Mettle, Metal, and Adversity

Mettle and Metal

I have the opportunity to observe people with mettle daily.  Mettle is a person’s ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.  I firmly believe that participating in athletics, or even just being involved in a training regimen, helps develop mettle. When you are an athlete, you WILL have a bad day, a bad game, or a bad practice.  And really, these adversities are minor compared to how life can slap you in the face at times.  Learning how to deal with those down times, how to persevere and actually improve, makes for a better person, and better athlete.  Every day you step into the weight room, your mettle is being tested; you have an ever-increasing load to bear. Whether it is the challenge of increasing your PR (breaking) on a particular lift, or hitting a target time when running, there is ample opportunity to fail.  Heck, on our heavy day lift, we go “to failure” – failure not only IS an option, it is built into our workout routine!

smelting steel2Metal – steel specifically.  Steel is one of the strongest metals and is used as the foundation, the backbone or skeleton of most major construction projects. Iron, such as cast iron or wrought iron, is not so tough.  Iron is a fairly brittle metal that can’t stand up under the pressures and demands of modern day construction. Steel has been the preferred choice for over a century.

Steel is made from iron in a process known as smelting.  The iron is subjected to intense heat in a blast furnace, which forces out the impurities, mainly excess carbon, leaving the purer, and stronger, molten steel.

You begin your training, your life, as iron… not nearly as strong as you could be… not steel.   Every day you work out, every adversity you face down in your lifetime, you are being smelted.   You are turning into steel, forcing out the impurities through the intense heat of training. Without that process, you would still be iron, not having nearly the strength, resiliency, or durability of steel.  Adversity is not the enemy, the grind” is not the enemy, training obstacles are not the enemy… these are the things that make you better… that steel you, that smelt you.

Over time you become metal, with mettle;  a strong, resilient, durable person (athlete)  with the ability to face demanding situations in a spirited way.

You Can Do More!   –  We All Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd –

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