Sunday, August 02, 2009
The Beauty of Simplicity.
It's been nine months since I signed off of this blog; this will be my first post since then. Nine months: the requisite time to give birth to something new and although this blog will be about the same things as it always has been: the journey of my training and my thoughts about it, it will also be different. The gestation period between my last post and this one has given birth to a new me, born from silence, observation,contemplation and, as always, lots and lots of training.
And although the difficulties life has presented in the last year did not allow me to reach the goals I had set the year prior it did strip things down to the most bare essentials, the key ingredients from which every other thing is made from and counts on. And nothing became more clear than one of my favorite and most frequently used sayings : training is the source.
The source of strength, of will, of insight, of clarity and of power, both literal and figurative.
I never stopped training this year although my sessions became truncated. I still snatched and swung the bell twice a week, still trained my Yoga and Rifga 4-5 times a week and still used my clubbells twice weekly as well. The intensity was not as high, the numbers nowhere near as important as they had been, the personal records almost non existant except for the most important PR:
I did not miss any workouts, no matter how hard it was to make them.
Things got stripped down to their most basic, their most simple.And at the base of that simplicity I found what I always knew to be the core: Beauty.
The beauty of movement,especially pain free, natural primal movement patterns done with grace and ease and determination. Over and over and over again.
And in those simple beautiful movements I remembered what was really important in training; that consistency trumps intensity; all the time. That intensity is born from consistency. That one cannot force it, one has to lay in wait for it, patiently, instinctively, calmly and be ready to grab it when Grace lays it down in front of you to take it.
I had forced it for so many years and paid the price. That was what I thought athletes, especially athletes with aspirations to Greatness( whatever that really means) did. And I paid the price. No more.
I have finally found how wonderful the most basic, simple things in life, even an athletic life, really are, and how they should not be sacrificed for the call of the ego unless one really does not mind paying for it for the rest of their life.
Most are fine about it til the rent comes due. Then it's a different story. Me too. No more.
I have a client who has torn up their knee again, for the third time playing a ballistic sport. They need more surgery and if they are not really really careful they will soon have NO cartiledge left and will eventually need a knee replacement.
I asked them if they were ready to come back to simple basic training with the most safest implement I know of, the kettlebell and forsake the ego based competition they are addicted to. Their answer was: 'um, I'm not sure. I so love to kick other peoples asses'.
Sure, most do. The problem is that these days they spend more time in rehab than training and will continue to until they are FORCED to step back. They could CHOOSE to step back now but they can't. CAN'T.Not won't.
They don't appreciate the beauty of what they still have left in their body. The ability to use all their primal patterns, strongly, easily, painfree. But not with the intensity of their youth.And not in the high intensity world they crave. They will keep being self destructive until they have no choice left and can say " I wanted to keep going but I couldn't". Seems easier than voluntarily stepping back.But it isn't.
To me it's a simple choice now. To them, not so. But soon.
The most simple things in life are the most precious to me.That is so clear, and one of those simple, beautiful things is being able to swing, snatch a kettlebell.Nothing gives me so much while taking so little from me.
And yet, as my dentist who trains with me says "most people won't do this, it's too hard, even though it would change their life it they would."
And he is right. It's too simple for most to appreciate. and too hard. Just like life. And just that beautiful.