Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Lessons from a Lump of Metal

Cameron Conaway, the warrior poet, has a post at his blog about the life lessons that can be had from the deadlift exercise. An excerpt is below. The full article may be read here

The deadlift and I first met during my senior year of high school. I’d been boxing for years and as my goal was to be a mixed martial arts fighter I knew I needed to learn the art of wrestling. So I joined the wrestling team. And was thrown to the wolves. Many kids on the team had been wrestling since they could put on shoes. The takedowns and transitions they’d drilled thousands of times I was now learning the hard way. They’d snap my head down and when I instinctively pulled my head up it threw me off balance and they’d shoot in, pick me up and slam me to the mat.

Ego bruised even more than my bony 135-pound body, I’d often spend the evenings researching workout routines that could help me make up for my total lack of technique. I figured if I knew one move, and had the physical strength to actually do it, maybe I could pick up a win or two. Time and again my research brought me to the deadlift. Many people call it the “King of Exercises,” and the more I worked with it the more I loved it. My legs, back and grip became strong and I actually did win a few matches during the year (maybe 3, tops), but it was thanks in part to this single exercise.

The deadlift is perhaps the most primal of all traditional barbell exercises: There’s a bar on the floor and you pick it up. It’s as simple and complicated as that. Here’s what it taught me:

(1) Don’t expect something that looks easy to actually be easy.

(2) The breath centers you, but it also protects you.

(3) Sometimes you need to be the change.

(4) Consistency is king.

(5) There’s more beyond the surface.

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