Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Per Aspera Ad Astra

No one tells you about hands.

I suppose it may be mentioned in passing, and it should probably seem obvious that in a sport that requires regularly lifting a roughened steel bar that weighs several hundred pounds, your hands will take a beating. But no one tells an aspiring weightlifter "By the way, there are going to be days when you think your palms are going to rip off like a worn out Band-Aid."

No one talks about how, some days, getting out of bed or into your car will seem like a chore, or about the frustration of missing the same weight, which might be 20kg under your PR, over and over and over again.

You're never going to hear about the days you need to spend 45 minutes warming up just so that your shoulders don't hurt like hell at the bottom of the snatch. You won't hear about being too tired to sleep, or being hungry no matter how much you eat, or how sometimes you don't want to eat at all.

No one will say "the ice doesn't help that much," or "you can only take so much ibuprofen," or "if you want to be good at this, you're going to have to beat yourself into the ground for weeks, months, years on end, and sometimes, when every voice in your body and your brain is telling you 'no, no, no!' you're going to have to listen to the stupid little voice in your stupid stubborn heart saying "YES, GOD DAMMIT, PICK IT UP AGAIN.' "

In short, no one is going to tell you "this is going to fucking hurt."

But you'll find out. I am in the process of doing so. It fucking hurts. In a new and different way than anything I've experienced before.

And it's important in a way nothing I've done before has been. Because I can tell that it's going to work. I can feel myself getting better, even as I seem to get worse. I ache from head to toe, and though some of my lifts aren't at PR level right now, they're still getting better. That's important, because there's a lesson in it.

The days when you want to quit, when your hands feel like they're going to fall off, when your knees and your shoulders ache, when the bar just feels too damn heavy from your first warm-up, when you're out of ibuprofen and the ice isn't cold anymore...those days, when you decide to listen to the stupid little voice in your stupid stubborn heart, and pick the bar up one more time, those days are opportunities to decide your fate. Anyone can do it on an easy day. Only those who do it when it hurts can become champions. And I'm not just talking about weightlifting. Every great runner's road has, at some point, felt too long, every writer's ink seems to have run dry, every singer's voice grown hoarse. And yet the Badwater is run every year, and great works of literature are written, and beautiful songs are sung, and heavy bars are lifted. Of course it's not easy. To hell with easy. Easy never got anyone anything other than mediocrity and maybe comfort. But comfort is complacency and I'm not interested in that. I'll take the pain and the exhaustion and the challenge. I'll get up tomorrow and ache and want anything other than to lift that bar again, and I will lift that bar again, and again, and again, and again, until the weights I lift today are warm-ups, and I've got my own fucking Wikipedia entry.

Nothing can stop me.

Per Aspera Ad Astra

Cleans - 285 for a 20# PR. 245x2x2
DB press - 80# DBs x3x3
Pullups/Chins: 12, 10, 10, 10 alternating grip each set

Snatch - 15x1 on :90, up to 175. Missed one rep with 145 and one with 175. No squats, knees hurt pretty bad after the cleans yesterday.


Dale Saran said...

I told you you should be able to clean that abut a week ago. It's about time you started listening to me. Nice post, by the way.

Tsypkin said...

Dammit Dale I hate when you're right.