The Art of Kicking Your Own Ass 7/5/2023

Being humbled is incredibly important, at least to me. Being outdone by someone, or something, helps me understand where I am at, how far I need to go, and to not be content with my current status quo. I would argue that everyone should find a way to be humbled every so often, it keeps the ego from running rampent. Traditionally a common way to humble oneself is through sports or atheltic competition with others, which is a great way to do so. However, there is not always the ability to spar, role, play a game, or otherwise compete with someone. What if your training space is closed? What if you just moved and have yet to find training partners? What if you are simply not that social of an individual? This is where the Art of Kicking Your Own Ass comes in.

Your greatest challenge is the voice is your head

Last night, I watched the first Creed movie for the second time. It had been years sense I watched it, and I am a sucker for the movies in the Rocky Universe. The reason I bring this movie up is one particular scene about midway through the movie. The scene in question depicts Rocky bringing Adonis Creed to a mirror, where he advises him that the "guy starring back you ... is your toughest opponent ... I believe that in boxing and I do believe that in life." This scene not-so-subtly spells out one of the themes of the Rocky movies, that the greatest opponent you will ever face is yourself. This theme has always resonated with me, and I believe it is a theme that is applicable to all aspects of life.

The person that can best humble you is yourself. Often you know yourself capable of something, but the voice in your heads tells you to not get up to that alarm, that you are too tired to finish that last rep that you have completed a million times before, that not even a mile into a run that you should just quit. That voice is your opponent, and your objective is to kick its ass, and by kicking its ass, kicking your own ass.

Winning the Battle

Years ago, I listened to a clip where comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan refers to the voice in your head urging you to give up as the "inner-bitch" a title I love. Your Inner-Bitch does not just flare up while working out, it is the tendancy to be unproductive at work or school. By learning to identify when your Inner-Bitch is acting up, you can battle it. Right now, I would much rather be in bed, but instead I have been in library coding for several hours, the voice saying "go home and watch YouTube" is my Inner-Bitch and I will not let it win today. The more battles you win against the Inner-Bitch, the easier it gets, this is routine forming.

Myself and others engaged with fitness can attest that by physically kicking your own ass weight lifting, running, swimming, or another way makes it mentaly easier to get other things done. There is something about so thoroughly silencing the voice in your head through sweat and hard physical work that every other challenge feels easier. Additionally, consistenly kicking ones own ass keeps ones ego in check, as no matter how consistent you are that voice saying "take it easy today" never goes away and the feeling of acomplishment after winning the battle is normally met either with physical or mental fatigue humbling you. Having gone through a challenge that takes everything out of you consistently, one is consistenly aware of their limitations, and for most are humbled by the knowledge of what they can and cannot accomplish.