My father was a boiler maker by trade. I remember him welding at home on projects and taking pride in his ability to do so. Welding was not a job for him but something he loved doing. He earned a living and a great life for my brother and me by working with his hands. He took pride in what he did, and worked hard to excel at it. Listening to the stories he tells and some of the characters from his stories; dickhead bosses, drunks, guys he learned from, various old men, and your typical field workers. See this life is something that was instilled in me from an early age. Take pride in what you do and work hard. This idea of having a trade is lost on me professionally. As I am sure is with most of us. Easy days behind a desk and years spent in class rooms instead of working.
What I am getting at is that I have discovered is that I am a craftsman no different. Time and education have provided me some opportunities that my father did not have, but my opportunities are the fruits of his labor no different. I spend my time honing my skills and mastering my craft. Mastering a craft or trade is no different for me than it was him. I am committed and will sacrifice for it; blood, sweat, tear, scars, surgery, injuries, vomit, and time are the price I have paid. Not unlike a master craftsman like a motorcycle builder I have traveled to train with and learn firsthand from the people I admire in my trade. I have spent the last 15 years lifting hard and with aim at becoming a better athlete. Only the last 5 years do I think I have become a master in this trade. A long time ago I read that it take 10 years to be great at anything. Remember that if you are new to lifting, 10 years no tricks. It is time that will harden you.
No amount of reading internet forums, trolling YouTube, or trying half cocked lifting plans from magazines will get you there. These are all great resources but only once you have developed the proper filters that let you ignore the bullshit. I don’t have any idols in the strength game that I have not spent a substantial amount of 1-on-1 time personally talking or training with. This is important for me to learn firsthand and get to know these people not just what personality they put on display for the masses. This is a personal thank you to all of those that have taken time to help me learn more in my pursuit. So my recommendation is take some time and make the trip to meet the people anyway you can and learn from them. Hone your tools and prepare them for a lifetime of labor. Make some mistakes but let them be your mistakes to learn from. Have some conviction about what is important to you and never stay from those basic ideas. Quit trying to find a loop hole to your goals and pin your ears back and take it on head first. 10 long years, get to work.