Forget Being a Man or a Mouse, Be Mighty!

“Ben, what’re you doing?”
“Well, I would say that I’m just drifting, here in the pool.”
“Well it’s very comfortable just to drift here.”

This moment from the 1967 film, ‘The Graduate’ epitomizes the detached and complacent feelings I’m sure many of us have. This state of mind can be the result of either failure or success. Often, if we succeed, we get comfortable and find ourselves “settling” in that complacent mind set, thinking we have “done enough” and can therefore relax. Similarly, if we fail we can get stuck in a rut wallowing in self-pity.

“I can’t do it.”
“It’s too hard.”
“I’m not good enough.”

These are phrases I’m sure many of us have had play over and over in our heads, and I have certainly had enough of them being the top of the charts. Recently I was dropped from my rugby team. I looked at the team sheet and, not only was I nowhere to be seen in the starting line-up but I wasn’t even on the bench. To complete strangers looking at this list not only was I not playing, I didn’t even exist. The coaches didn’t offer support or advice on how I could improve and I soon found myself adopting the wrong attitude. Quite simply, at least in my eyes, it wasn’t my fault. Those same old questions started to play on repeat in my mind and I found myself skipping training like a moody child with the mantra, “what’s the point?” I was more or less just drifting in a pool happy to blame other people and reject responsibility for my own failures.

Soon, however there comes a point, for me, it the moment when I realized how childish I was being that my common sense kicked in. Not everything in life goes your way, but you have to at least try. You can’t give up at the first hurdle you face, especially when you know you’re good enough. Life is full of ups and downs, peaks and troughs, and sometimes, when we’re in those down moments it’s easy to just lie there and feel sorry for ourselves. Yet, when those same old phrases come back and you’re lying in a rut, ask this question;




You can moan and whinge all you want, but in the end what are you actually achieving? The answer to that is simply nothing. You’re making yourself feel worse and probably p*ssing off your family and friends who are trying to help. Ask yourself, “so what?”, what are you going to do about it? That’s the glorious thing about life, you’re only as good as the last thing you accomplish, in other words there’s always room for improvement. Failure is part of learning and improving, regardless of whether you think it’s your fault, the only thing that is entirely up to you is what you do next.

Casey Neistat has said life is like a going the wrong way on a conveyor belt. Here we are presented with three options;


You can just stand still, in which case you will move backwards and not progress.

You can walk forward which will keep you in the same place, you’re not regressing but you’re not progressing either.

You can run. You have to keep working and put in the effort to get ahead.


We’re finally out of winter and that means it’s time to tackle our challenges with an extra spring in our step. We can’t all just drift in comfortably in a swimming pool. So, what are you going to do about it? I for one am going to run.

Alex is a student, fitness lover, and amazing role model in the PumpUp community.  Follow Alex on PumpUp @alexn95.