Thursday, July 30, 2020

500 Days

Monotony sinks. Withers as workouts continue. Erodes as endurance fails. Sweat rusting will, doubt drowning spirit. Initially, the never-ending ocean seems all consuming, but its crashing waves reward. The first is learning how to swim.

Children survive after being thrown into water by their parents. Forced to learn how to swim by both nature and nurture. Do mother and father standby and watch their child sink and drown, prone at the pool’s bottom? Probably not. (Unless murder, not teaching, was the parents’ true intent.) While frightening, the child lives. The false drowning is governed by confidence to intervene, the risk is controlled – adults know how to swim. Without learning, children drown, ushering these mock events.

Dangerous as water is, humanity possesses the physicality to live. Learning physicality requires doing it, whatever the ‘it’ may be; skateboarding, swimming, lifting… endless ‘ings. But survivalist brains clutch the machine’s controls, keeping body from perilous action. When the body performs beyond controls, the mind, limited in physical experience, learns through feedback; a child thrown in water learns to swim.

Prior teaching, coaching, practicing strokes dry, all become valuable once lessons demand getting wet. Surviving because initial physicality, knowing how to swim afterwards. This symbiotic relationship exists, however learning typically flows one direction: mind to body. The opposing direction is possible, but must be forced, either through discipline, or outside action.

Children learn that fear of physicality prevents life and stymies enjoyment. They grow strong as falls no longer stop play. The same is true for adults. Though, in age, concerns of fragility surface, ushering regression towards childlike behaviors; necessitating adult responses. Jumping in is vital. Into endless reps, at first gasping for air in a sea of workouts without rest days. That is “overtraining.” We will drown! Children cry when learning how to swim.

Physicality is energy that resists fear. But physicality can be weakened, rusted, as it is mostly will. Erosion threatens endurance most, consistency breeds monotony, rust spreads if unchecked. When workouts become fruitless, when the barbell knurling loses its bite, kicking harder seems right. Such efforts are deceptive, draining, ultimately drowning. Dying in a splash of frantic reaching and kicking. It is better to focus on a single breath, deep and long, releasing similarly, repetitiously taking in the next. Staying calm while learning what must be done to endure, allowing body to teach mind.

This direction of learning, necessitating physicality, requires hard effort. What is hard effort? Usually it is pride in mediocre effort, so it is declared hard; superficial sacrifice – false achievement. That is not hard effort. Hard effort is felt the next day, the day after, remembered long after. Conversely, easy effort must not be forgotten, nor confused as inconsequential or unrewarding. Though the physical action might be easy, concentration on doing better is hard, harder when monotony withers focus.

In training, avoiding what one “sucks at” is habitual. Monotony of negligence. This is self-defeating. Why lift if not to progress? If not to express new physicality? Mastering that next best thing, mastering ourselves in the process, more than surviving - living. After learning to swim, dive to retrieve treasures; medals, records earned in pursuit. Face daunting lifts, hunt leviathan weights in endless waves, taste salt of sweat and sea, breath deep, keep the chin high. Not to suck wind, but to be proud of the effort.

Physicality puts mind and spirit into body. A unifying force that produces real world results. Demonstrating power of the other invisible two, unknowable of each if not for sweat, the byproduct of energy; undying by nature, bringing near immortality when nurtured. Strength lives beyond its being, as does endurance. For each represent consistency, effort, and patience. These qualities are treasures brought out of the sea, earned in the endless lifting, rope climbing, grip failing, lungs heaving, eyes stinging until the triumphant cheer - workout complete.

Another day swimming, lifting – ‘ings all the same. Physicality is necessary for life, but more importantly: to live. Practice resolve where monotony’s corrosion threatens slowly, rusting will in crashing waves. Our last breath comes when it does. Faster when predicting its arrival.

Do not survive – thrive! Adopt the sea’s nature. Containing life and alive itself. Capable of calm and rage, crushing and erosive force; strength and endurance. Learned by combining mind and body, mastered through spirit. A trinity of near endless reward.

Easy Effort. (Link details workout.)