Monday, May 21, 2012

Nothing Can Go Wrong Up Here...

[Post by Cliff Harvey]

From 'Done is Better than Perfect' at Life Hacker

As I sat on the stage with joints and muscles aching, running a fever, and with random tangents of what might have otherwise been profound trains of thought rushing in and out of my head; the words of Henry Rollins kept coming back to me: "Nothing can go wrong up here..."

It was Friday night and I was honoured and privileged to be part of the guest panel speaking and answering audience questions at the film screening for Care Canada's 'Walk in Her Shoes Campaign'.
I had arrived in Canada 5 days earlier and just that morning come down with a bad cold.
The easy option would be to give up, to not speak, to cancel and tell everyone that I was too sick.
But as a speaker, (and someone who people pay good money to be inspired and motivated by)....NOTHING can go wrong up here.

I remember when I was weightlifting (and I recount this story in Choosing You!) and I showed up to practice feeling exhausted and on the verge of burnout to training one night.
I said to one of my coaches - gold medallist Nigel Avery - that I didn't think I should train that night, to which he replied "Cliff do you think you're going to feel great every time you compete?..."

And thinking back there never was a time when I felt completely 100% well or injury free when I was competing (an experience shared by many athletes).
So that night I trained and had an excellent session, and the lesson stayed with me. In fact when I lifted at the 2007 IAWA World Championships (and won) I was so sick that I couldn't speak and spent the entire time when not on the platform in my hotel room asleep. If I hadn't lifted I wouldn't have tasted the fruits of victory.

I have mentioned several times on this trip to North America with Strength and Conditioning coaches that 'perfection is the enemy of progress', and what I mean when I say that is that if we only are prepared to do things when we are 100% well, injury free, and with perfect form, we will never do anything.

Sometimes in spite of the pain, discomfort, or the fear that you may disappoint yourself or just have to get up and do it anyway...
...because nothing can go wrong up here...

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