I’m Not Afraid
Posted on May 12, 2011
This is a great story about training with Bruce Lee
“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a-half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to do five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t do five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” —and we’re still running—“if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.”It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
This song means a lot to me. Last year, I listened to this song every single day on my way to face my fears. Walking to class, nodding to the beat, lip syncing the words. I know this song by heart. I would lay on my floor in my room, close my eyes, and just play this song. This song came out at the perfect time. It was a little glimmer of light every single day. When I came back from Italy and Greece over the summer, I erased this song from my Ipod. Im not exactly sure why, but it felt like a good thing to do. I think it was just more of a reminder of everything. I am singing this song again.
“I did it for me.” What I am about to do with my life is for me. It is my stand against everything I see in this world and everything I dont want to be. I also found my new calling. After baseball ended for me, I had a lot of energy that I needed to focus. I started a workout club, and while the workouts were very fun and hard, it wasn’t the same as competing against someone. Me vs. you. I thrive on competition. If you have a thumb war with me I am going all out. I just love to compete and give everything my best. Sometimes it pisses people off, but oh well. I mean well. So my mom suggested to me a couple of months ago, “Ev, why don’t you start doing triathlons. Your a good runner, biker, and swimmer. Give it a shot.” I kind of shrugged it off fearing the amount of work that would go into it. I put limits on myself. I settled into what I had currently at that time. Well things change and so do attitudes. So this is my calling. Triathlons. I train two times a day for 30 minute segments, and still get to do weights a few times a week. I get to compete again. I will travel. And eventually, somewhere far down the line. I will do an Ironman. I have no fear anymore. I am not afraid. Waking up at 6am every day doesn’t sound all that fun. But if it means I get to compete again and push myself to new limits…to exceed my current level…then I will do what it takes. This is a promise. And I am not going back on this promise.
I love Lee’s message. Once you settle or put limits on what you can do, your useless. Your useless to yourself and to everyone else around you. Furthermore, your limits spread to every aspect of your life and you become this dysfunctional shell that serves the world no good. Be something. Aim high. Make your mark on the world. Dont just float around. Viktor Frankl, one of the most famous neurologists and psychiatrists ever stated that becoming something great is just like when you fly an airplane. When you fly an airplane, you dont just go straight from point A to point B. Lots of the times there is a crosswind and you will drift far away from your destination. You have to do a crabbing technique and head North of your destination and eventually you will land at point B. However if you go straight for point B with a crosswind you will land below your destination. He then stated that the same goes for man. If we are looking at man in an idealist way, above of what he is currently, then man will end up at what he can truly be. But if we take man as he is, he will end up worse. We must look at man in an idealist way. That they are better than they currently are. If we do this, he will achieve great things.
I have been waiting for something in my life. Sometimes it takes something big to happen to really kick you in the pants. However, sometimes you just get fed up with whats going on and really get on the horse. I am doing this for me. I am going to be what I set out to be. I am tired of feeling pain. Absolutely sick and tired of it. I am tired of all the things that have happened. I am tired of writing about pain, about feeling pain, about remembering pain. No longer will I let people be careless with my feelings and me. It’s not fair to me anymore. If I had to name this chapter of my life, it’s going to be: Happiness. Just happy me. I am scrubbing everything else. No longer will fear and pain get in the way of me living my life. No longer will it be my limit. No fear…not one minute more.
The Better Man Project