4/1/14

Impatience - anypomonos

There is an old Greek proverb that goes Agali-agali ginetai h agourida meli. For you non-Greek speakers this translates to “A green fruit gets ripe slowly.” There’s nothing like an old piece of wisdom to get your blood flowing in the morning. It’s even better than coffee.

Jokes aside, this parable is a huge part of what makes Endu, Endu. If you’re human, you probably suffer from the condition known as impatience. This dirty little disease causes progress to wilt and die, like a flower with no water.

Side effects include being unable to learn from your past, not focusing on the current, rushing progress, padding your ego, and failure.


Here’s a short, super vulnerable story that I want to share with you.

When I was 6 years old I had an interesting home life. My father was your average airman, with above average intelligence. He had the classic creepy mustache, the thick glasses, and the skinny frame. But he had a unique quality that made him stand out from the crowd. He was a single widowed father of two sons.

You see, my mom was killed in a car crash when I was six. At this age, I believed that death was limited to pets not parents. My brother was only 2, so he wasn’t much help. But I was just old enough for my dad to lean on. After all, he had just lost his wife and he had to raise two boys. I may have been 6, but I was acting like an adult. I was taking care of family and garnering responsibility.

When I tell this story people normally respond with, “I’m sorry” or “you poor guy.” I appreciate the consideration, but that disaster produced the man that I am now. At the moment, all I wanted to do was catch a ride away from the struggle, but now I’m glad that it happened.

I was really green back then; practically a bud on a branch. I was extremely impatient too, but sometimes we don’t have the liberty to be so. That’s why I grew up.

To make this relevant to training I will tell you another story, also about myself.

I'm really vulnerable today. It's like we're bonding. 

I had just destroyed my hip, and I couldn’t compete in an upcoming meet. This sat heavy on my heart, and I didn’t want to stop training. I tossed the idea of rest out the window, and I began trying to lift heavy again. In my mind I was a ripe fruit, but in truth I was green. Before long I went from being broken, to being extra broken.

As a coach I have the opportunity to watch athletes overreach - the principle of working above adaptation - a lot. Their ego overpowers their humility, and before long they get hurt.

If impatience fuels ego, then patience fuels humility, and humility is a huge part of the Endu Creed.

If I’ve learned anything as a trainer, it’s that everyone wants progress immediately. Runners want every workout to cut seconds from their mile. Weightlifters want to PR every day. Clients want to lose 10 pounds a week, every week. I want every Endu post to get thousands of views. But, none of those things happen.

There’s another Greek proverb. It’s kind of like the first one, except it says, “Quick to ripe, quick to rot.”

Do you see where I’m going with this?

It’s totally understandable to want to get better. What’s the point of pushing yourself if you have no goals? There is no point! But there is a moment where progress slows to a crawl, and we easily get discouraged.

It takes me months to add 10 pounds to my squat strength. I could get upset and impatient. I could overreach with every workout. But sooner than later I would get hurt. 

The Greek word for impatient is anypomonos. None of our English words come from that, but that's probably because people were too impatient to come up with one. 

We need to quit getting upset about being a green fruit. Ripeness takes time and patience. After all, the sweetest fruit takes the longest to ripe - that's an Endu proverb. 


5 comments:

  1. I know I'm a green fruit, I'm just impatient and want to ripen already. I was weak for so long and all I want to do is get stronger.

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  2. I love the fact that I've gotten stronger and the fact that there is always improvement fuels my fire. It's hard to slow down when progress has come so fast.

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    Replies
    1. You're like every new lifter that has good/decent coaching. You grew so fast so early, and from now on growth will be a slow drip. Enjoy being green, because being ripe means you won't grow anymore!
      Good comment and honesty Mike

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  3. These last two weeks with deadlift havent been very helpful. Not being able to complete the lift killed me. It tore my confidence down. I tried to regain that confidence by pushing myself even more. Which is partially why I lifted this weekend. I now realize that all I am doing is tearing down my body and Im just getting worse. This morning finally put it all into perspective. I beat myself down again for not hitting every rep like I know i shouldve and the only way to get better is to quit pushing myself so hard. I really need yalls help to keep me accountable. The last thing I want it to fail.

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    Replies
    1. That's what we're here for man. One part motivation, another part admonishment. We'll keep you hurting yourself. It's what family does.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.