The Gift

Last night I went with my wife to the gym–she was taking a class and my kids were hanging out with my mom so it was nice to get out of the house for a bit after being cooped up most of the day.

I love being able to just head into the gym sometimes, to walk around, to sit on the couch, to chat with folks…it’s a nice change from the duty-based approach we usually take walking in there as coaches.

And last night was no exception.  Our new 10th anniversary t-shirts had just arrived, as well as some sweet new coaches’ gear, so it was cool to see people get excited about those things.  The workout was fun, concluding with some partner conditioning that people enjoyed. And I saw a few folks I hadn’t seen in a while.

But the best part was connecting with one of our long-time members whose teenage son now comes to class with him during sport offseasons.  He told me how his son had deadlifted a personal best after some initial hesitation, and seeing the glow in dad’s eyes as he told me about this–how his son pushed through a sticking point and finished the lift especially–was just awesome.

To me, that is one of the true gifts of barbell training.  Take the deadlift: there is an object on the ground, loaded precisely.  (We have one pound plates when we want to get REAL exact.)  It sits there, and you are strong and diligent enough to pick it up, and once you do, there is an object, there is a number, that you have taken ownership of.  And tomorrow, that may be two pounds heavier, or you may pick the same weight up multiple times instead of once.

And through this all, we have a powerful distillation of a very simple concept: you, Y-O-U, can do things.  You can pick things up.  You can put them down.  (Had to go there.)  You can change your circumstances.  You can continue to author your own story.

Time and time again we have seen the barbell help folks find their strength: physically, mentally, spiritually.  There is something almost magical about that seven-foot piece of iron–it is persistent and malleable, stone and ocean.  You teach it, and it teaches you.  You move it, it moves you, and you move through your days.

Because what you pick up and move, you get to take with you.

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