A big IF…

Yesterday, during practice ONE with nine freshmen grapplers, we did what we always do in BTL team practice one. We read Day 1 in BBTL. We wrote our thinking. We talked, BTL style. The only weird thing about this practice was a national network was there filming it. Seems Grappy has assembled an epic class of world class talent. We. Shall. See.

One of the young grapplers shared his why. It was typical and unique. He wants to win and win it all. He wants to make this team National Champs. He wants to win Worlds and Olympic gold. He has big dreams and looks like the dude who could do it. Commands the room for an eighteen year old, you know. And then he said something I rarely hear from anyone these days. “This class is special. We can accomplish all our dreams, if we can keep our noses clean.” I stopped and stared at him and his classmates. I wanted this moment of truth…

“That’s a big IF,” I said emphatically. I paused for what seemed like a hot minute and then asked if they knew what I meant. Mostly blank stares greeted me as nobody wanted to say it. I waited patiently. Finally, one of them said it. “IF we can stay out of trouble and keep our focus on doing our thing,” he sheepishly replied. A big if it is. I reminded these young men that self sabotage is a real thing. Elite endeavors are cut short by self more than by competitors. Few can handle power. Few can handle the love. Few can handle the hate. Few can handle the spotlight. Few can handle the temptation. Few stand for something. Most, fall for anything. Peer pressure has brought many high flying freshmen down to earth. I challenged them to do the CORE work and figure out why it matters. Figure out their most precious and protect it. It was sacred practice. The cameras were rolling. Grappy rolled like he always does. He’s strong in his CORE. The same in front of thousands, hundreds, hundreds of thousands, or a handful. He knows why he’s here and why it matters. He exudes calm, confident, and composed. He embodies CORE strength. Oozes out of him. Fact.

What, friend, are you capable of if you can keep your nose clean? What if you knew exactly what you wanted and why it mattered? What if you decided your most precious and how to protect it? What if you hand selected peers to be your few – the few who provide you just the right pressure? What if you knew with crystal clarity who you are, why you’re here, and how you want to live and work? Big IF, huh.

CORE. OPUS. PoP. What if you authored and evolved ‘em? What if they became more than an exercise, check the box kinda bullshit. What if your CORE and OPUS became your compass and map to navigate an ambiguous world? That’s a big if. Do. The. Work. Damn.

Live hard. Love harder…

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