Lemonade Out of Lemons

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My car is almost eight years old. It was the first major purchase I made after graduating from college, and to say that it has some sentimental value would be an understatement. I love my car. It just surpassed the 152,000 mile mark, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m starting to think I should include “paying my mechanic’s mortgage” as part of my monthly budget. A broken headlight here, replacing the timing belt there – you name it, it’s probably on the list.

That’s a few of the kids we train jump starting pushing my car outside the facility a few summers ago.

While driving home from Maine this past weekend, I noticed the temperature gauge for the engine fluctuating. Granted it was hot. Really hot. But my car has never done that, and it’s definitely been through it’s fair share of hot summer days. Nonetheless, there was definitely an uneasy feeling sinking in.

I called my mechanic this morning and told him the situation, and he said to drop it off and he’d take care of it. Thing is, he’s located about three miles down the road from the facility – which happens to be 25 miles from my apartment.

Long story short – I get into my car and start driving through the city. Nothing. It seems fine. I get on the highway, though -and BAM, the gauge darts up to “get the *bleep* off the road,” and I pull of on the next exit behind some random church parking lot. I get out, lift the hood, and there’s smoke coming off the engine. . I called AAA to see if they could send a truck to tow my car. FOUR hours later, sitting in 90-95 degree heat, a truck finally arrives.

Here’s the moral of the story. I could have just as easily piss and moaned, hated the world, and dropped kicked every car that passed me while I was waiting. But I didn’t. I kinda wanted to, but I didn’t Instead, I made lemonade out of lemons.

I grabbed the notepad that happened to be in my gym bag, and banged out a few client programs that I needed to write. As well, since I had nothing better to do, I re-read the packet of power point presentations from the Optimal Shoulder Performance seminar that both Mike Reinold and Eric Cressey gave last winter. It never ceases to amaze me how many more things I learn or pick up the second (or third) time around. I made use of the time, and got things done that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I just decided to hate life and pout.

Suffice it to say, I finally made it to work, and I should have the car back tomorrow. But it got me thinking just how much all of the above parallels with what many trainees deal with on a daily basis. Take for instance, Worcester Academy pitcher Anthony Bilotta. Going into this season he was touted as one of the best high school pitchers in Massachusetts. Coming off of two traumatic elbow “incidents” prior to coming to us, Anthony spent most of last winter at CP preparing for the upcoming season. During his second start of the season, he hurt his elbow. The straw that broke the camels back if you will. Unfortunately, as is the case a small percentage of the time, his season came to an end earlier than expected and he ended up having to have UCL reconstructive surgery.

Rather than sulk about missing the entire season, guess who was back three weeks ago preparing for next season? You guessed it……Anthony. The kid is only a few weeks post surgery, and essentially only has one arm. Yet he’s still getting after it four to five days per week, showing up at CP for his weekly training sessions. In his own words: “I want to take this entire year and get as strong as possible and dominate next season.”

To his credit, he understands that he still has two legs, a core, and one arm we can train. As such, he can still squat (albeit only with a safety squat bar), do various single leg movements (with weighted vests on, of course), train the other arm (which will undoubtedly carry over to the injured side), not to mention perform glute ham raises till he’s blue in face (and love every second of it). In short, he’s making lemonade out of lemons.

Similarly, we’ve had kids in back braces still come in and train on a regular basis, as well as clients on crutches! They all took a bad situation and just ran with it.

So, the next time you skip a training session because you have a hang nail, or, I don’t know, you’re just too tired. Think of Anthony. You might learn a thing or two from him.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

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