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‘that cometh after me, whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’ (Matthew 3:12)
Let me first say I’m not religious in the least but sometimes we relate to fiery verses from different books. A lot of people walk into different gyms, for many it’s simply an excess they indulge in periodically. They revel in the novelty, those first days they show unparallel dedication, their eyes fixed on unachievable goals; usually this day happens to be January first. You see them when your lonely squat rack is now filled with a group of eager bicep-aficionados who are using the safety bars to support 56.5lbs after they had finished catabolizing their biceps. The dumbbell rack now stands busier than a Costco’s checkout in a recession, not because everyone is rushing to utilize the equipment but rather as it is the spot where the light casts down the most vascularizing of shadows and the 125lb dumbbells offers a fearsome foreground.
Two weeks in, the winds start blowing, and the chaff starts to whisk away leaving behind an aggregate of individuals who cannot leave, ones who are anchored by the same weights that they move. They pound away day after day, always throwing the weight against gravity only for it fall back again. They cannot leave because this place of training has filled a hole; it defines them, without it they find themselves incomplete. These aren’t your pilgrims who visit this temple yearly, or monthly nor they are your weekend warriors, these are the ones who need to train, who need to put on more and more weight, those are the ones who get hurt doing something and then jump back in over and over, and over.
Disciplines that we do not practice seem immensely complex on the outside; we look at those individuals who practice something we do not know as a step lower than magicians. They perform voodoo on a daily basis, diagnosing out of thin air, fixing what seemed to be impossible, making you lose weight when you tried so hard. Once you enter their sphere and begin to see you realize that it’s not so mysterious after all, in fact, often times it’s quite simple: the majority of people never come to this step. Even right now you have a fitness culture where ‘spot reduction’ is the norm, low fat diets are the solution, and weight training is an exotic macho ritual that turns ordinary people into Ronnie Colemans. What I want to introduce is a shift towards things that fundamentally work, the only thing I care about is the end result, and the road that leads there is the right one.
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