Racing Toward Red Lights Part 2: Accountability Despite Technology by Donnie Kiernan
In my last episode of this three( or hell, maybe more) part series I touched on apathy and self motivation. This time I'm taking a closer look into why we are losing touch with each other and ourselves, for that matter. We live in the information era, the golden age of technology. I can talk to anyone I want to in the world, including you, by just typing some letters onto a magical screen and pushing "send." I can fall asleep in Tampa Bay and wake up 4 ½ hours later in Los Angeles. So why cant I answer the phone when a friend calls? Why cant I make it to the gym to get that dreaded squat session in? Our ancestors traveled hundreds of miles on horse and carriage to try and find a better life and we cant drive 10 miles to the local weight room? In the age of technology which was meant to bring us closer, why have we drifted apart.
So I'm a mad man right? Donnie needs to remove his tin foil hat and rejoin society, eh? OK, I challenge you. Take out your cellular phone(or if you're really old school, your rotary dial land line) and call 10 people you know, I'll wait. I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that on a good day, half of the people answer your call. The rest are too busy to talk, purposely avoid their telephone or simply do not want to listen to what you have to say at this moment. Don't even get me started on the new craze of avoiding any and all types of confrontation, known as "texting." It seems as if we just decided to stop caring about others, and avoid all accountability. We simply don't want to be found.
Being a military member, accountability is probably the most important thing the service teaches. You've got to know where EVERYONE is at any given time. So is that how it should be in everyday life? No! I know there's times when I don't want to be found and if no one is looking for me, I'm damn sure not going to throw up a flare and give away my position. You need your space, I get that. I've heard it many of times from ex-girlfriends (but some how I don't think they were being honest, I think it WAS me). My point is, be accountable in everyday life, That call that you conveniently send to voicemail may be something important. Obviously that person deems you trustworthy or they would have skipped over your name in the phonebook, don't make a liar out of them.
Now how does all this rambling actually translate into something useful for your training? Easily, don't avoid that phone call! The one that you receive in your head on Friday night about 6pm, saying "hey, get to the gym, the bar isn't going to squat itself." Or how about the one at 5:30am, asking when are you going to go for that morning jog before work! Where's the accountability there? Sure, you don't have a guy in a cheap suit watching the clock every morning, but should that matter? Is that what you need, someone constantly hounding you to get things done? Because if so, I've got some free time and for the right price, I'll be that 5:30am phone call. Take a quick look back into history and show me who were the most influential people in modern history. General Patton, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Arnold Schwarzenegger, just to name a few. All modern day heroes in their own aspect, also very diverse in their area of interest. The one thing these men had in common was self motivation. No one had to give these men a wake up call when it was time to go to work.
Now I am certain that by now you've realized the message I'm attempting to convey here. The next step is to simply implement these values BACK into your life. Be that friend that everyone can rely on, the benefits far out weight the drawbacks of being reliable. Be that responsible spouse that your significant other wants. More importantly, hold yourself accountable for you training. Make goals and accomplish them. Don't be afraid to fail, but be ready to wipe the blood away and try again. Your odds get better and better every time you get back up, and besides, chicks dig scars.
Donnie Kiernan is an amateur strongman competitor and a member of the United States Army Reserves. His training methods, interviews of strength athletes and articles can be viewed at www.traintostandard.com. His website caters to future, current and prior service military and civil service members, as well as civilians, who want to incorporate strength training with cardiovascular and plyometric movements.