The Bamboo Tree

Training done properly is hard, grueling work. It is an investment in future success, and it comes with no immediate guarantees.
In fact, training is much like growing a bamboo tree.
To grow one, you must of course start by planting a seed, then watering and fertilizing it regularly.
Despite all the time and effort put in, after a year the bamboo tree does not grow at all.
Even with continued, persistent effort it won't grow in the second year either.
Or the third, or the fourth.
For those who stay committed and put in their work, in the fifth year that bamboo seed will sprout into a roughly 90 foot tall tree in a matter of weeks.
Like many successful athletes, we see the results after we are fully grown and assume we were destined to become what we became. That both the tree and our successes were natural born gifts that allowed both to reach the heights that they did.
What so many people miss is all those years when you can't see a thing happening from one day to the next, you need to put in your work day in and day out.
This is where elite success occurs.
Training is not going to bring you overnight success. And although you will see progress a lot faster than five years after starting, the process is so much like growing a bamboo tree.
The "overnight" successes in athletics have put in countless hours behind the scenes, working hard with the belief that it will all pay off in the end.
What is unfortunate is that so many younger athletes show glimpses of doing what it takes to truly excel in their sport, but somehow get derailed along the way and simply don't stick with it long enough to see the fruits of their labor.
It can be impatience in wanting to see results faster, a lack of sustained commitment due to conflicting priorities, an injury, a bad experience (getting benched, failure in a big moment, etc), or a whole host of other reasons.
The ones destined for greatness, however, believe in the process and continue to do the training equivalent of watering and fertilizing week in and week out for a long period of time.
Keep working hard. Trust me, in one form or another it will pay off in the end.

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