What Others Are Saying...

  • " Not only is Sean a great nutritionist, but he's an excellent strength coach. I've coached athletes with him on multiple occasions. The most impressive attributes I've seen in him is his integrity, work ethic, ability to work with athletes and desire to be the best coach possible...."

-Luke Richesson. Head NFL Strength & Conditioning Coach for Denver Broncos


I Want To Be An Astronaut

Figure 1 Become that Astronaut!1

Regain Your Childhood Mentality

A childhood mind is a beautiful thing to waste, but somewhere along the road we all seem to lose touch with it. We get too smart for our own good…

Remember those days when you were young and you told everyone you met, “I’m going to be an Astronaut when I grow up”, or a professional athlete, or a surgeon, or an actor, or you just knew you could fly. Somewhere inside, any and everything you wanted was possible just by thinking it. If you wanted to jump from a rock onto a nearby branch, then swing on a vine across the creek, landing on the opposite bank, all you had to do was get a running start and make it happen. Worst case scenario, you didn’t hit your intended target. You simply found yourself a little wet, maybe a bit scrapped or bruised but you got up laughing. More times than not, you tried it again and again until you accomplished what you set out to do.

The Feats of A Child

Video 1. Phil’s daughter showing off her pull-up capabilities. Video supplied by author.

Want to know 90% of the reason why they can do what they can? It’s not their age; it’s not their size to strength ratio, or any other equation of logical reasoning. Rather, they believe they can. That’s it – pure and simple. Their head is 100% into the fact, “Hey I can do this.” No one has clouded their mind with the poison of “you can’t.” They don’t know there are world records, and limits to what is achievable. They just know, “I want to do this.”

A child’s first step after deciding they want something is to set to action doing it. If they think, “Hey I want to get naked and run around the yard…” they don’t worry “… but Billy might see me and I’ll be embarrassed.” Rather, they just strip off their clothes and make it happen. There they are three seconds later goal in hand, stark naked to the world with a big smile saying “Look at me, I did it. I’m Naked and I LOVE IT. WOO HOO.”

Figure 2. No embarrassment here!2

This greatly contrasts with adults who may make a plan but fail to act on it simply because they feel their goal is unrealistic due to clouded reasoning, thoughts and self imposed limits. How often have you heard an adult say, “I’d love to do this but….” or “Well, this consequence could happen …” or something of similar nature?

As far as healthy physical activity and dreams are concerned, the word “can’t” should NOT be in the vocabulary of a child or an adult for that matter. From day one with my daughter we have tried to instill “there is no can’t”, just “won’t”, and “don’t” (This last one is particularly important as we have to have some rules; Otherwise our house would be burnt to the ground!) Sadly though, a child’s idea that they can achieve anything is now being erased. From an early age, children are now being limited by overly protective parents who don’t want their little Sally to ever get a scrape or boo boo. However that is another topic for another time.

Getting back to my main point, children achieve so much, point and blank, largely due to their blissful ignorance of the words “NOT possible, that can’t be done”. In other words, they don’t have the foggiest idea that they’re trying to break the limits of what is physically possible. They believe they can. They act and make it happen. Although cliché, truly knowing you can do something is 90% of making it happen. I have seen it done and have lived it myself (Please see Interview with the Expert- Phil Stevens Part I and Interview with the Expert- Phil Stevens Part II). Any and every great athlete or scholar that I’ve been blessed to meet is the same. They believe first and foremost that they can achieve their goals despite what others say or think.

We have to get some of that back. We need to let a few rules go; let some of those limits not stand up as walls that keep us in, but rather, obstacles that simply define where no one has yet had the balls and dedication to go. Let some of your inhibitions go. Screw embarrassment… Embarrassment should belong to, and only to, those who don’t have the balls to get up and try.

Seriously, what’s more embarrassing? To sit on the sideline, laughing at the person who has the conviction, self-determination, and confidence to try something new, even if it’s far from perfect the first time. Or is it more embarrassing to sit on the sidelines, your safety net, playing life by the limiting beliefs of self and popular culture; Never stepping out, never even attempting to overachieve and better ones self.

In Summary…

Let go. Get some of that childish luster back in your life. Make your own bounds, your own beliefs. Go get what you want, and don’t be afraid of what others say you should be, or limit yourself by what others say is possible. Get some self-confidence. In time, you will find you have made it further than most dare, just like a child. Grow, and in time fright of other’s opinions will subside, being replaced by a healthier thought; the notion that there are no limits to what you can achieve. Go become an astronaut; the stars are yours if you have the balls to grab them!


1 This image or video was catalogued by Johnson Space Center of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under Photo ID: S84-27017 AND Alternate ID: GPN-2000-001156. This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted”. Image accessed September 26, 2011 from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Astronaut-EVA.jpg

2 Image taken by Claude Renault. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Image accessed September 26, 2011 from:http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kids_skinny_dipping_in_India.jpg

Click Here to find out "Why we do, what we do."

Written on September 26, 2011 by Phil Stevens
Last Updated: September 27, 2011

This information is not intended to take the place of medical advice.Please check with your health care providers prior to starting any new dietary or exercise program. CasePerformance is not responsible for the outcome of any decision made based off the information presented in this article.

About the Author: Coach Phil Stevens is an accomplished strength athlete with considerable experience in Powerlifting, strongman competition, and highland games. Phil is the 2007 APA World Champion in the 242-pound class (total). He has held the APF 275-pound class raw National bench, squat, deadlift, and total records. Phil’s marquis lift was his 725-pound raw beltless deadlift, performed on February, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been ranked in the “Top 10” in the deadlift across all national powerlifting federations. In addition, Phil has in a few short months moved to the A class in highland games with the goal of going Pro. His coaching services are avalable by clicking on the Strength Sport Consultation tab.
Professional Commitments:In addition to his coaching duties, he also serves as the California State Chair for the North American Highlander Association, as well as the founder of Lift For Hope an annual strength competition with proceeds donated to charity. He also runs his own printing business (business cards to t-shirts with everything in between) that can be found at www.bingcolorprint.com.