Putting Things into Perspective

[Billy Mimnaugh is known for speaking his mind, whether it’s about politics or powerlifting. If you are easily offended, read no further. Billy has a loud voice, and we want to give him the opportunity to speak. —Jim Wendler, EFS]


With the recent tragic death of Yankee pitcher, Corry Lidle, the sports talk radio air waves were filled with the bleeding heart cries of dimwitted shut-ins proclaiming how “this really emphasizes what’s really important” and that “the games are really just that, games. This is real life.” Excuse my insensitivity, but what a boatload of crap.

Frankly, I’m tired of individuals trying to downplay the importance of athletics in our lives or trying to minimize the importance of the games we play. These self important buffoons try to act as the great arbiters of what’s important and tell us, the sports fans or participants, that we need to “put things into perspective.” Sorry, I have things in perspective, and sports sit mighty high in my list of priorities.

For years my father tried to get me to focus on increasing my earning power by advancing in my career. It was beyond his ability to understand why I put such an emphasis on lifting, eating, and getting big. He just couldn’t grasp why it played such a huge role in my life. It seems that every conversation we had for the last ten years of his life revolved around trying to dissuade me from pursuing my goals in lifting. However, on his death bed, I said, “The reason you’re pissed off at me is because I did everything you said I wouldn’t be able to do. I lived my life wearing T-shirts and sweats, had goofy haircuts, and got big, and you can’t stand it that I didn’t sell out my beliefs for another dollar like everyone else.” It took the end for him to understand that my life is not about earning another dollar. For me, it’s about pursuing a goal that only our little subculture could ever grasp—the pursuit of strength and size.

I apologize, but for me, my list of priorities goes like this: my family (that’s my wife and son, not extended family), my lifting, and then everything else. Everything else means job, friends, possessions, etc. All of that is grouped in a category called crap. I like my friends, I like my extended family, and I like my stuff. But compared to lifting, it’s all just a pile of crap. Does that make me a small-minded idiot?

Perhaps. But I know this—I don’t let the crap get in my way or knock me off track from the big picture. I don’t let family gatherings or parties get in the way. Job functions are put aside if they interfere with training. Pretty much anything that falls into my crap category is way down on my list of priorities, and any time that stuff gets in the way of training or competing, it is cut loose. My wife’s mother passed away a couple of years ago. I happened to be two weeks out from a meet. Guess what? I didn’t attend the funeral. Sorry, but that was an unnecessary distraction that had to take a backseat to the bigger picture. I found out my father passed away at 4:00 pm on a Friday evening. I was in the gym training at 7:30 pm that same night. Even Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead. I’m the God of the living.”

Many read that and say, “What a dick. How could someone be so uncaring?” I look at it like this: I’m on this earth for a short time. My lifting career will be even shorter. I can’t let the distractions of this life get in the way of my goals. I’ve quit many jobs where I made quite a bit of money, but the job took time away from lifting. As soon as that becomes an issue, I leave the job. In fact, I hate to admit this, but the sole reason I work is to pay for the things I need to lift. Otherwise, I’d be quite satisfied to live in my car (which I did for almost a year once to save money for bodybuilding).

I work to pay to train, eat, and compete. Otherwise, work is just eight hours between workouts. It’s something that needs to be done, but most times, I’m totally detached at work thinking about my next workout, meet, or show or what I need to eat to get bigger.

Saying that Corry Lidle’s death “puts things into perspective” is just the ramblings of fat lazy slobs who sit in front of their television set with a beer in one hand and a bag of chips in the other. They live through other people’s talents and accomplishments with no goals of their own. Putting things into perspective for them means, “My life is a waste, but at least I’m not Corry Lidle.” Sorry, I’d rather be Corry Lidle and have fulfilled my goal of playing in the major leagues and die young then to “have things in perspective” and not accomplish one single solitary thing in my life except work, pay bills, and die.

I’m sick to death of these “sports experts” in the media deciding what’s important, what constitutes cheating or fair play, and what is really important in regards to sports. Here’s what I think is important—big numbers on the platform and winning. Fair play? You can have it. I do whatever needs to be done to be successful. I certainly don’t care what some idiot with a neck the size of a stack of dimes thinks. When I’m hurt, I take lots of anti-inflammatory and pain killers, wrap up the injury, and train. I don’t take the advice of these so-called “experts” and rest it. Resting is for the weak. The weak of body, the weak of mind, and the weak of heart. Training in pain is the mark of someone who really wants it. These so-called “experts” who advise you to live a well-rounded, full life and claim you should keep sports in perspective are losers who will never win at anything.

My son is 12 years old. His goal and dream is to play major league baseball. Most parents would say “That’s a noble dream, but you need to get a good education in case you don’t make it.” In my house, words like that are NEVER uttered. In my house, we use terms like “when you make it” or “what are you going to do with the money you make from your first contract.” Using terms like “what if you don’t make it” are forbidden, and anyone who uses those expressions are quickly weeded out of my son’s life.

We work every single day on drills, lifting, hitting, and fielding in order to insure he does everything possible to make it. He gets up at 6:00 am everyday and throws 100 balls against a fence to build his arm strength. He runs drills four days a week, lifts three days a week, and goes to the batting cage two days a week. That’s dedication. That’s having things in proper perspective in order to make your dreams come true. He has missed many fun things other kids do in order to follow his dreams. At 12 years old, he has things in perspective more then 99 percent of the rest of this sorry world. This world thinks you are rewarded for your dreams, but they are unwilling and unable to do what’s necessary to make them come true.

No, having things in perspective means driving and grinding after your goals. It means sacrifice and pain and desire. Don’t let some empty-headed nitwit try and derail you off your path to strength and size. The next time one of these losers says, “You should concentrate on what’s important,” give them a smirk and know in your heart that pursuing strength and size is what is important to you. Nothing they say can change your mind. Don’t let an opportunity to move closer to your goals pass by because you’re tired or hurting or you’re busy. Grind through the distractions and do what’s necessary to achieve your goals. Can’t bench much? Call every single big time bench presser in this country and find a solution. Have a weak core? Start overloading your lower back with heavy good mornings and do heavy ab work. Don’t skimp because you don’t feel like doing it. Do the work or get out of the sport.

Corry Lidle’s death, while tragic, puts into perspective an even greater tragedy. That tragedy is a bunch of excuse making morons trying to justify their lack of effort, lack of success, and lack of desire to achieve their goals all the while justifying it by “putting things into perspective.”

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About the Author

Billy Mimnaugh has been lifting for 25 years and competing for 20 years. He has won state and regional titles in both bodybuilding and powerlifting including the AAU Maine State Bodybuilding Championships, NPC New England Bodybuilding Masters Championship, APF Maine State, USPF Connecticut State, and the WNPF Region 1. He is a three time runner up in the APF Senior Nationals in the 308 lbs class and a two time runner up in the IPA Nationals. He also placed third in the IPA Seniors and won two APF junior nationals titles. He has been in 50 bodybuilding and powerlifting events and has never placed out of the top three in any event (except for three bomb outs). His best total is 2303 lbs at super, 2232 lbs at 308 lbs, and 2120 lbs at 275 lbs.