Twenty some years ago I spent around ninety minutes or so of my day lifting weights and or playing basketball.
I was single and for reasons I can no longer remember decided I wanted 16 inch arms and the ability to bench press more than 300 pounds.
So each day I would hit the gym and run through my routine and push myself to hit these arbitrary goals I had set for myself.
Since I wasn’t gifted with grace but was supplied with lots of natural strength it didn’t take real long to reach a place where I started slinging some serious weight around.
Don’t ask me why, but I remember being particularly proud of being able to curl more than 130 pounds.
One day I was feeling particularly good so I banged out some extra sets and decided to hit the bench without any spotters.
I had heard that NFL players who could pump out several sets of 225 were considered to be serious athletes so I set myself up and started pumping out the reps and then surprised myself by almost dropping the bar on my chest.
Young And Dumb
Since I was afflicted with the dread disease known as young and dumb I didn’t have a spotter and tried to push myself beyond where I normally went.
Exhaustion hit sooner than anticipated which is part of why that bar almost came crashing down upon me.
A smarter man would have asked for help but pride didn’t let me so I lay there on the bench struggling to lift the bar up one more time.
Fortunately one of the men there saw me and ran over to give me a hand so I was able to put the bar back up on the bench and didn’t get hurt.
I was lucky that nothing bad happened.
That sort of thing wouldn’t happen to me in the gym today because I have learned to be far more aware of my limits and to set my pride aside…in the gym.
Do You Know How To Ask For Help?
If you readÂ About Writers & Managing Expectations you know I have a series of stories floating around my head and that I want to move said stories from head to paper.
And if you read Of Fear and Failure you know I am in that in between space people sometimes occupy in life and that I am trying to use this time as a teaching moment for my children.
It is that spot where you know you are growing and changing and that you want to move your life from where it is into a new space that will suit you better.
But sometimes the hard part about those times is that you can’t always see the next rung so you reach blindly into the dark for where you think it is and hope that your fingers wrap around something solid because you’d rather not fall.
It is an exciting moment and one that reminds me a bit of the twenty something monster who could lift all that weight.
That guy didn’t ask for help because he liked figuring it out on his own and figured if he fell he’d just bounce back up.
This morning when I rolled out of bed and tried to shake off the last of the jet lag I realized that as much as I grown and changed in many ways I am still that kid.
Even though the body isn’t the same as it was the mind keeps telling me how much smarter I am than the kid and how much more clever.
Except the thing is, I am still not asking for help so I wonder if I have really learned anything at all.
It Is Like A Sculpture Or Painting
So I stood in the shower and thought about what I am trying to accomplish and decided that I am indeed smarter because I do know how to ask for help.
But sometimes the reason people don’t or at least the reason I haven’t is because I haven’t figured out what kind of help I really need.
I could give you basics. I could tell you that a million dollars would go a long way and it would.
It would solve a number of ‘problems’ and provide some additional ability to work on things that I don’t currently have.
But it wouldn’t necessarily touch the core issues.
It is a bit like a blank canvas or piece of rock that needs to be sculpted.
There is an image in my head that isn’t defined as well as it could be so asking for help is more challenging.
This isn’t a ‘Jack Steiner’ problem/challenge either.
This is a people problem/challenge.
It is a taking the time to determine and identify what you want so that you can figure out what you need to do to get it moment.
Or so I would argue because I would rather be the wise man who knows himself to be a fool than the fool who thinks he wise.