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I stronger.

A few years ago, the actor Kirk Douglas (who, according to Wikipedia, was also a stand out wrestler) wrote a story that appeared in the NY Times. It was about his Russian peasant father, who, after many years of smoking, was told to stop smoking by his doctor.

His dad quit on the spot, but he put one cigarette in his shirt pocket. Whenever he felt like he wanted a smoke, he would take out the cigarette and growl at it, saying, in his thick Russian accent, “Who’s stronger? You ? Me?” Glaring at the cigarette he’d reply, “I stronger.” And then he’d put the cigarette back in his pocket. Sadly, Douglas’ dad had smoked too long and as a result, passed away just a few years after quitting.

Later in his own life, after getting hooked on tobacco himself, Kirk Douglas looked at a picture of his dad, and remembered how he’d lived and died. Douglas made the same decision his dad did, and quit on the spot, putting a cigarette in his shirt pocket to remind himself who was stronger!

Think about that story the next time you’re tired, the next time your practice partner or your coach wants you to do one more drill, the next time you’re tempted to let up on your training, your conditioning, your homework, or anything else. Who’s stronger? You or the fatigue? You or the temptation to slack off? What will your answer be?

Here’s a link to the original story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/16/opinion/16DOUG.html

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