And through these strong hands I channel my own life’s energy. I can see that look of determined intent written across my eyebrows, pupils dilated with an immense shade of brown fire (if there were such a thing). I love pleasant reminders of being a weightlifter like my silver barbell faded into a zealous rust color where the hands are strategically placed from robust usage. Or the old-school globe dumbbell on the belly of my forearm in its own imperfect symmetry yet ideal shading. I love reminders that feel like slices of heaven. Or when heaven in my world resembles delayed onset muscle soreness.
I rewind to the time when my boyfriend performed the Razor’s Edge from the top of the couch when I was twelve years old – my entire back slammed onto the concrete of the floor in rapid fashion. Without a flinch, without a facial expression, my skin sizzles like the morning sun, and my muscles quickly take on a singe. But that’s just me rowing and pulling back with my elbows directing the strength show.
It’s just me and the bar – alone with my thoughts, alone with my focus, alone with my concentrated desire. I can feel the flames fan and spread like a forest wildfire through my traps, teres minor/major, rhomboids and lats. I row bent-over and row until my muscles become like deep hooks fasten to my bones. I row until these muscles remain unquestionably contracted and freeze. I row until my muscles yell, spit and claw at me with spasms. Until I have to beg them for mercy and limber them again.
Disregarding the tight knot that formed in my back and in my forearms it is time to pick up the dumbbells for a bicep curl marathon. I ride the mind-muscle connection. I stand with soldier posture. Shoulders are down and back and my abdominals are fully engaged. I curl and curl; my skin tightens like a face peel – twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four and twenty-five reps. I keep the world of burn centered in the bicep peak. I’m in pain. I can’t tell which it is: Does my mind or body want to give up?
I grind my teeth. I get angry. I’m extremely ugly when I lift. I’m never to sure what come(s) over me. I now proceed to hurt myself further by grinding my teeth into my mouth and grimace like I’m dropping sewage in the public restroom. I can feel my body wanting to break down since the fourth set at the beginning of the training session roughly 40 minutes ago. I’m now over the hump. I do my best to maintain good breathing technique during the seconds of concentric, isometric and eccentric.
Keep the body tight.
Keep the body tight.
Can you feel it baby?
I dirty-talk myself.
I’m far out. I’m probably having an out of body experience. I’m a watcher sitting on an engine fueling my iron addiction observing myself. I’m exhausted like a motherfucker, but I’m chasing the burn, the pump and the grind. I’m chasing the fat I’ve gain last year. I’m chasing my fickle motivation. I’m making my own inspiration once again.
Tonight I felt like myself.
Tonight I felt like a weightlifter.
Tonight I’m heavy in love with myself.
Tonight the pumps in my deltoids were fearsome.
Tonight my triceps bled over (still are),
And I didn’t even train them.
That, my friends, is a side effect of greatness.
Does my training inspire my writing or does my writing inspire my training?