Spend 15 minutes working to a heavy 2 rep touch and go Squat Clean
4 rounds each for time:
5 Touch and go Squat Clean
Rest 3 min
The year was 1974. The pugilist that we know as Muhammad Ali was a weathered 32 years of age. Due to legal woes, he was out of fighting for the previous three and a half years. Meanwhile, his counterpart was a physically superior 24 year old Houston, Texas native. Ali was the challenger, on paper at least. To nearly the entire world, however, Ali was not going to put up a challenge at all. The lumbering George Foreman was going to have has way with the old man.
Joe Frazier, another Ali foe, was made waste by the 24 year old Houstonian. As you may know, Frazier defeated Ali in a unanimous decision. The point is, Ali stood no chance against Foreman. Or so everyone thought. Everyone knows that Ali won that fight. Everyone knows that he employed the best political strategy in boxing history — the “rope a dope.” But this isn’t about the performance on that beautiful night in Kinsasha, Zaire.
Ferdie Pacheco, Ali’s medical doctor, on the extent of Ali’s bravery on that night:
What Ali did was truly inspired. The lay-off [his 3-year exile after refusing the draft] had taken away his first set of gifts, so in Zaire he developed another. The man had the greatest chin in the history of the heavyweight division. He had as much courage as anyone who ever fought. He could think creatively and clearly with bombs flying around him. And then he showed it all when it mattered most that night with the most amazing performance I’ve ever seen. —
There are setbacks, injustice, unfairness, and innoportunity. These are blessings as much as they are detriments. Take comfort, legends aren’t written about those who are supposed to succeed; legends are written about those who are not.
Interestingly enough, the best representation of life along the “x-axis of accomplishment” appears to be a sine curve. As such, it has always been an effective practice to prepare for the down’s and accelerate through the up’s. The highest points are the euphoric moments, the lowest points are the moments of sheer terror and uncertainty.
Executing through those moments of terror and uncertainty seem to pay the greatest dividends, I call it “thriving the struggle.” And here are they keys to helping you do just that:
1/ Mentally and physically train for resilience, as though you expect for life to beat you down. But you know, there’s no turning back now. This is what makes me; this is what I am. — Nasir Jones
2/ Welcome the chaos and learn to swim through the spears and rigid objects. You will have to develop an ability to sprint when needed, contort when needed, stretch when needed and dive deeper when warranted. Though life is complicated, only what you make it to be. — Amaru Shakur
3/ Did you lose a coveted ability? Gain another one. The hustle was all muscle. — Dwayne Michael Carter
4/ Practice taking decisive action when scared. The greater the momentary paralysis, the better the opportunity to execute a way to succeed. If you find a way, excellent. If you don’t, the next fear-paralysis will be shorter and less imposing on you. I let my nightmares go, I put on everybody that I knew from the go. — K. Omari West
5/ Be inspired. Read scripture or listen to your favorite lyrics. An elevated heart rate, a “chip on one’s shoulder”, and a fierceness to refuse defeat is rarely discouraged by those who’ve once done the same. I look in my fridge, my s*** lookin’ scarce. I got a few kids, we need some some s*** on the shelf. — William Leonard Roberts II
6/ Develop a unique strategy that will turn your disadvantage into an advantage. Night shift: six to six, give me one shot, one pot. — Shawn Carter
7/ Be prepared to put it all on the line when it matters most. The greatest opportunities come around, one time only. Real sick, raw nights, I perform like Mike. Anyone — Tyson, Jordan, Jackson, Action, pack guns, ridiculous. — Christopher Wallace
8/ Disregard those who call the odds for you. They can’t possibly know the might of your endurance. If the truth is told, the youth can grow, then learn to survive until they gain control. — Nasir Jones
Leave a comment with an anecdote and adjoined quote, if it is good — I will add it to the list.
The precursor to this micro list of anecdotes is also short and sweet: be proud of your circumstances. A struggle doesn’t have to be a damnation. With the right frame of mind, a struggle can be a canvas. Here are two great examples, back to my pugilism analogy:
1/ In preparation for the legendary fight in ‘1974, Ali jettisoned his knack for dancing. He replaced his trademark dancing with uncanny, physical durability. He prepared to hold his ground, becoming a tank and no longer a fighter jet.
2/ To contend his much younger and more imposing opponent, Ali trained harder than ever — with the intents and purpose to last twelve rounds. He predicted the Foreman would be exhausted by round eight. He prepared himself by developing a manipulative and political plan to fool his opponent into believeing that the much less athletic fighter was beaten into submission. He dared to be knocked out, then he saved enough energy to land the winning blows.
He waited for his adversity to exhaust itself.
I don’t know a single person who has had it easy but this group of individuals always branches off into two directions. One group has decided that life has beaten their dreams out of them. The other group decided that they would beat life for the sake of your dreams. Thrive through the struggle.
Bench press, 5×5 reps
Then 1 set of max reps @ 80% of 5RM
Stiff-legged deadlift, 3×10 reps @ 65% 1RM dealift
Dumbell rollbacks, 3×12 reps @ 20#(15#) DBs
Then, with same set of dumbells, 3×12 reps of overhead sit-ups