On the plus side, no one can accuse me of neglecting my mobility work, because my knee goes all over the place
I’ve spoken countless times on how I don’t enjoy training. Some people seem to, and it confuses me. Training for me is just something I do to meet my goals. What I enjoy; what I NEED, is to overcome adversity. I NEED to be behind the 8 ball. I NEED to have the odds stacked against me. I NEED to push myself too hard, too far, to fall, crash, burn, and rise up from the ashes over and over again. I’m not truly living unless I’m barely alive.
THIS is the mentality that has allowed me to succeed in lifting, and as much as I wouldn’t wish my disease upon others, my observations lead me to believe that some folks could stand to share a little of my addiction. Many seem to take to lifting to AVOID adversity. They are hoping that lifting will REDUCE their chances of injuries, that being stronger will make life EASIER, and that fundamentally they will engage in less hardships by becoming bigger and stronger.
Sure, now you can beat up the bully, but you also found out that your girlfriend is a psycho
In reality, this is living by the sword. As much as I hate comparing lifting to war (as it cheapens the efforts of those fighting) the truth is that a warrior who is not regularly engaged in battle becomes soft and weak. If one wants to be hard and sharp, they must constantly be fighting, struggling, on the verge of defeat, so that they can be pushed to and redefine their limits. If you constantly exist in your comfort zone, you will never exceed yourself. One must be pushed to, and occasionally BEYOND, their limits.
This, fundamentally, is why I have zero fear of injuries. In truth, I enjoy being injured. Not in some sort of masochistic way, but more because I love having yet another opportunity to become stronger, better and greater: to overcome. Yeah, it sucks at first when I can’t train exactly like I used to, and I get pissed off and sulky for a minute, but then I just start planning my recovery and comeback. I love figuring out how I’m going to train with a ruptured ACL, or a blown out hamstring, or a torn labrum in my shoulder. I love rigging up ridiculous contraptions in the gym to work around injuries. I love when people ask me if I have started lifting again and I tell them “I never stopped”.
In my head, it was like this, but they probably just thought I was an idiot
One must seek out challenges and constantly overcome them in order to continue to improve themselves. Nietzsche called this concept the “Will to Power”, and stated that this drive actually exceeded the will to live, and was in truth the compelling force of all action in the world. It operates under the premise that, in nature, all creatures have an inherent drive to assert their power over another, and as power grows, so too does the challenge that the creature seeks. One’s power does not grow through avoiding adversity and conquering small challenges, but instead from facing harder and harder challenges, until eventually one expires from undertaking a challenge that was too beyond one’s limits. Death is simply the instance when one’s Will to Power exceeds their ability.
This means always trying to bite off more than you can chew. It means having too much confidence. It means having an unrealistic expectation of your abilities and facing challenges that any reasonable being would deem insane. It’s training while sick, injured, extreme cold, extreme heat, no sleep, no food, and expecting nothing but greatness from yourself. It’s HOPING that something goes wrong so that you have yet another chance to overcome and prove you are better.
"Awesome; an opportunity to work on my breaststroke"
This isn’t healthy. It’s not smart. It’s an addiction. These are the words of an addict, who is blinded from reason by their need to get their fix. One needs to understand that before engaging in this process. The people trying to find the balance between progress and maintaining their health and longevity are always going to err to the side of caution and only end up dipping their toes into the waters of insanity. While I’m chasing my self-destructive addiction and looking for the next stupid obstacle to overcome, they’ll be healthy and well and pain free in their old age
…but I wonder if they’ll ever be strong.