The mind is often a wondrous or terrible thing. They are often wing or wrestlers. It can hold you up or pin you down. Unlocking its strengths is like unlocking the facility of the body. Unlocking its strengths requires the discipline of a bodybuilder. Unlocking its strengths requires feeding them right and exercising them.
Boxing great Muhammad Ali is legendary for repeating this mantra over and over: “I am the best. I’m the best. I’m the best .”
I wonder if he felt just like the greatest on cold mornings when he first opened his eyes. I’m wondering if he felt just like the greatest when he had to tug his aching body out of bed. I’m wondering if he felt just like the greatest as he lifted his heavy legs within the darkness and began running down deserted streets.
I wonder if he felt just like the greatest within the ring when his opponent was punching away at his exhausted body. i’m wondering if he felt just like the greatest when his heart seemed close to explode because it pumped blood to support the swift movements of his massive body.
I wonder if he felt just like the greatest when heÂ facedÂ Sonny ListonÂ within the ring only eight months after being knocked down by Henry Cooper. i’m wondering if he felt just like the greatest when time appeared to stop while he was on the ground and therefore the ref was counting, “One …Â twoÂ …Â three …Â four …” i’m wondering if he felt just like the greatest as he wasÂ making his way back to his corner in stunned humiliation.
I wonder if he felt just like the greatestÂ while the gang booed as he threw up five fingers to remind them that he planned toÂ beatÂ Cooper within the fifth round. i’m wondering if he felt likeÂ the best when he heard the pundits speculating that he wasÂ just an over-confident bag of hot air.
I wonder if he felt terror whenever he made a prediction aboutÂ when he would knock outÂ his nextÂ opponent. i’m wondering if he ever had the thought for just a second that he would be a laughing stock if heÂ wasn’t able toÂ do what he said.
“I am the best ,” Ali said. “I said that even before I knew i used to be .”
It’s an excellent story now, the things of legends. But before that, it had been one man’s struggle. It wasÂ the journey of 1 man who wasÂ forsaken, sometimes defeated, getting up a day and takingÂ small actions.
The legend began with one man sparring, even on days that he was tired and his mind may are saying, “Rest today and hit it hard tomorrow.” The legend began with one man jumping rope until his resistant body becameÂ swift and agile.
The legend began with one man willing his body and mind to evolve to the thought of greatness.
I was brooding about this a few days ago once I woke before dawn and stared through my venetian blinds into the darkness. It had beenÂ three weeks since I had exercised or eaten consciously. My body was tired, and that i thought,Â “I’ll start again tomorrow.”
Maybe I’ve just watchedÂ the Rocky moviesÂ way too repeatedly , but I could imagine Apollo CreedÂ screaming at Rocky: “There is not any tomorrow. there’s no tomorrow. there’s no tomorrow.”
As trite because it may sound there really is not any tomorrow. At that moment i noticed it during a way I never had: “This moment isÂ all I even have and the way i select to measure during this momentÂ defines me.”
At 4 a.m. this revelation looks like aÂ harsh truth.
The clock alarms. it is time to shower, meditate, eat, attend the gym for an hour and a half exercise before work. But the unconscious is functioning overtime. It knowsÂ my pattern of starting things and stopping before reachingÂ my goals. It knows that past failures haunt me like legends of chain-rattling ghosts.
Not long ago I beat myself up regularly over this, but recently I’ve began to practice compassion for myself. I realize that my unconscious is protecting me. It’s protecting my established patterns, and that i just need to override it, an equivalent way I had to override my untrained body once I started exercising again after being sedentary for years.
Author Kristin Moeller calls this “fierce disruption of the standard .” In other words, if I would like to becomeÂ the simplest version of myself, then I even have to try to do something different, evenÂ though my wrestler mindÂ tries toÂ pin me to the established order.