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Posted by Sean Hutchinson on June 15, 2016 at 9:50 AM

FUCK 2nd Place: In my time as a competitive athlete in the sport of Weightlifting I have gone from being the underdog nobody chasing down the top guys to being one of the best athletes in the USA. No matter what situation I find myself in I always try to find new ways to motivate myself. Motivation is one of the key drivers to being a successful athlete in any sport you take on.

When I first got into Weightlifting I was living back home in Palatka, FL. I used to train out of my buddies shed in the middle of Florida in the heat of the summer. It was just me and him lifting in 100+ degree temperatures on a shitty bar with no knurling and old spare tires for bumper plates. Half the time we didn’t even get to train together due to conflicting work schedules but we went out there and busted our asses every damn day. Nobody really knew who we were but we knew what we wanted to be. We wanted to be champions. We wanted to be the best.

I remember he would hit a number and my goal was to beat that number by a certain amount. I’m sure he had a similar strategy. No coaches, nobody guiding us, just getting out there and working hard as fuck every single day. No excuses about so and so is better than me I’ll never beat them. Fuck that, we wanted to be #1 and that’s all we cared about.

Flash forward to 2006. I had the worst competition of my life at 2006 Nationals. I bombed out in the snatch and still somehow came back and took silver in the clean and jerk. I was furious! I knew I was better than this. I ended up getting in touch with Kyle Pierce at LSUS and moving out to Shreveport, LA a couple weeks later.

When I arrived I met an interesting character by the name of Aaron Adams. This kid was insanely good at Weightlifting. By the time I met him I had only been lifting for about 6 months in the sport. He had already been around for years, winning National titles, breaking American records, and making international teams for the USA. I was technically still a 56kg lifter but knew eventually I would have to be 62kg. That’s when I set my sights on him. I came in the gym everyday and attacked the weights like there was no tomorrow. Beating Aaron was the only thing I wanted to do. Between all the shit talking in the gym and seeing him throw around huge weights daily I was so driven it wasn’t even funny.

I came into LSUS with a best total of 188kg at 56kg and my first meet there I did 211kg at 62kg. Within 2 years of training I went from a nobody 62kg lifter to one of the top 25 overall lifters in the USA. I never ended up beating Aaron in a competition but that driving force is what got me to where I am today. The point is you have to find something, anything, that will help you push yourself. Whether it’s finding the strongest guy/girl in the gym or chasing down somebody’s numbers from another gym. You have to have goals. You can’t ever sell yourself short. Sure, Aaron was way better than me when I met him but by the time he left I was within a couple kg of his best total in competition. I never made excuses for myself about him being better than me. I just put my head down and went to work everyday because I wanted to be better than he was. I wanted to be the best.

Flash forward a few years later. Now I’m reaching the end of my Weightlifting career but just now getting serious about competing in CrossFit. It honestly feels great again to be the underdog in the gym. Sure, I’m still pretty much one of the strongest guys but lifting is only a small portion of what it takes to be a great CrossFit athlete. Now I have to find somebody to chase and let’s face it, I’m back to ground zero again. I am not even close to being the best guy in the gym when it comes to CrossFit. Hell, even the girls beat me most of the time, One specifically more than others. She is my rabbit. She is the one I’m chasing because she is the best. She’s been to the CrossFit Games with our team, she’s been to regional’s 3x’s now, once as an team and 2x’s as an individual. Between the 3 top guys in the gym and her those are the people I look at daily when I do a workout. They are the ones I want to beat. How many rounds did they get??? What was their time today? Those are the things that drive me to be better. I don’t want to settle for 2nd or 3rd best. I want to be the one everybody else is chasing in the gym and until that day comes I won’t be happy. Sure you’ll have good and bad days but that doesn’t matter. You should be in there everyday chasing down your goals and not making excuses.

I feel like I’m back at LSUS chasing Aaron again. That fire is finally back and it feels great. Not great being at the bottom of the pack but great knowing that if I put in the work I can do great things in the future. It’s all up to me. Between these 4 athletes they have all been to regional’s several times, and even been to the CrossFit Games as a team. That is saying a lot since we know how competitive the sport has become. Even if I know for a fact I won’t beat them in a WOD I still tell myself I can, If I push hard enough, If I hold on just a little bit longer, maybe I’ll beat them. Believe it or not it actually happened a couple times so far. I’d say maybe 1 in a 100 WODs but still. It was a small victory for me. Every time I beat one of them I get that much closer to my goal of being the best I can be. I’ve never once gone into a workout with the mentality that “oh man, there is no way I can beat them. They’re way too good. I suck at this movement. This just isn’t a good workout for me.” FUCK THAT. If that’s the attitude you’re going to have when you train the why the fuck are you even in my gym???

So at the end of the day you have to look within. How bad do you want it??? Stop making excuses for yourself. Sure you may not be the best…yet. Work hard, push yourself a little more everyday, and eventually you will get there. It’s all about the mindset. If you can convince yourself to do something you will do it. Just take that first step and tell yourself… “I can do this. I will be the best!”

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