The group training concept we’ve adopted comes from the quote: “We get there faster by ourselves, but we go further together.” It takes a decision from an individual to become a champion but we all need to be helped sometimes after we fall down.
In the sport of boxing, true champions usually are the ones that stand the test of time, and who are able to overcome obstacles and adversities. As a fighter, you will throw some punches and hits, and you will also be hit. It doesn’t go one way, it’s a two way exchange. There’s a term that boxers use which is called, “Taking one on the Chin.” In the literal sense, it means to be punched in the chin, but in the figurative sense, it refers to absorbing criticism and objection without any defense. To receive the full brunt of something. Taking a physical blow to the chin usually leads to a knock down or a knock out for most people. But the champions are able to absorb their enemies best punch and overcome it.
Examples of crushing losses in my life where I took one on the Chin:
I’ve learned throughout life that sometimes you are going to take one on the chin. When I applied for college, I didn’t get into my first choice which was Stony Brook. I felt like I was deserving but apparently they saw things other wise. I went to another school, became a better student, reapplied and was accepted. I graduated from Stony Brook on the Dean’s list.
In 2009 I opened my first training studio. It fell apart before it could take off. I poured all the money that I had into it and it went belly up. It was a big learning lesson for me. I took one on the chin for that studio. Three years later I rented a gym space in Buckhead, thrived there and eventually opened another studio that is one of the best studios in Roswell.
When I was 26, there was a girl that I really liked and thought that I would eventually marry. I later learned that she didn’t feel the same way about me. I learned that God had a plan for me that was better than my plan. Years later an angel walked into my life who is now my present wife and the absolute love of my life.
At 21 I attempted to buy my first home. It didn’t work. At 22 I tried to buy a home again and I was denied. Finally at 24 years old, I was able to purchase my first home and become a part of owning the American Dream. And years later, my wife and I were blessed to be able to purchase our dream home together.
All of these are personal examples of my failures, that later on became the foothold for my present successes. Someone taught me a great example of what success is. He stated:
“Success is to deal with Failure over and over again without losing Enthusiasm.”
I’ve been failing left and right all my life, but maintaining my enthusiasm has allowed me to stand tall no matter if I am in the valley or at the mountain top. Take one in the chin and overcome with enthusiasm.
After taking one on the chin it is important to display a sense of humility. To admit that you lost. Acknowledge the loss and make an agreement with yourself to do better next time.
A bad example of this was Hope Solo from the U.S. women’s soccer team calling the Swedish team that she lost to “cowards” and proclaiming that, “The better team did not win”. It’s okay to be upset after a loss. It’s alright to be angry. It’s a natural human emotion. I hate to lose. Anyone that knows me knows that I can’t stand losing. Use those emotions to study more, to train harder, to develop better strategies for success, and to ask for help when you need it! Lay down your pride, and get the support that you need.
I do not subscribe to the thought of giving every kid a trophy. If everyone gets a trophy, then the trophy loses its value. Awards are for the people that were the best of the best. Trophies go to the ones who worked the hardest, the ones who sacrificed and earned it.
As a coach of young people I learned that kids are served best when you celebrate their victories, but most importantly when you encourage them with words, support them when they take a loss, and reveal to them what they can do to perform better when the next opportunity comes. We need to show our kids, how to win, and how to lose. Teaching them not to cast blame, not to deflect, but to be gracious and come back stronger than ever before. It is the losses and the valley experiences that allow us to go back to the lab and put that work in.
The biggest hit that I had to take to the chin was when I had a heart attack at 18 years old. I discuss this in my book Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wellness. I was scared, I was depressed, I felt alone and I wondered if I would live. Most people, including my coach and my teammates, stopped believing in me. I learned at that point, what grace was. I learned that God had an ultimate plan for me. It was revealed to me that God wanted me to have life and have it more abundantly.
How I overcame
I was determined that my heart failure would not become my identity. I became determined and obsessed with coming back stronger than ever before. After two heart surgeries and the grace of God, I was healed. I’ll never forget what my Doctor said. The surgeon said, “If I didn’t push myself to be active all of those years that I may have died.” Those words resonate with me to this day. The doctor’s words remind me that all of those fall downs and stand ups were for a purpose. These days I run faster, I jump higher, and I’m more determined than ever before. The most important thing is that I take my family, my friends, my clients and anyone else who wants to come along for the ride, and go to a higher place of reaching their full potential. I may be pulling people along right now, but my family and friends were the ones that pulled me a long first. The power of groups and numbers is nothing short of amazing.
Never underestimate the power of overcoming with the help of group training
- In my last race, I won first place with the help of my group training partners that pushed me every practice, and my coach who guided me through the process.
- When I decided to buy my first house, I received help by participating in a first time home buyers class. The bankers helped me understand how credit works, gave me financial counseling and taught me how to become a better applicant for purchasing a home.
- When I was dating, I constantly attracted the wrong person. This may have been true, however, the common denominator was always me. I had to work on me! Through Spiritual counseling, prayer, meditation, and developing a closer walk with God, I had to become what I wanted to attract. When those character changes were made inside of me, God sent my mate, and I was ready this time.
- At my first school I found a tutor to help me with the classes that were more challenging. I joined group study sessions with like minded people, and studied as much as I could before I went to sleep. It wasn’t rocket science, the more time that I invested into studying the material, the better I did on my exams.
- For help with my business, I stop soliciting the advice of other people who weren’t in business, and started receiving business help from other business owners who would give me their counsel rather than their opinion. There’s a big difference between the two. I learned that the hard way.
- And of course I had a tremendous amount of support from my Family, and Friends. They picked me up when I was down, they told me the truth when I needed to hear it, and spoke life into me when the noise of the world got in the way.
How to overcome:
- Join a group that will support you and your goals. Get into some sort of group training.
- Lean on the shoulder of family and friends that can encourage you when you face times of adversity. Family and friend’s support goes a long way.
- Dig deep within yourself and tap into strength that you never had before. It’s during those low points and valley experiences that you find out what you are made of.
- Get a mentor, a coach, a teacher, someone that can help you shorten the learning curve. You will get further and accomplish more with a coach.
Everyone is going to lose sometime, something, to someone, or lose someone. It is the response to that loss that will cement our legacies.
It’s not a secret towards success. It’s all about being able to take the hits and using your group to help you press on with enthusiasm!
Wellness Expert Maxim Nazaire is a Personal Trainer in the Roswell, GA and metro Atlanta area. He specializes in double digit weight loss, injury rehabilitation and athletic/human performance. He is the author of two critically-acclaimed books including his latest book, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wellness. Nazaire is a graduate of the School of Health Science and Public Health at Stony Brook University in New York. He is also Certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and holds the honor of Level 1 Coach from the United States Track and Field Association (USATF). Maxim has been featured on CNN Headline News Health as their go to health contributor where he shares his philosophy on wellness with television viewers all over the world. Nazaire is a highly sought after motivational speaker, captivating audiences from every walk of life. He is married to his wife Danay Nazaire and currently reside in Woodstock, GA.