watching "Big Bang Theory" and wanted me to come snuggle with her (which admittedly is not an easy offer to turn down).

I actually considered it for half a second and thought that maybe I could just get up early and train in the morning before work but then I immediately realized what I already knew I needed to do. No matter how crappy I feel or what I have going on I know that the only way I am going to achieve my goals is to give it everything I have every single day and obviously lying on the couch is not part of that equation. So I did drag myself downstairs to my dungeon of a gym and put in the effort that was required of me tonight. After that I got to work preparing my last scheduled meal of the day even though I really just wanted to crawl into bed next to my beautiful wife. Of course these are but small sacrifices but ones that I must confront on a daily basis to remain on the path that leads to my goals.

So now it’s close to 1am and I'm choking down the last of my required food for the day (I started my pre-contest diet this week) as I sit here and type this out. I push in a mouthful of food and chase it with water to make swallowing it easier. The food is bland and dry and I'm not far enough into my diet to where my appetite has become ravenous yet. Again I do this because I know this is what my goals require of me.

People that aren’t like me often ask how I get by on so little sleep and how I eat the things I do day in and day out. They really don't understand and the explanations I offer up don't really seem to bring them any closer to seeing things from my point of view. Just as frequently they state that they could never do that but always offer excuses as to why right along with it. When I talk about things like training through major injuries, training myself to endure pain and some of the really crazy stuff I have done and continue to do I see a bewildered look in people's faces and right then it really hits me just how different I am from most of the people in this world. I often feel like I'm speaking a foreign language and it's just not possible to communicate what goes on in my mind.

I realize that a majority of the people in the world (or at least in this country) suffer from weakness and the inability to force themselves to do the things that are necessary to achieve the things that they would really like to in life. For me the pain of failing to achieve what I have set out to do is much greater than the pain I endure to do what is required of me to achieve those goals. I can think of nothing worse or more painful than to give up and never move closer to the things I really desire. It is this fear of failure that often drives me and far outweighs the pain of discipline and sacrifice.

My attitude is not at all unique though. This same level of discipline and sacrifice is displayed universally throughout the world and not only in athletics, but in academics, business and any other pursuits that people are passionate about. If you look at anyone that is extremely successful in their chosen passion you will find not only a very similar level of discipline but also a very similar degree of sacrifice. Simply put it is what is required to separate yourself from the masses, for if you wish to achieve more than most you must be willing to suffer more than most. This is an ideology I willingly embrace and if you are among that minority that desires to be more than average in life so should you.

Matt Kroczaleski

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