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What is Best in Life?



Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?
Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.

Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?

Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women.


As I get older and wiser (much wiser than I was when I was younger) I often go back to this scene from one of my favorite movies, Conan the Barbarian.

As I guy I have a passion to be the best, “to crush my enemies”.  Now if you are a women reading this post, I am about to do the unthinkable in the man’s world.

Let something out of the vault.


I remember at speaker at an NSCA event many years ago talking about how you have to treat AND motivate male athletes different than female athletes.

In athletics and team sports here is a truth.

When a team loses, a guy is still happy if they themselves played well.  Women are only happy if the team, as a whole, played well.


We got the testosterone.

It makes us do crazy stuff sometimes, like drive like a madman toward a goal or a task.  This can be great if your passion is helping others.

For me, this means being a good Dad, being a good friend and always try to help others reach their goals.

But sometimes it isn’t easy.  The kids drive you crazy, your friends have their ups and downs and sometimes people don’t want to be helped.  You have to be certain and relentless in the wake of all adversity.

Think about Conan pushing the Wheel of Life around for years.  Think that was easy?  I don’t know if you know this but the story of Conan was real, that sh*t actually happened.


So what is my point?  Life isn’t fair, life isn’t easy, life isn’t certain.

The ONLY thing you can be certain of is you only get to do it once.  So you dominate, go for your dreams and kick ass.

Never quit, never surrender, just kill it.

Try to let actions speak louder than words, I’ve got two videos I want to show you.

First one is Gary Sansiveri coming back for his second installment of his never give up, train your ass off video series.  In a previous post I talked about how Gary has had a ton of medical problems, yet continues to defy the doctors and everyone else because his spirit is too strong.

The second is a personal one for me.  It is tackling a big hill after a recent training day.  The hill was pretty intimidating and I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  But sometimes, you’ve got to man up and HAVE NO REGRETS!

After watching the video, I have something important for you to do.

What To Do Next!

I told all of my fitness blogger friends about the 70+ comments on my previous post and they said I could never do it again!  It was a fluke.
They are WRONG!

I was p*ssed and I told them you guys are the most loyal supporters on the NET and we could do it again!

So I have a surprise for you.

I want you to comment below about something you are passionate about, something that makes you a better person or something that you want others to say about you.

If this post reaches 100 comments, I will randomly select 5 lucky commenters and give them my renowned 2-Disc Combat Core DVD set for FREE.

Rules:  There are ONLY three.

1.  You have to be in the first 100 commenters, so be quick! and

2.  The post must have at least 100 comments.

3. Only 1 post per person.

Post away and let’s win some DVD’s!

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127 Responses to “What is Best in Life?”

  1. jaime Says:

    keep doing what you are doing man this is motivating me beyond words “what is best in life” for me it is seeing my family happy and healthy wctching my boys compete , and training

  2. Jim Smith Says:

    Jim Davis
    To succeed when others tell you that you can’t; to continue fighting to the last breath, the last moment, and the last chance; to give everything you’ve got in pursuit of your dream, and to achieve it . . . only to find that it gives you another dream to pursue. We always need goals to reach for and mountains to climb; without them we stagnate and wither. Whether the pursuit is academic or athletic, business or pleasure, the desire to improve is at the core of all we are.

    I’ve been asked by many of my friends and family why I hit the gym so hard at age 55, going after a bodybuilding competition next July, after arthritis surgery in my shoulder, a quad tear from hiking, a biceps tear from a fall in the garage, and major back surgery two years ago. It’s simple. I can SEE improvement with every workout, with every day. My body is responding and growing at a time in life when most men are sitting on the couch doing nothing. I’m healthier, stronger, and happier than I’ve been in years!

    It’s the improvement that motivates me. This is the best thing in life — being able to constantly grow and improve, in any number of areas of my life!

  3. Joe Hashey Says:

    I’m 103. Great shares!

  4. Limastar Says:

    Looks like I’m 104. Rats, missed being in the first 100 comments.

    Well, here are my comments anyway.

    I’ve had my ups and downs over the years about my weight & physical condition. About 5 years ago I decided to do something about it. My youngest brother got married then & I didn’t like how I felt or looked when I looked at the wedding pictures. But it took almost 4 years just to lose 10 lbs.

    Toward the end of last year I decided to get really serious about getting into better physical condition and to hopefully avoid having to take the usual meds as you get older. So in January of this year I changed my attitude and my exercise program. To date, I’ve lost 20 lbs and only have another 10 lbs to reach my final goal weight.

    For me the best thing in life has been my ability to improve my life and to see that it is possible to do the necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Not only do I feel better about myself, I also look better.

  5. Jim Smith Says:

    Hey Jedd Here.
    I must tell you everyone – I am speechless. You have really blown me away with these 100+ comments. Unthinkable! truly is a community and I appreciate you all for visiting each day! Thanks again everyone!

  6. Anthony Says:

    My observation on life, is that people fear discomfort. They want to sate themselves with luxury. When all you know is increasing levels of ease, any exertion causes physical and mental discomfort, which people will pointlessly try to buffer against. The result they experience is an ever shrinking environment in which they can participate in. And this is my explanation for the popularity of shopping as a method to lift the spirits. When you shop, you are surrounded by smiles, everyone is happy to see you and you are treated well. Such artificiality can never truly satisfy us.

    I believe that you can never control your environment, and you should not waste your time trying. You need to conquer the inner self. You need to master your emotions.

    I believe that we should seek out discomfort. Discomfort is the way to broaden our horizon. Reflect on how you feel after a hard training session. Is it not true, that satisfaction is easy to come by? What are the changes in your senses? Aren’t pleasures heightened? Don’t you feel the tinniest ripple of breeze flutter across your face and isn’t the scent it brings a delight? Has the sky ever been bluer, the clouds ever more emotive? Has time stood still and annoyances dissipated? It is then you perceive that it is the simple things in life that hold meaning. The taste of water; the sun on your skin; the hot shower that follows, and the touch of cool sheets that night. Isn’t discomfort really the path to luxury?

  7. Rick Says:

    When I was much younger I use to run hills like that to get in shape for soccer season. In fact our favorite was called Billy Goat Hill and it was on a golf course. So we would play and run 18 holes and work our way up to 36 holes a day.

    Now I’m like Gary, at 57 just trying to keep the body moving and staying strong. You videos and website help keep me moving and work. Keep it up!

  8. PK Says:

    G’Day Guys,

    Love the posts, keep them coming. I just recently challenged myself by starting my own gym business. I am taking a huge risk with all the standard bills that you have to pay and starting it in a rural area. But i’m super psyched and i want to extend my thanx to the Crew, Ross E, Zach E, and Joe D for helping me achieve my dreams.

    PS damn you cookies
    PSS we have a super awesome hill out the back of the gym.

  9. Rob Says:

    Hey Smitty and the gang, make sure you note that not everyone read your challenge correctly as they didn’t write about what they are passionate about (ok so I’m back at school), but there are rules?

    Personally, I am here because I am passionate about strength and fitness, this makes me tick. I wanna be as strong and fit as I can be. This desire has been rooted deep inside of my heart since I was a young boy, always wanting to test myself on bags of cement, stones anything really that looked like it could but maybe couldn’t be lifted. Later on I became a thrower reaching a good level, so my goals switched to wanting to throw the farthest and still be strong and fast. Since a near fatal car crash in 97 I built myself up again and I’m still learning everyday about physical conditioning and looking for a new challenge for testing myself (even at 35) Aside from my family, this is what I’m passionate about. Continous physical and mental development


  10. Kari Says:

    Hello Jim and friends. Jim is certainly right there when he said that the best thing in life is your family and good friends and right after comes training with heavy iron. I’ve realised that the hard way this autumn after having to face a divorce from my wife. Anyhow, good riddance 😉 now I follow Jim’s speed and strength training tips and put them into work with my doughters and their handball team.

  11. D-Rock Wilson Says:

    Hey Smitty,

    I just wanted to say that I voted for this clip, and what do ya know, 109 comments! anyway, I have a hill out here in Fayetteville, AR called Cleaveland Hill. it leads right up too the U of A campus. Anyway, I want to make a video of me runnin up it sometime, just to show ya how wimpy that berm was in yours! lol

  12. Jim Smith Says:

    Dude, that sounds scary.

  13. Jim Wendler Says:

    What is best in life? Getting free shit from Smitty.

  14. Jim Smith Says:

    Haha, that is best!

  15. Niko Says:

    Better late than never…Life is one rep at a time. Remember, “Hard work beats potential, when potential won’t work hard”!!!! Take care from Garage Ink Powerlifting…Niko

  16. Rafael A. Trujillo Says:

    I started working out with the old Joe Weider exercises back in 1965 when I was a skinny 15 year old, I use to get bullied all the time and decided one day that I didn’t want to put up with that anymore. I did the exercises and started to show some muscle and wasn’t as easy a target as I had been. That was the impetus for me to volunteer for service in the Army where I went from 115 lbs to 155 lbs. Alot of pull ups and push ups during basic training added to the base I had built doing Joe Weider’s program. I was not as big or as strong as others. I was 5 nothing 100 and nothing compared to everyone else, it’s still the case today, even though I have added 30 more lbs. I am 60 years old survived almost getting killed in Vietnam, a car wreck coming from California to Colorado where I was moving back to in 1976. In those days there were no gyms to go to unless you were a high school or college athlete, so I would do push ups etc. used the old cable contraptions, you name it I tried it. After working odd jobs and just not getting anywhere I decided to go to college and went to Jr College in California for 3 years. I transfered to a 4 year college in my hometown in Colorado. I had a daughter and son by then and went to school full-time, worked at a work study job at the college. When I graduated I went to work in California in the fitness industry, I worked for 24 hour fitness, the San Jose Athletic club and opened up a 1.5 million dollar YMCA facility as the strength coordinator. I list all of these events in my life because, I want to show that if you never give up, work hard, and believe in yourself, you can accomplish your goals. I still live that, in the last 5 years I found pulmonary embolisms in my lungs and had to start taking blood thinners. I was taken off of them about 3 years ago for a year and one night I felt nauseous and went for a drink of water and collapsed with a thump my brother recalled. I was taken to emergency after I came to and the doctor said I had an enormous blood clot lodge in my heart but since I worked out and did cardio, etc. it dislodged itself, the doctor said it would have killed a sedentary person. Needless to say I have to take blood thinners for the rest of my life, and I value each day I wake up and get to breathe another day. Live life to the fullest, and never give up!!

  17. Paul Says:

    [attempted to post this the other day but couldn’t get it through so I emailed it…Smitty asked me to add it anyway]

    Great stuff Smitty!

    Are you training or are you trying? A question we must all ask ourselves from time to time. The guys in the videos would not be pushing themselves to the limit if they were just “trying” to make progress. You’re either training or trying in my book and those who train will succeed while those who are just out there “trying” are doomed to repeated failures.

  18. Ron Fischer Says:

    The best thing in my Life is my wife. She helps me train harder when I need it or take it easy when I should. I have gone thru five back operation, with the sixth coming soon. She is the one that has helped me, impowers me, and makes me want to be a better person. My seven year old helps me by wanting to be the best dad that I can. He also gives me the drive to want to make him proud of me. I will say that all the information that you have given me helps me to reach my goals. My goals were set for my family and myself. Thank you for helping me.

  19. kevin Says:

    do what you are passionate about in life and do something for each day until your dreams have been fulfilled

  20. nestor ahumada Says:

    You know what coach? I´m posting late so i don´t care if i win or not, what´s important to me is that hopefully you´ll read this, if you do, that´s enough reward for me.

    First as i´ve been a long time student of you and the crew´s methods i feel, if i may, as a part of the family. So i´m confident enough to share with you that i´ve suffered depression, anxiety and panic attacks for some part of my adult life, this is somehing that i do not wish on anyone and the process of recovery can be an overwhelming struggle at times.

    Through good times and bad on thing does stick, and is always there for me: THE DISCIPLINE OF STEEL.

    The discilpine of steel has given me strenght, it has given me hope, it was given me health and power. Power and discipline to face challenges in the face and despite of fear. Power and discipline to look at myself objectively and accept when i´ve wronged others and must bow my head and ask forgiveness, power to love myself power to love others and give unconditionally, to be thankful for God´s many blessings in my life and understand that only through love compassion, belief and persistence you can reach all your goals. Power to know your limitations and yet no be defined by them, power to be willing to look silly and enjoy it.

    The discipline of steel keeps me going when i´m scared to go on, the discipline of steel is what defines a true and gives meaning to a barbarian of God as i like to think of myself sometimes, and the discipline of steel coach Smitty is what makes it possible for thousands of guys like me to be able to share, regardless of where we might live in this world, the same passion for strenght both mental and physical strenght that only comes when praying to Crom for strenght when under the bar facing massive weight and having the courage to tell him in his face: grant me this lift, and if you don´t listen…the hell with you i´ll pull through anyway!!!!

    God bless you and the rest of the crew!

  21. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks for sharing bro and thanks for your long time support!

  22. Dave DePew Says:

    Great work! Only the best from Diesel Crew!

  23. shielzy Says:

    OMG that is such a good hill n its all grass!!!!

  24. Jim Smith Says:

    Hey bro!

    Somehow I couldn’t comment on your “pain hill” vid, so I thought I’d send it to you this way. I agree hills are great, they bring the good kind of pain that most people aren’t willing to do. I love em’ (and my clients have learned to love/hate them too)!

    Also, thank you for sharing so much info with all of us! I’m grateful and am learning a ton! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the inspiration!


  25. Matty Holmes Says:

    Dude I dont care that its over 100 I am still commenting thats some gnarly shit!! Congrats bro that would have whooped my ass too. I gotta make a video of the giant hill that I want to make it all the way it, its HUUUUUUUUGE and the end of it is at about a 75% incline or something.

    Again killer blog post you guys are killing it!!!

  26. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks Matty

  27. Mike T Nelson Says:

    Great stuff Smitty!

    I am most passionate about all things related to performance enhancement and strength/conditiioning, learning and teaching others (and myself) how to overcome obstacles. Heck, I read exercise physiology studies for fun and love it.

    I would also throw in some kiteboarding, hanging out with friends and my fiancee too. Love ya Jodie!

    rock on!
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

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