My New Year’s Resolution 2016
At 10 years old, my son Blair is a grappler.
He’s learning how to dominate opponents on the mat using his own body weight, strength, and grappling skills. Not only is this great physical exercise for his developing body, it’s also fantastic training for his mind and spirit.
By committing himself, Blair is setting up for a life of success…unlike other kids whose faces are buried in their iPads or phones, while throwing tantrums for more fucking candy. It’s an imperious sport that demands you learn the rigors of winning in real life or forever let it beat you down.
After all, the “fight” isn’t just on the mat. It’s all around you – the fight to ignore peer pressure, the fight to stand up for yourself, the fight to march your ass to the gym, the fight to stop eating so fucking much, the fight to learn Algebra, the fight to never judge, the fight to bypass instant gratification for long term satisfaction.
Every day offers ample opportunities and temptations for a person to fight or quit. Our fate is ultimately determined by which one we choose. Do we slack and take the easy way out, in this moment? Or do we give it all we’ve got even when nobody is looking?
Blair has won huge tournaments. He’s also gotten smoked at small ones…but the effort was always the same: Give it everything you’ve got – dig deep for guts you don’t even have yet. And when he came up empty handed, he still figured shit out and made something happen. He had to turn nothing into something.
In time, I’ve watched him master this alchemy and develop a furious life force that’s made him more confident, resilient and better able to outwit born losers – idiot peers and teachers who celebrate mediocrity and instant gratification.
It’s the same with health goals.
Every weekend warrior wants to skip over the DISCIPLINE and PRACTICE part. And when they lose, they quit. You can here them chirping:
“It’s not for me.”
“I’m not made for this.”
“What if I fail?”
“What will people think of me?”
Then there’s Fat Lassies who want someone to serve them up wonder drugs or bio-identical hormones on silver platter to secure their health. Listen close and you can hear them regurgitate, ”I don’t know who to believe.” Their brain hemorrhages from weakness.
Not knowing who to believe is just another way of saying, I can’t figure shit out myself. I quit.
Whether it’s wrestling or learning to paint, most people are too weak to give it their all. They were never forced to dig deep and find out what they’re really made of, nor use what power they had to win.
It take years to polish your craft.
I’m 41 years old. I started wrestling in the 9th grade. I walked onto a state champion team in Huntsville, Alabama as a lanky, shoplifting, cigarette-smoking, no-experience punk who wrestled in Nike high-tops like a malnourished prison-escapee on meth.
I got thrown around like a rag doll. I got my ass kicked over and over again…but always stood up to keep fighting every day. After about a month, my mom finally saved up enough money to buy me some wrestling shoes…They didn’t help. I went 0-32. She asked sympathetically, “Are you sure you’re cut out for this?” My dad insisted, “There’s better things to be doing with your time.”
But I refused to give up.
Despite the heavy burden of 32 losses, I still chose to focus on winning. It just took a bit longer to bring my wins into real life. I tossed out my losses like they were faded t-shirts. I kept giving it my all.
Eventually, I started winning.
I got a college scholarship for wrestling. That parlayed into meeting my ultra-hottie wife, then an academic scholarship to graduate school, then publishing deals, then flight school, then starting The People’s Chemist, helping thousands of people safely wean off all the fucking prescription drugs that are killing them, and so on…
Where did these successes come from? From me finally winning wrestling matches? Nope. My successes came from always giving it everything I had – no matter what. Whether it was wrestling or doing anything else, I made it a habit.
That’s the grind. Anyone can give it their all when shit is going great. Few can do it while losing over and over again.
But that’s the only way to get shit done – helping your kid with their homework when they’re crying in frustration, being a good friend when someone is a pain in the ass, rocking your sick child to sleep in the middle of the night when they’re screaming for hours in discomfort.
Even in losing, there’s winning to be had.
Just be ready for the grind.
Most parents who have kids in sports ruin this life lesson with yelling, screaming, and applying pressure to win.
It’s not winning a fucking wrestling match that’s important…Hell, I know guys who “win” all the time, yet they’re complete losers as human beings. They have no real confidence in themselves, and they refuse to challenge themselves outside of their comfort zone. They’ve been winning for so long, they forgot what got them there in the first place – the fortitude to push on, while giving it their all in the face of losing.
With Blair and I, it’s just about mastering the basics and practicing the discipline of always giving every task your best. That’s my New Year’s Resolution – no matter what I’m doing, I’ll just keep giving it my best.
My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.