The World’s A Mighty Big Place by Brooks Kubik

November 28, 2009

The world’s a mighty big place.
There’s an awful lot of people living in the world.
In a place that big, with that many people, sometimes it seems like it doesn’t matter if you slack off a bit in your training.
After all, there’s plenty of other days to train, and it won’t matter if you take it easy for once. Heck, it won’t matter if you even miss a day. You can always come in and do it tomorrow. When you’re running sprints, you don’t always have to go full bore. You can slow down a step. The coach will never even know. And slowing down just a little tiny bit makes it hurt a whole lot less.
When you’re lifting weights, you don’t always have to go for that extra rep, or try to put more weight on the bar. Just make it look good. Throw in an extra grunt or two, and put on one of those big pain faces like the guys in the muscle mags when they do their photo shoots. The coach will never know. You really don’t have to get up and go running before the sun is out.
It’s okay to sleep in. No one will ever know. You don’t have to do 200 pushups a day like you decided to do last week. You can do 50. Or you can skip ‘em today. No one will know.
You don’t have to watch your diet the way your Coach wants you to do. Going out with your buds for a double-dish pizza with everything on it is fine. Wash it down with a couple of cokes, and then go grab a burger and fries from Burger Heaven. You can always get back on your diet tomorrow. No one will ever be the wiser. In fact, if you’ve got talent, skill and a little bit of speed, you can probably sleepwalk your way through 90 percent of the conditioning stuff that the Coach keeps talking about.
Maybe it’s all for the second-stringers.
The guys who don’t have God-given talent that you have. The guys who need to do grass drills because they have slow feet. The guys who need to do pushups because they aren’t very strong. The guys who need to watch what they eat because they don’t have a good metabolism.
You can think like that, and you can act like that, and no one will ever know. After all, the world’s a mighty big place.

The Coach can’t be everywhere. But if that’s how you approach things, think about this.
Somewhere, at another school, in another town, there’s a kid who’s your age and your size, and he plays the sport you do, and he’s got every bit of God-given talent that you have. In fact, we could put the two of you side by side right now, and you’d match up exactly equal.
But here’s something you need to know. That very same kid is out there running full-bore sprints every single day. He runs them as hard as he can. He never misses a weight lifting session, and when he lifts, he always goes for that extra rep. Some times he goes for two or even three extra reps. And he always tries to add weight to the bar. He gets up every morning, rolls out of bed, throws on his sweats, and goes for a long run.
He gets home about the time the sun is starting to climb over the horizon. The Coach wanted him to do 200 pushups every day. He does 300. He works as hard on his diet as he does on his training. He never eats anything unless it is going to give him energy to train, protein to grow, or vitamins and minerals to build his body.
He doesn’t touch junk food or sweets. He can’t remember the last time he had pizza, French fries, a cookie or a candy bar. Yes, the world’s a mighty big place.

But it becomes a mighty small place when there are two men running right at each other at top speed on an open field, one running for the winning touchdown and the other man the last defender blocking his path to the goal. I’m older than you, and I’ve seen it happen over and over, and I know for a fact that this is going to happen. It’s going to happen to you. It’s all going to come down to you and him. Just the two of you.

Right there in the middle of the field, in front of three thousand screaming fans. You’re going to hit right there in the middle of the field, full force, one on one, with everything on the line. The whole season. It’s all gonna come down to this split second in time. And that great big world out there shrinks right down to something small and tiny when two men hit try to occupy the same square foot of turf.
This will happen. I know it, your Coach knows it, and you know it. So does the kid in the other school in the other town. You will meet, you will hit, and one of you will knock the other one flat on his back right in front of the entire world. Right now, I don’t know which of you is gonna end up making the play of the year, and which of you is gonna end up roiling in the dirt with tears in his eyes, crying like a baby because he missed the chance of a lifetime.

No one knows. We don’t know, because we don’t know which of the two of you is gonna train harder. It might be him. It might be you. But it’s your decision…

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