I have only been competing in kettlebell sport for three years, compared to some of the pros and veterans in the sport I am a newcomer still. In the three years I have dedicated to this sport, to competing, and to my improvement in technique, I have met hundreds of lifters from the USA and form all over the world, I have just begun to make a name for myself, and I have seen many lifters come and go. I have seen lifters make a splash and then vanish. I have personally trained people who competed once and then dropped the sport. And I myself rose up quickly from beginner to intermediate to high level amateur (pro is still a year or two away for me). I have come to a point where making my gains in improvement and reps and rpm are very small, a 1-5% improvement over a year is good for me. The days of jumping from one weight to the next and the days of seeing 10-20% improvement in numbers are gone. This year I came back from a blown tendon injury and 9 months later I am almost back to where I was a year ago. So, with all that said, I am by no means a veteran of the sport, I am no seasoned expert, but I have done a lot in three years and I have learned a lot. One of the biggest things I have learned is what it is to be truly dedicated, to take the time to learn from as many experts as possible, to learn from mistakes, to enlist the help of a coach and to actually listen to my coach, to take care of my body and rest and do as much mobility and recovery work as possible, and to be patient. All of those items and facets of training I still struggle with, but one thing I do not struggle with is being dedicated. Above everything, my dedication is what got me to where I am in this sport.
My technique is not that great, neither is my physical strength, my mobility is ok but not great. There are many other lifters with far superior technique, who are much stronger than me, and many who have amazing mobility. Any lifter who possess those skills and qualities are all light years ahead of me in there lifting, by weight and by numbers. But I still see many athletes who are truly gifted in one or more of those skills and qualities who just let their abilities go to waste because they lack dedication. I am not speaking about one or two people, I am speaking about dozens of people, who for whatever reason have allowed work, family, money, location, etc, to keep them from becoming amazing lifters on the world stage. I will admit that owning a gym gives me the ability to train almost whenever I want and I have almost every piece of training equipment a kettlebell athlete could ask for or need, but even I have limitations. My business require long hours of here running the business and running classes, I often work and get into projects or training people and forget to eat until I am almost falling over with hunger, and running the business leaves me little time for my own training even though I am within 50 feet of my kettlebell rack at all times. So even I struggle with my time and time management and I struggle with my diet, but even if I can only get in 30-40 minutes of training I get it in. I train six days a week. Some of those days are two hours and some are only one hour and some are only 30 minutes. But whether I stay after I lock the doors and train late at night, or I drag ass on an early morning run, or I get in my cardio in the 15 minutes between teaching one class and the next, somehow someway I get it in.
I am not trying to stand on a box or sit on a high horse and say I am better than anyone, there are literally a hundred or more lifters far better than me. But the point I am trying to get across is that in order to get better at this sport or any other sport you have to be dedicated, you have to put in the time, every damn day. I doubt anyone or even a computer could count or compile the number of articles written over time, on or off the internet, all dedicated to dedication, this is just another article, but I hope it finds you at a time when you may be struggling with your dedication to your goals. Don’t look for huge goals, a 20% improvement in six weeks, that’s crazy talk and will most likely end in disappointment. Look for the 1-5% improvement, eat the elephant one bite at a time. Let me help you out with one last tip, one you may have read before and have never done, write down your goals, not too many, just three, and put that little note…or big ass piece of paper…where you have to look at it every single day. Let it burn your eyes every time you walk past it. Let it piss you off when it has been weeks and you haven’t hit that goal. Let seeing that note and those goals fuel your fire to get back on track and stay on track, to be dedicated, and to be the best version of you this world has ever seen.