Winning Battles – Guest Post from Paul Carter of Lift-Run-Bang

by Chris on February 21, 2013

Today I have a guest blog from my friend Paul Carter from over at Lift-Run-Bang. Paul has been in the strength game for almost as long as I’ve been alive and is the guy who helped me get ready for the Raw World’s this past October. Always a good read from him so check it out.

“Choose your battles wisely. After all, life isn’t measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It’s not winning battles that makes you happy, but it’s how many times you turned away and chose to look into a better direction. Life is too short to spend it on warring. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go.”

― C. JoyBell C.

I found this to be especially helpful this week, both in my personal life and in the gym. As usual, I find so many parallels between the struggles with the iron, and the struggles we encounter in our daily lives.

I’ve got about 10 weeks of training left before it’s time to compete. And while I don’t really insert my “meet plans” until about 5-6 weeks out, I already feel that pressure to make every session count. Even though technically they don’t matter so much right now. There is still a pressure, or desire, to get better each session. The problem there is, that often you end up overreaching or extending yourself far too much over things that shouldn’t have such primary importance. At least, not at the moment.

I have found we do the same thing about many of our problems in life. We quarrel and battle over things that are really far more trivial than we’d really care to admit. They seem very important to us at the time, so we argue tirelessly about them. Never wanting to give an inch, for fear that it might make us look weak or lesser to the person we are quarreling with.

In the gym, we quarrel with the weights and how they aren’t responding appropriately to us. They don’t feel as light as we believe they should. We don’t get the reps we were hoping for. Nevermind that I’m exceptionally tired from lack of sleep, or just got over the flu or stomach virus. No, no, no, I’m not human, and I should be crushing these weights like it’s an empty bar!

In life and relationships, we get frustrated because a friend or significant other didn’t hold up their end of the bargain about something. They didn’t feel as “light” as they should have in a particular situation. It could be something fairly insignificant in the grand scope of things, however in the moment, it sure feels significant. So we argue, and fuss, and bicker. We MUST let them know, in no uncertain terms, that this was unacceptable and that it would not be tolerated in the future lest they want the relationship terminated in some way.

In training, you go home and sulk. Trying to figure out what has gone wrong in your routine or your programming. You scrap the plan you’ve been using so successfully for months, because well, that god damn deadlift session just didn’t go as planned. Nevermind all the external factors involved that could have played a role in having a shitty workout. It must be that my workout sucks, is fucked up, and I must unfuck everything right now or I’ll lose.

So what do we do?

We throw things away. Because of minor imperfections. Because we can’t lose these battles. They are important!

But the truth is, battles are only as important as you decide to make them.

Your crappy deadlift session 10 weeks out really isn’t a big deal.

An argument over who said what in the past, or a disappointment over something is only as severe as you allow your emotions to make it.

Winning battles that are important matters. But more importantly, choosing what battles are the MOST important is far more wise.

If I have a crappy deadlift session 10 weeks out, in the grand scheme of my planning, it doesn’t really hurt anything. The truth is, if I have a bad deadlift session two weeks out, it doesn’t really hurt anything, so long as my training up to that point had been mostly good, or even great.

If you have a dispute with a friend or loved one, you should be cognizant before you let words of hate or anger to slip from your lips, that once they leave they can never be taken back.

The next time you decide to hurl words of fire at someone you care about, ask yourself……

“Is this a battle worth inflicting wounds to a loved one over?”

The next time you have a crappy session in the gym, ask yourself……

“Is this a battle worth scrapping everything over?”

Often times we end up in the wrong place in our war, because somewhere along the way, we quit asking ourselves “what is really worth fighting for?”


Paul Carter is President, GM, CEO, and Pimp at

Paul has spent 25 years slinging iron, and talking about things of which he knows little of. His purpose in life is to learn more about those things.

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