Lessons from Chlorine

Brenna - Charlottesville, Virginia
Entered on May 14, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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One evening a grandfather told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, self-pity, fear, doubt and anxiety. The other is Good. It is love, hope, courage, determination, self-confidence, compassion and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old man simply replied, “The one you feed.”

The research shows that nearly all of our actions are rooted in habit. This includes not only our observable physical behaviors but also our attitude. Habitual routine is what allows us to live relatively efficient lives. It only makes sense that the strength of our habits is rooted in what wolf we feed most often. The stronger the wolf, the stronger the habit. How we take this idea from mere thought to reality becomes apparent in the way we train. Through the countless hours of seemingly endless sets and the never ending dryland–this is where our habits are formed. The question is not whether we are rooted to our habits but, rather, what habits are we rooted to. Do we pay attention to the ‘little things’ and realize that they can make the difference? The answer to the question has big implications for how well we set ourselves up for success or failure.

There is a very powerful link between a person’s self-statements and the person’s success level. And it’s very clear that our self-talk has great power over our present and future success. One’s attitude, it seems, plays a large part in determining one’s altitude.

One of the most important lessons that I’ve taken away from this sport, is just that. My attitude is the most important thing I bring to the block, every time. The only thing that matters when I step onto the block is which way I approach this race. I choose which wolf to feed.

So, now I pose the question to you–everyday, two wolves will scratch at our soul’s door asking to be fed. Which one will you be feeding today?