Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time outside a building in a little town, there was a sunflower seed that had fallen into a dime size hole in a slab of concrete. It decided it was going to take a swing at becoming an actual sunflower. At about the same time, there was a trainer inside that very same building in that same little town who decided he was going to take a swing at a bodybuilding physique competition.
As the small seed began to sprout and emerge from outside the concrete hole, it caught the eye of a few people and they stopped and took notice of the seed’s courage to try to grow in such an inhospitable environment. The little sprout was a novelty at the gym and the members of the began to watch it daily to see what would actually happen.
At the same time, their coach began to change what and how he ate, as well as increasing his training intensity. They noticed that not only his workouts but theirs had increased in intensity and creativity as well. And just like the sunflower, the members of the gym began to watch their trainer to see what was going to happen.
As the weeks went by the sunflower continued to grow taller and more sturdy. At the same time, their trainer continued to get stronger and in better condition. Both plant and trainer were receiving positive feedback from the gym members and were thriving.
One day as they were all noticing how much the sunflower had grown and how it was even starting to bud, they looked around at all the other sunflowers that had been purposely planted in a large planter. They noticed that those plants were all wilting. They were all cramped into a space that left them competing for room to grow, water to drink, and nutrition from the soil. All the while this plant that decided to do it its own way, to hike its own hike if you will, kept growing and flourishing.
The same could be said for the trainer preparing his body and mind to compete against all the other old men trying to bring back their youth or compensating for some other “deficiency”. Like the sunflower this trainer was different. He practices and teaches his people to think and execute outside the box. He participates in and teaches people to work hard, know “why” they want to do something and to hike their own hikes.
As time went on the sunflower blossomed flowers while the other flowers were just competing to survive. And the trainer I must say was getting freaking ripped while keeping his size and performance (this came from a very non-biased source, of course). The members of the gym were intrigued with the flower, even taking photos of it on a weekly basis. It had grown to over 3 feet tall and had boasted five blooming flowers.
As with everything, all good things must come to an end. One day the trainer showed up to work to find out that the sunflower had been taken down. It was lying lifeless on the ground. At first, it was thought that the clumsy old landlord knocked it down with one of his earth-moving machines. Upon further inspection, it was deduced that some animal had tried to harvest some of the seeds and the plant just could no longer bear the weight of itself and its harvester and gave way at its base.
What became of the coach you ask? The ending of that story has yet to be written. But I can tell that even though he mystically aligned himself with the sunflower, he is still on his own path growing stronger, bigger, and leaner every day.
So what can we learn from this story and the sunflower?
Be your own person. Hike Your Own Hike
Just because it’s not “how it’s usually done” doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
Determination, Effort, and Consistency can carry you all way to success.
Nature can show us the way, but nature can also seem very cruel.
To Be Continued.