Saturday, January 24, 2009
It is simple, really. A hunk of iron molded into an elementary shape. It has neither a mind nor a will of its own, neither heart nor flesh. It is not magical or mystical. Having no pride, its finish, marred by chips and rust, causes it no strife. It is the very definition of insentient.
I stand over it, my mind an endless stream of worries, my heart full of fear and doubt. Where I cannot focus my thoughts or efforts, it begins to pull them together for a purpose. With a cleansing breath, I reach for it and by necessity all other thoughts begin to fade away. With each swing or snatch, clean or press or squat, it becomes my counselor. I cannot lock in the shoulder, ground my feet, snap my hips without focusing on that little piece of iron and the way my body interacts with it. Where there is focus, there is no worry, doubt or fear. It pulls at my grip, and I let go of the worries. It fails to settle smoothly and gently at the top of a snatch, and I give up my nagging doubts. Rock bottom pushes any fears from the crevices of my mind as it forces me to think only to pressurize and go up. It demands to be the center of my attention and in return gives me clarity of mind.
For this gift alone I would be eternally grateful, but as the worries fade away, I open myself up to lessons, and it becomes a cold and heartless teacher. My lungs begin to burn. My muscles quiver. My hands hurt and I am spent, but the plan was for more, so it somehow beckons me to do more. It taunts me in its simplicity. It is a small ball with a handle. Surely thirty more seconds cannot be that long. And it teaches me to persevere. It teaches me to push past what I think might be pain. It teaches me pain is an attitude. It teaches me that I can, that my barriers are self-imposed, that things are not always as they appear, that an hour can pass in the blink of an eye and ten minutes can be a lifetime, that simple acts do not always yield simple results. With every swing or snatch, with every move, it teaches.
Then, when I stand sweat-laden and spent, having let it drop heavily to the ground, it remains quiet, inanimate, uncaring. Hands on my hips, mind focused, I take a cleansing breath and think about my lesson and a simple, molded hunk of iron.
Double 16kg C&P/Bent Row 5 3-rung ladders.
Double 16kg Squat 5 2-rung ladders.
4 minutes of continuous 16 kg swings.
YESTERDAY'S WORKOUT: VO2 Max workout 12kg for 50 sets (25 minutes). Consistently got 7 reps, occasionally got 8.