“The elephant and the string, Franky – remember that.”
Realising I clearly hadn’t heard the story, Ross (my trainer) came over and landed some metaphorical fitness wisdom on me.
A guy went to an Indian village and saw an elephant attached to a wooden pole. Fair enough, right? The catch is what was used to harness this massive beast to the pole – a bit of string around its… ankle (Do elephants have ankles?). Well, around it’s leg. Obviously perplexed, the man asked his guide why the elephant doesn’t use just a fraction of its strength to break the string and leg it. The guide explained that from a very young age, metal cuffs and chains are used to restrain the calves. Then when they are older, the villagers are able to replace the metal with rope as the idea of restraint has been embedded. The guide then pointed out that as long as the elephant could feel the shackle (irrespective of what it was), it would assume it was metal and therefore unable to break free.
Delightful story, ain’t it? (Keeping in mind it’s a metaphor, otherwise it’s bordering on animal cruelty). But I found it incredibly adequate, especially when compared to training. This was my fitness guru’s point. Whilst training, stop thinking you are restrained – break free from that metaphorical rope and push your limits. You are MUCH more capable than you think.
I have now chewed, swallowed and absorbed that metaphor when it comes to my training. Each and every session is about pushing my limits (intelligently, of course). If I leave the box with my shirt a darker shade than when I walked in, I am satisfied with a good day’s graft at Takedown.
That string ain’t got a chance.
Till next time, peace out and keep the sweat pourin’!