Hard Work is a popular war cry.
But I think it’s an irreverent one.
Hard work has gotten a little twisted, a little too easily claimed.
Hard work is handed out where there is sweat and blood and tears, and not much else.
I want those.
I want to see sweat and blood and tears.
But I also want time.
A lot of time.
I won’t proclaim hard work the first, second, or twentieth time you walk into a CrossFit box, land a punch, or pull a barbell.
I don’t think hard work is some inclusive, happy character who wants everyone on his team.
Not everyone can get on board, not everyone is welcome.
Because when you sign up for hard fucking work, you tie your emotions and strength to some intangible, out-of-focus dream that you think might be attainable.
You sign your name with blood, over and over and over again.
Most people don’t have the stomach for it.
Most people who talk about hard work have actually opted out of hard work, turned their backs on what it actually means.
They’re false prophets, proclaiming savage salvation by some endless, present crucible they’ve never experienced. They don’t have the emotional integration, the daily tests of mental composure. If you ask WHY, they fumble their words into a pile of hopeless motivational quotes.
The truth about hard work is this: hard work isn’t a physical experience.
It’s time and emotions.
It’s time spent sweating, callusing your hands and knuckles, and bleeding without complaint. More time than most are willing to sacrifice. Time under tension, time breathing heavy, time refusing to quit when quitting gets fucking easy.
It’s the profound emotional connection you feel toward your efforts—that’s hard fucking work. It’s the disgust that builds in your heart for returning to what you once were, and the incredible feeling of the ground under your feet when you’re participating in your pursuit [hyperlink pursuit blog].
It’s the time you put in, and the emotional intelligence that never lets you wander from the warpath.
I have a hard time believing that everyone who pledges their lives to hard work knows its true nature.
It’s easily handed out, and so they claim it happily.
But I don’t want ease.
I want truth and challenge.
Here’s the truth: if you’re unwilling to bleed for an undeterminable period of time for something you can’t hold, if your emotional intelligence is not grounded in your warpath, your hard work is just sweat, blood, and tears.
I’m not here for sweat, blood, and tears.
I’m here for the unseeable, the undeterminable, the crucible.
I’m here—all of me. My strength and emotions, my time.
I’m not looking away.
I’m looking right at it.
Until it’s done.
And the work is never done.
That’s hard work. That’s the truth.
Now here’s the challenge: commit yourself so wholly to your craft, to the barbell or the bag or the mat, that there never is any doubt what you’re about. Let years go by and do not ask for recognition or glory. Let people see sweat and blood and tears, but let them see more than those.
Let them see hard fucking work.
Leave no room for misinterpretation.
Time and emotions.
Head down. Foot after foot. Breath after breath.
Never Fucking Quit.