“If I only could… make a deal with God, and get him to swap our places… be running up that hill….” – Placebo (Kate Bush Cover).
Recently I have been challenged with an experience, in life (outside of the barbell) that has caused me to be both exhilarated and terrified. We often encounter things that will make us uncomfortable. This is the beauty and curse of life. It is up to us to dictate how we approach those conflicts, or challenges, and deal with them.
Will you embrace the feeling of being uncomfortable, challenge it yourself and see where it takes you? Or will you shy away, because it takes you out of your skin?
I am a person that has known a great deal of strife in their life, as a result I have become very self aware and, thankfully, strong. This is a blessing and a curse though. Often times the strong ones bear the weight on their shoulders…. We know what the challenge means… which means we know what failure feels like, and thus hurt.
We also know what it means to not try. It takes bravery to try. Just like in a lift. The Jerk is, in my opinion, the second hardest lift behind the Snatch. It is also the only way to finish the Clean & Jerk. It is an intimidating lift. You are taking a load of weight, after having ripped it through the air on a Clean, and now have to get it over your head. The cost of failure is very real, apparent, and can be high. Only your ability to have accepted the challenges before this point have granted you the strength and confidence… the conviction… to make the Jerk happen. Sometimes, you just have to tell yourself to fucking drive….
There is that moment, when the lift occurs, where you start to pour yourself into it… that you’re just not sure how this is going to end up. At some point the weight will settle on you, or crash even, and only your training and experience to that point will dictate the result.
As in life, and the challenges that push us into a zone of uncertainty, we can only rely on what we have done before us and embrace the moment we have worked for. Hopefully the moment, and the lift, are meant to be. You stick the lift, you feel your arms lock over you, the weight settle on your core, your split is long and solid, with your hips facing forward due to accurate footwork. Your conditioning and strength has held and supported you….
But what if you don’t stick it? What if the weight comes crashing down and causes despair… or worse, pain and injury?
This isn’t different than a heartache. You see, working the barbell is a metaphor for how you choose to approach the cost of living. If the lift fails, it’s ok. You won’t stick every single lift… no one does. If you do, you simply aren’t challenging yourself enough… the weight isn’t heavy enough, there’s not enough of a cost for failure.
Throw yourself under it. Trust yourself. Drive with conviction and confidence… your body and the fates will handle the rest. Just have some faith. Trust yourself. The cost of having never tried the lift will be far more painful down the road than bombing it. At least from failing a lift you can diagnose what happened, and try again. There’s always a root to failure, just as there is always a reward for succeeding.