By Kalle Beck
This will be somewhat more of a personal piece, so be warned. It won’t have any tricks to make you a stronger lifter, how to improve your log press or fix your deadlift lockout. My reasons for writing like this are entirely personal. I started this site/blog (when it was LetKalleLift.com) as a way to express myself and share my thoughts. It has evolved greatly since then into something that still shocks me. What hasn’t progressed is my own writing. I haven’t wrote a new article in ages. Sure I do the Strong Talk Q&A videos on Youtube but the effort involved in those is minimal, truthfully I am just burnt out.
I am extremely passionate about strength and the pursuit of it. If you are not, you will not be long for this sport, or to a serious level no matter your talent level. It takes a true love of the process to keep grinding, when all common sense tells you there are better uses of your time. Strength is something I have always wanted, and a way I always wanted to be perceived, not just by others but how I wanted to perceive myself. I was a tiny kid and not very good at sports; intelligent, but I didn’t know how to apply myself or have much direction. I would remember kids being upset when they were stuck with me on their team, this is an experience many can relate to but at the time it doesn’t feel that way. I always wanted to be that person at the top, I wanted to be the star, the person everyone wanted on their team.
I realize now that it wasn’t so much innate ability (of course genetics matter) keeping me from that, but confidence in myself. The kids that were the stars acted as such, so people perceived them that way, and with each bit of success they believe it more and act the part more and it grows upon itself. It’s called Self Efficacy and Bryan Barrett wrote a great article on it here. This type of mindset is very hard to cultivate if you did not previously have it, and when you do it is incredible what happens. I don’t think much changed as far as my effort in my training around 2012, other than I had just been fairly consistent for 5+ years now, and the previous year had finally started to have some small success. These small successes built upon themselves when it was announced that there would be a World Championship for the 175lb class “Strongman Fitness” at the following Arnold Classic in 2013. This news furthered my belief in myself that this is what I was meant to do, now I had my chance. For the past few years, I have carried this mindset through to a few wins in shows of higher and higher caliber, and it made me believe in myself more and more. I cultivated myself into what I always wanted to be as a small boy and finally believed I was myself. Others began believing in me once I started believing in myself. For the first time in my life, I had confidence in myself and really progressed as a person.
Flash forward to 2014, after the 2nd Arnold which was a disastrous day for me. I now had to come to terms with the fact I couldn’t keep up with the peak I reached, and I was badly injured. Truthfully, I was injured for about 18 months prior, but felt like now that I reached what I wanted all my life I had to cling on to it with all I had. I had to let go, I had to focus on other aspects of my life which were not in great shape, including my overall health. I had to stop the facade, which I for some reason felt I needed to keep.
In regards to life, it’s easily been the best 18 months ever. I’ve started my own business which is slowly becoming successful, I’ve taught a few great seminars across the country and coached over 100 athletes to improve themselves. I am living a life and making a career in a way I was told continuously was not possible. I am in great health again, and most of all have an amazing wife who believes in me more than I do myself.
The last 18 or so months have been rough in regards to training though. I’ve given up a few times, If I can’t be the best in the world why bother? I didn’t train, I got fat, lost muscle, let criticism get to me, got too wrapped up in the politics. I lost my love for strength.
Today after training, I feel like I found it again. I’ve been training for me again, not because of this contest or this person thinks they are better than me, but why I truly loved it in the first place. I love that pushing myself in training made me be comfortable with myself, it gives me an outlet for self-expression and a feeling of pride that I can accomplish goals I set and stick to them. I do It for the Love Of Strength.
Kalle Beck has been competing in strongman competitions Since 2007, he founded Starting Strongman in 2014 and is available for Online Coaching
With highlights including 2012 California’s Strongest Man, 2012 Washington’s Strongest Apple, Multiple top 10 finishes at Nationals and 6th place at the 2013 Arnold World Championships. Best lifts include a 600lb deadlift, 505lb back squat and a 290lb log press.
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