FC84: Wrestle Yourself Not Your Opponents Feat. MMA Fighter Kyle Maynard

When we take on a big goal, it’s always going to be difficult at first. For some reason we forget that just showing up, and continuing to try, is going to get us there. – Kyle Maynard

Hi, and welcome back to the star player academy show, episode 84.

This is Marilyn Wo, I help serious athletes like you get your mind back in the game.

For today’s featured class, I want to tell you that, you don’t have to be the world’s greatest sports person, or the best in your sport, club, country or school. You don’t have to be the best amongst your competition or your teammates.

Then you might ask “why do you even compete and aren’t we supposed to go for the win as competitive athletes?”.

That’s a very valid question.

And I’m not telling this to console you whenever you lose a game.

Truth is, working hard towards winning as the goal of what you are doing has a larger purpose than just winning.

But before I zoom in to answer this question I would like to tell you an inspiring story about one of the world’s greatest man alive. His name is Kyle Maynard.

You may already read about his story a hundred times, liked his Facebook page and followed him on Twitter. If you haven’t, you should do so to learn from master himself.

The basis of this episode is not just to sort of repeat his story, but to use his story, so much that it’s all real and true to teach us a life lesson, to be in a state of greatness rather than to be a winner as spelled out by trophies, medals and all things money and fame.

Yes, Olympic athletes and medalists are great, but if that’s all you lived for, take heed that they have a shelf life and it’s only when you mastered the life lessons while achieving these goals along the way that you grow.

Kyle Maynard has not been in the Olympics. He has won several awards but also lost his first 35 wrestling matches before winning 36 in his senior year. His story is so great not because he won, but because he won being someone without the lower parts of his arms or legs due to this rare condition he was born called congenital amputation.

However, you shouldn’t admire him because of his disability and not because he won. Would you still admire him if he did not win? You’d say absolutely. The thing about the media is they would publicise sensational topics like someone winning the Olympics or winning some big event because these are things people are more likely to take notice of.

However, as an athlete like you who has a dream in store and having that desire to change the world, you would admire him for his resilience and approaching his dream with passion and relentless drive.

I must admit that as a canoepolo athlete myself, I’ve made countless excuses that physically I’m too small to fight those giants and my arms are too short to reach for the ball or to short to be faster than any of those guys. Believe me these excuses do count in making every journey tougher than you think.

If you have numerous injuries that cause so much pain that disturb you and make you feel sorry for yourself, me too, I’ve been through that as well.

But when you know you have that injury to take you away from playing, I’m sure that you have felt so close to a dream and realising a dream yet being so far away.

I guess for many of you, it’s not so much of the pain being painful and disturbing, but the worry of that injury and what was to happen next that makes it more difficult for you to move on.

Kyle Maynard is also without psychological pain. When he was 11, he played American football of all sports. We all know how American football involves so much body contact that anyone is susceptible to some form of bone fracture at any point in time during a game.

For Kyle, it isn’t about getting any medal, all that he was trying to do was to keep working to reach his highest potential.

As I’ve always been reminding you that it’s not about beating anyone else but knowing what are your differences, what’s possible for you and ultimately to be mindful of your potential.

It means go for the win, but winning or losing doesn’t mean anything.

To illustrate this, Kyle did not stop at American football. He went on to do wrestling for one of the best teams in the Southeast, set records in weightlifting, fought in mixed martial arts and most recently became the first man to crawl on his own to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

I’m sure you may have done something equivalent to what Kyle has done, whether you are at your fittest or not, or whether you are going through some form of pain while pursuing your goals.

One thing for sure, whatever that’s hard to achieve, time is required for you to reach it.

Back to Kyle’s story, his accomplishments extend far beyond the wrestling mat or weight room. He is the 2004 ESPY Award winner (Best Athlete with a Disability), and a year later was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was elected by the U.S. Jaycees as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Young Americans. In 2008, Maynard received the Highest Recognition Award of the Secretary of Health and Human Services for his efforts as a life role model, motivational speaker and humanitarian.

Maynard is also certified as an instructor of CrossFit — and with the support of the community and founder, Coach Greg Glassman, Kyle has been able to work with wounded soldiers on adapting their fitness regimens to meet their needs with a much more functional methodology. In 2008, Kyle brought one of his oldest and most fervent dreams to life when he built and opened his first fitness center, No Excuses CrossFit.

I have a video of him in the show notes, so do head over to starplayeracademy.com/84 to check it out after the show.

One thing for sure, I’m not here to tell you that you need to be exactly like him. These are Kyle’s accolades that people are willing to award him with. Yes, he may be famous but he did not do what he did to be famous. At the same time he may be famous but not everyone in the world knows he exists.

Question for you is, without these awards, are you still willing to go through the same pain and psychological struggles that you are having right now? What’s worthwhile for you in your life?

If you are worried that your injured leg or arm may not take you as far as you could, what about Kyle? When he is already given his life right from the start, he never chose this path. He did not love it at first, he cried in his sleep when he was younger to wish for arms and legs, only to wake up the same that he always is without his limbs.

We all have nightmares, dreams and worries. I understand. But if you were Kyle and you worry all day like what you are doing right now, can you see yourself enjoying what you love doing? If you still love football, go for it, if you want something more challenging like scaling the wall of Mount Everest, go for it. You know along the way there will be people stopping you, nature making it harder or your physical aspect may need more training. It still depends on yourself, how much you want to get on the bandwagon to realise your dream. Notice that is not the dream that’s been realise but the journey towards realising it. You want to live in the dream.

That’s why Kyle did not stop at where he was when he was given all those awards, he moved on with more challenging tasks. He may have managed to achieve them, but he did not know if he would be able to accomplish them. You never know how many times he has failed before these accomplishments.

Without further ado, there are 3 lessons you ought to take away from Kyle’s story:

Lesson number 1:
Thou shalt not complain.
How many times do you hear yourself complaining about the daily traffic, the food you eat and the life that you have?

Listen, life is never fixed until you are out of here. If your conditions are constantly changing so will your circumstances. Eventually your results of everyday goals depend on your response to whatever adversity you face.

Lesson number 2:
Be patient. You don’t have to win the first time you try. It may take you 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years, you’ll get better every time. You may wish to learn how successful athletes overcome adversity to win. But I say, learn how they dream big, stay patient and take on big difficult goals.

Lesson number 3:
It’s never about winning. It’s about the lessons to win. Winning is your goal, but you must never lose sight of your vision to achieve your dreams so that you can live in it. Winning is not your dream. Winning is just a goal for you to set your plans and move towards it.

So at the end of it all, here’s what you need to do.
Grab a pen and a paper, set your timer to 30 minutes. I want you to really think very carefully what is your Dream, your Vision and your Goals.

Do you know what are dreams, visions and goals?
A dream is your desired ambition, aspiration or ideal hope.
Your vision stems from imagination, where a situation has not happened yet, but you are in a state of being able to see
Your goals are the desired results of all that effort you put in.

If you have many versions, put them all down first, then once 30 minutes is up, set your timer to another 10 minutes to eliminate anything that are least likely to fit the bill, until you have one big dream, one big vision and one big goal.

You may need one whole day to just think through this before really getting them down on paper, that’s fine, but remember not to take too long because, remember, clock is ticking and as cliche as it sounds, time and tide wait for no man.

With that, we have come to the end of today’s episode.

Before you go, I have a quote for you by Kyle Maynard, he said, “When we take on a big goal, it’s always going to be difficult at first. For some reason we forget that just showing up, and continuing to try, is going to get us there.”

Thank you all for joining me today. If you are wondering what you can do to be the best athlete you can ever be, go to starplayeracademy.com, I’ve prepared a cheat sheet that shows you 15 success traits of a serious athlete that you can follow in one glance. So head over to starplayeracademy.com right now, and till tomorrow.

I look forward to see you become a StarPlayer.

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Photo Credit: “Kyle Maynard on Mountain” by Joey Leonardo – Sent to me by the owner. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

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