Editor’s note: This article is part three of a three part series that will share insight into Charles Okpoko’s lifting career. The series will cover Okpoko’s athletic beginnings, his developing and changing mindset, along with what he’s learned under the bar.
Powerlifting is as much a mental sport as it is physical, if not more. There are many lifters out there that fail to achieve great things, not for a lack of strength, but for a lack of mental fortitude. The mindset in which you approach any lift decides whether or not you’ll be successful.
You have to approach a lift, like anything else is in life, and that’s with the mindset that you WILL do it. You have to visualize success before it happens. There can be no doubt in your mind, for doubt makes room for failure. From a young age, I developed a strong mental fortitude that enabled me to push my body beyond its limits. Football (like other sports), as anyone who has ever played knows, is a sport that requires a great deal of mental fortitude. This sport placed me in a highly competitive environment, which only those who were able to rise to the challenge were able to succeed.
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The coaches basically took it upon themselves to break you down, and then build you back up stronger than you were before. Practices were long, grueling, and painful at times, which served to weed out those that lacked the mental toughness to continue. You’re put up against the man right in front of you, and only one will walk away victorious. It’s up to you to decide which category you fall in. If you want to succeed bad enough, then you’ll endure it all. You will walk away victorious. And I refused to quit, lose, or fail.
This is the same mindset that I have whenever I approach anything in life. This is the mindset that I have whenever I step in the weight room. I welcome the challenge. I look forward to seeing how much further I can push myself. I approach every workout thinking one more set. One more rep. One more.
The weight on the bar does not intimidate me. It excites me. I have utter confidence in my ability to command the weight on the bar no matter what. This is the mindset that I have whenever I step on the platform. It’s me versus the weight on the bar and I refuse to lose. I will walk away victorious.
Editor’s note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.
Feature image from @charlesokpoko Instagram page, photo by @9for9media.