By Craig Hysell

“Do what you fear most and you control fear.” -Tom Hopkins

Fear is about producing heightened awareness. Fear is about respect both for the tools that surround you and the environment where you stand. Too much fear and you do nothing, too little fear and your fears get realized. What bothers me most at the moment is witnessing people’s fear of failure. It’s as heart- wrenching to watch as it is loathsome.

All your life you will have people that doubt you, that want you to fail. You will also have people that root for you and want you to succeed. You will even have people that used to want you to succeed and now want you to fail. What will matter most, however, is what you want, what you hold dearly to when things get difficult and what you BELIEVE. Most people have no clue what any of that is for themselves.

These people would rather postulate than act. They refuse to take The Test. They exist in this hazy perpetuity of indecision where fear of discomfort and fear of the unknown keeps them chained to their cynicism, their laziness, their vanity, their ego. If they could only realize that the constant practice at the pretending of who they want to be instead of the disciplined pursuit of who they want to be is the source of their unhappiness, they could break through to the next level. They don’t “stick”, they bounce from one thing to the next.

How many of you did Memorial Day Murph or watched people do Memorial Day Murph? How many of you understand that this is a workout dedicated to man who walked out into the open under heavy fire to call for help for his 3 buddies, got shot, picked the phone back up, calmly said “Thank you” before he hung up and went back to shooting at the enemy until he was dead to try to keep his friends alive? How many of you think the Murph workout is about a time? How many people did you watch abandon range of motion for a better time? I saw well over a dozen at my own gym. People that we would correct, that would then perform the full ROM before our eyes and then, when we turned around, go back to moving with no class. I even saw an athlete lie about their time!! “Murph” celebrates a man of character and integrity in the face of his own death and so many people from CF gyms all over the country can’t keep their integrity during a workout? That’s fear. That’s ego. That disgusts me for this reason: I want the best life (not workout) for everybody that walks into my gym and habits like that putrefy people into a selfish and soulless existence as I watch helplessly, hoping to stay uninfected and working my ass off every day to make sure that others or myself don’t come down with the sickness.

To be the best representation of yourself you must let go of pride. You must suffer. Test yourself instead of pretending to test yourself and who cares about “the score”. Because when you walk into what you are afraid of, you’ve got tiger blood man. You’re winning.

You cannot fail, no matter what a scoreboard or workout says, if you refuse to quit on finding out who your best self is. But you must Test yourself daily on this and Fear is a sneaky and sinister ghoul. It will try to seep into everything you do, how you work, how you love, how you play, how you view others and yourself, and how you train.

How do you practice being your best at the gym? Pursue full ROM in everything you do. Do not cherry pick workouts. Practice at mastering technique, then volume.

Chain yourself to integrity, live with conviction and get in the ring, it’s beautiful in there. Pursue what you fear and do it patiently and with discipline. Immediate gratification does not exist here. You must earn your right to be your best self. This will be a hard, long and dusty road. You must walk it one step at a time with awareness, introspection and honesty. Most people will quit, if they even have the mettle to begin. Which one will you be?

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