Most of us are on the “It's not that bad for me, it won't hurt” approach to diets/training/relationships/life in general. How many times have you seen someone whose in training sitting down having a beer or someone whose on a diet scarfing down a plate of veggies drenched in ranch. Or how many times have you seen someone skip out on days of training. How many times have you seen someone in a relationship flirting with other girls but passes it off as 'innocent fun'. The problem is that most of that stuff won't really affect you negatively. Will having one beer two weeks out from your fight really cause you any issues? Will having one cookie really put that weight on you? Will missing one day of training really make that big of difference? The majority of the time the answer is no, it won't have an impact on you regardless...as long as everything goes perfectly. When everything goes right then those little things never come into play, you never even think about them again. For me however I train my ass off, kill myself beyond my limits, am super strict on my diet, so that when everything goes wrong I am still able to perform at the highest level possible. Those moments you have to reach down when there is nothing left and pull victory out from certain defeat, that's when those little things come in to play. We all want to assume things are going to go exactly as we planned. We are going to easily make weight, feel great the day of the fight and execute our game plan to perfection, and yea thinking that way is good. You should have faith in all your preparation and a positive outlook but life has a way to humble us all. Everything that can go wrong often times will, especially in the fight business. There's only so much that we can control going into a fight, and even less we can control once we are in there. Maybe you get sick the week of the fight, maybe your dog dies, maybe you twist your ankle walking to the ring, maybe you get caught with a wild punch you didn't see coming, maybe your opponent falls on you and you snap your ankle at the end of the 3rd round and have to decide if you want to quit or say 'F it” and take it to him. I for one want to do everything that I can to perfection on the things I do have control over, or as close to it as I can, that way once I get in there I know without a doubt that there is literally nothing more I could have done or done better to prepare myself. Once you're in that position it's a lot easier to just let go and allow your body to take over, which is what most of us have trouble doing when it comes to fighting.
Something my father always used to tell me, and I try and live by to this day is “If it's not going to help you and all it can do is hurt you then why do it?” That 'innocent fun' makes it that much easier to step into the not so innocent zone. The “it's not that bad for me” makes it that much easier to eat that food that is. That day off makes it that much easier to take another and another. Most of our downfalls in life don't come with one huge bad decision, they come through a series of small, seemingly innocent choices that we think are completely harmless until one day we are sitting there wondering “how and the hell did I get here?” The opposite is true as well. Making positive changes in your life comes from making very small, insignificant choices over and over and over again...but this is about the negative.
I'm not here to tell anyone how to live their life, how to diet, train or have a good relationship by any means. Some of us need that day off, that cheat meal, that drink, or whatever the case may be, and often times it can be helpful to have those things but we need to be very careful about how we use them. More than anything it comes to your mentality, your level of commitment, is this something you want to give 100% of yourself to, and more, or is this something you or comfortable giving 99% to because “hey I need to have fun too right”. And that insignificant 1% is what makes all the difference in the world.
I believe the real separation between those who are good and those who are great comes from the little things, the things most would never see or think about. It's that day of training when your body is screaming at you to stay in bed, it's that extra mile when your legs say no more, it's not having that beer even though it's just one and won't hurt you :P Whether it be the fight game, a diet, a relationship, what have you, greatness is built on many many many little things done right and done consistently. It's not about having one good day, it's about having countless ones strung together that truly allows us to reach the top and the more you can do that the further you can climb. Do you want to be good or do you want to be phenomenal?
“Face your fears, live your dreams”-El Presidente'