For the past couple of weeks I have had a plethora of blog ideas and none of them made it past the 200 word stage.
I tried to write about stagnation and goals in three separate blogs and I find myself bashing my proverbial head against the wall looking to make some sense of the words in my head.
There are days when the words flow freely, and there are days when I can’t express what I need to.
Today is one of those days where I am mentally incapable of translating my brain through my fingertips.
But right now forms a thought about where this should head and it reminds me of the last couple weeks in the gym. I have been on somewhat of a cruise control because I am still mentally stuck in “get stronger” land despite knowing I am better off training solely for hypertrophy.
There are days when I miss the visceral rage of pushing a set to the limit just to chase a PR. There are days when I miss the rest between sets thinking about how the final set will feel.
I miss that, I won’t lie.
It was hard to stop “competing”. It was hard to stop playing rugby. It was hard to stop pushing my limits.
Then I remember why I did and as important as that reason is, is as depressing as that reason is.
Longevity and mortality.
I think the recent rash of my writer’s block has stemmed from me suppressing my primal side in the gym. When you train for strength you are embracing an edge in a way. You are pushing your envelope. It is a fucking rush.
Even if you aren’t the strongest of the strong, you are getting STRONGER. That is a goddamn rush.
The danger of a heavy barbell over your face, the feeling of a weight crushing your back while you descend in the hole, the strain of a heavy deadlift.
For those that understand this feeling, it is incredibly hard to imagine a gym experience without it.
But that primal feeling is gone for me and some days I am not sure how to manage it.
I still lift. I still eat decently. I take care of myself. I do it because I make a choice to, but I admit there are days when I force myself to lift rather than walk into the gym ready to slay the dragon that stands before my view.
I think what it comes down to is my mental state.
I spent a lot of my life angry and discontent. I spent it high strung and on the edge. I worked as a bouncer, played Superleague Rugby, competed in Strongman, and took pride in being this gentle savage.
In the past few years I have done a lot to release the anger from my body.
A lot of my edge in the gym was a manifestation of my internal feelings into physical feats.
When I squatted my only 600 pound squat of my life, I was in the middle of a personal crisis and trained like I was a man on fire for months.
When I was at my biggest and most muscular, I was in the middle of a break-up and the gym was my refuge.
I am in a relationship that is amazing, I love my career, and I look around me and feel blessed.
But that edge is gone in a way and I am trying to find its bite again, but healthier.
So I push on daily, with discipline, with dedication, making small changes, and doing what I need to do.
I miss that insane fire but I don’t miss the side effects of it. How can I have the best of both worlds when my entire athletic career has been fueled by extremes?
That dragon is breathing over my shoulder and haunts me.
I need to kill that dragon and I don’t know how.
Maybe this resonates with you, maybe it doesn’t…. but these are my thoughts as of today.-----
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