Dirk Mullenger

A Champion’s Commitment

A champion’s commitment usurps emotion. When a champion does not feel like doing what they have committed to do, they do it anyway, because doing advances them towards the goal. 

They do when they don’t feel like doing. 

Remarkable how many goals I have set and left unachieved for the number of times I didn’t feel like doing it. Undone by my mood, my biceps are still small, blog unpopulated, readings unread. “Emotion is your enemy,” said Coach John Wooden, and since emotion impeded my progress, he is right.

…but at least I don’t quit trying.

My goal for this morning, set last night, was to exercise, but when I awoke in the pre-dawn, it was cold, dark, and scary outside. In a spasm of inexplicable behavior, I got up, got dressed, and headed to the gym. I did not feel like it.

In the car, pressed play for a motivating podcast—but the podcast did not motivate. 

Music at the gym—insipid, uninspiring. 

TV at the gym— boring informercial about skin care. 

20 minutes of boring aerobics, not one inspired moment. 

Sit-ups were done, but didn’t feel right. 

Showered after workout—the water was tepid. 

In the locker room getting dressed, told a joke to the guys about “no talking in the locker room.” They stared and said nothing. 

On the drive back home, podcast wouldn’t play, so left alone in muttering silence. 

Did the experience feel good? No. 

Did it count? Yes. 

What counts more, feelings or progress? 

Do I want to feel good doing what I have to do? Yes. It’s preferable, but not mandatory. Feelings are not a barometer for taking action.

Are feelings a metric for success? Nope—not unless you feel miserable all day, every day, for weeks in a row. If that’s the case, book time with a counsellor.

I’ve been a slave to the emotions of the moment, consumed by the emotions of the moment, and I hate it. I have allowed emotions to dictate my behavior, and only the dictates of a higher authority—a boss, a bully, a wife with a rolling pin—have induced the requisite discipline to get a job done, barely. 

But I’ve got things I want to achieve–writing this blog is one of them– so I do not quit. Here’s what I’m learning:

Commitment usurps emotion.


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