Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sick Day

I left work today a few hours early. My throat hurts and I've got a low-grade fever.

Sick days aren't as much fun when you're an adult as when you were a kid. Thundercats and He-Man doesn't come on TV anymore, and even Sesame Street lost what little innocence and appeal it had. My wife is gone out doing adoption errands, so I don't even have someone to fix me Spaghettios or chicken noodle soup or PB&Js...

So here I sit, wishing I had the clarity of thought to type something profound, but I don't. I'm sitting in a quiet house watching my dog nap on the couch she's not supposed to lay on, and wondering if the sting in my throat will let up enough to allow me some sleep tonight... So much for pressing in the morning.

I guess I should put on The Princess Bride and try to enjoy it, but I think I may just lay back down.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mark Rippetoe interviews Shane Hamman

If you haven't already seen it. Mark Rippetoe did an interview for Starting Strength with Former Olympic SHW Shane Hamman. Very interesting and insightful on the life of the Olympic athlete and the current state of Weightlifting in the USA.

Click Here For the Shane Hamman Interview

I can't help but love some of Mark's insights on strength overcoming technical error in this interview. Simple and Profound, gotta love a Texan.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hard Things

I've got a beer keg filled with sand. It weighs about 250lbs. My training partner Tim and I took it down to the street and set up a little strongman medley yesterday. We would pick up and carry the keg 50ft. down, then pick up a 550lb. frame and come 50ft. back. Tim went first, picked up the keg, kept it high and walked it down the course, then stepped in the frame and made it back down the course. He set the frame down and between heavy breaths that "this seemed like a better idea on the drive over here". He was right. My turn came... There is special kind of anxiety that I get when I know I'm about to have to dig deep and do hard things. I finished the course with room to spare, but it just reinforced what I already knew; I hate medleys. Strongman medleys require resilience, endurance, monumental levels of intrinsic motivation and just a touch of crazy. I possess all four in extremely limited quantities.

We finished the second round of this and almost had to flip the switch (more on flipping the switch later) to get it done. I laid down in the yard heaving and panting and stared up at the sky and questioned everything in my life and most especially why in the world this, of all things, was what I did on Sunday afternoons.

The answer never really came. It's just what you gotta do to do what you want to do... But I got to thinking about it...

The last thing in the world I wanted to do after carrying that frame was to pick up the keg and head back the other way...

Nobody ever chooses the hard way on purpose. Sure, sometimes they do because they have to, but rarely. In fact, when it comes to our day to day lives I would say most people never intentionally choose to put themselves through Hell physically or, much less, emotionally thinking in their head "this will develop my character and make me a stronger person, and ultimately be for my good". Nope. Those thoughts never enter the brain while you are handcuffed to your very own personal tragedy.

I am thankful for a loving and infinitely wise God who puts us through the hard things, even when we go kicking and screaming. The lessons you learn in the dark hours are the ones that will carry you the rest of your life. They are the lessons that, God willing, you attempt to convey to your family, friends, and children... even though they'll have to their own hard lessons ahead of them. They are the lessons that fill you with right indignation. They are the lessons that flood you with resolve. They are even the lessons that make you want to love so deeply and purposefully that it will take death itself to peel you away from those on whom you've set your affections. In other words, these lessons are important.

I don't claim to have endured much, or know more than I really know, or (Heaven forbid) be wise. What I do know is that every day I am being molded and hammered out by The God of the Universe into what He ultimately wants me to be, He'll do the same to you, and without your permission... And sometimes, regardless of the circumstance, you have to pick up the keg and just keep walking.