Is there a root problem?
My frustration with the fitness world is largely based on a similarly distinct frustration I have with myself, somehow I keep thinking—even though I’ve suggested otherwise—that there is some type of arrival. My natural assumption is one of delusion, that just around this bend, after I understand this one concept or I am able to do this one thing, that somehow I’ll be better or that the answer will reveal something other than just the answer. It is unclear how I became this naive, but it is obvious that just “knowing better” can’t save you from yourself.
We need problems. Without them being imposed on us we will manifest them through personal drama, psychosomatic behavior, and even self-destruction. My first thought, like most others is to then just get to work, stay busy, stay focused, keep progressing so that the stale nature of irrelevance doesn’t catch me in my boredom. This works, but it works in a similar way that focusing on something benign can keep one from prematurely ejaculating, in the end our ineffable excitement diminishes all of us to fools.
Life is just one abstraction away from being a video game. We turn up, solve problems, of which some of us are better at than others, we get a few satisfactory feelings of accomplishment as we navigate into the novice level of anything, but only a few will notice that at the end nothing is different, we haven’t affected any change, the entire maze was a construction and we are no different than when we began.
This is fairly dark, which is on par for how we navigate anything, but the big difference is that I may have an answer if you are the type that is willing to hear it. The root problem is that there is no problem, that I could solve the puzzle but the answer would only be relevant to that puzzle, and when I start over with the next puzzle I’m only getting good at one thing: thinking that I’m progressing, thinking that there is an end.
The sooner I realize that there is no level of fitness that answers all problems, that there is no diet that will solve my ills, that the term: “higher consciousness” is never uttered by someone who has it, the sooner I might be free of the game, and therefore able to actually play it as opposed to being played by it.
The root problem is thinking that we can find a root problem, you cannot find the problem because you ARE the root problem, logically, it follows that you cannot find your self unless somehow you are able to lose it... but that’s another problem.
10 rounds for quality
40cal assault bike
Work to heavy 5x front squat
2x 5 @ something just under that.
18min AMRAP 2x 50/35
6x DB clean
9x DB shoulder to over head
12x DB front rack squats
Rest 2mim between
10 rounds +17 reps
This was a session from our friend Josh Cook, I looked at the loading and decided the lesser of the weights would be more appropriate for what I’m trying to do, which is first and foremost about trying to enjoy training. But the idea was that I wanted each round to be unbroken, I didn’t think I could do that with the 50s and that if I tried I would spend 15min starting at them as opposed to using them.
Dynamic BB work
Snatch @ 95/65
Box jump over 24/20
OHS @ 95/65
Burpee over bar
3 rounds NFT
GHD sit up
DB bench press
Strict chest to bar.
The Hours All Wound
It takes time—and time takes everything. It is the all-encompassing world-eater, and our relation to it must be aspirational because it is one of the few parts of the universe, that—much like humans—can consume itself.
I hate being late, which is a weird fear because I also hate its antithesis: planning. I know that things happen at their own rate and that my input is most often just dramatic flailing, the human version of a cat chasing a laser.
I knew that when we started the process of building an environment that it would take time, that I wouldn’t be able to force the vision. This last Wednesday and Friday I saw a glimpse of that vision fulfilled. It’s as if a small part of the universe was revealing itself, almost like for the first time in my life I was “on time”.
The right people will come in and they will add to what we see, and if we hold fast we will add to them. We are building. By my time line, we are standing at the top of a pit trying to imagine what the foundation can support, and who might be able to help us build a stronger and more resilient form.
But this environment isn’t about just having warm bodies present or about how many people that will feel our beacon burning hot. It’s about formidable ideas, concrete theory that solidifies and encompasses a feeling, structure that holds what we think is valuable, preserves it, for as long as time allows.
Vulnerant Omnes: Ultima Necat (the hours all wound, but the last one Kills)
10min easy spin
Shoulder mobility and band work
Squat therapy with a focus on knee stability
10-8-6-4-2 ball over shoulder (increase weight each set)
10m lunge between sets
10-8-6-4-2 burpee over box (increase height each set)
10m bear crawl between sets
Air bike cals
Toes to bar
3min max power clean at body weight
Air bike cals
Hand stand push ups
To go out and get what you are seeking is only one part of it. To go out and feel what someone else sought is another that raises the question: what am I doing out here?
One of my favorite aspects of effort is the ability to empathize with another’s experience. Hard, thoughtful work is a language that few are fluent in. But like any language the more One tries to articulate it, the more One is capable of understanding it.
I must have heard of the Schaffer climb countless times. The agony that is expressed—proceeding any personal story of scaling it—makes only a certain kind of person curious with pain-envy. I was enthralled by what it might even look like—the grandness of its description by those that endure it captivated me.
I looked at maps and topography to try to see if I could match something up with a previous effort on a bike in which to compare, but some things must be felt. The terrain and first hand accounts made my trip down to Moab this weekend a required yet impulsive one that I won’t soon forget.
I talked a friend into joining me, leaving out my fear and hesitation of the climb so that he wouldn’t help convince me not to do it. It took us two hours just to get to the bottom of the climb on what can only be described as a perfect day. I had a question of whether I was on the climb or not a dozen times through prolonged gravel ramps but those questions dissipated quickly as I rolled to the bottom of Schaffer and stared up at it.
The road snakes up the shear cliff taunting you like a black hole might before it swallows a galaxy whole. I was anxious to start, knowing that just finishing it would not give me any sense of domination, but my partner that I was hoping would enable me to have this experience was having his own at the moment. He failed to take care of himself for what we planned (or by what I left out in my description), which left him locked up and on the side of a red rock trail staring in a daze while I explained what we had to do.
I finally realized my anxiety was not about the pain I was predicting of the climb but in knowing that my friend would not be making it up this today, which meant I wouldn’t be either.
That same empathy that I wanted to share with those that have suffered up this climb now turned to empathy for my friend’s situation, I had been in his shoes not even 6-months ago when I stared down the barrel of frozen quads and the prospect of having to make it another 50 miles on my own. The laugh of helplessness at being unable to control your own body is a reminder that any of us can fall victim to our own neglegence, and no one can do anything to help you.
I took one last look at the climb and turned my effort into one of a different sort—relieving a friend who is suffering. We made a plan that we would head back but that I would charge ahead to get the car and drive it up the trail so that we might not get caught in the dark.
I rode as hard as I knew how, covering the distance that had taken us two hours in a mere 1 hour and 15. As I pulled up in the car next to my friend, his collapsed body and blank stare let me know I made the right choice—that this was in fact what I wanted to feel on this day.
Ride 3 hours 36min 3000ft of gain Conversational pace… kind of
The question for me is always: how far out can I get?
We fight only ourselves in getting to where we need to go. It’s hard to don the shoes and to pack the extra gels, to take away our excuses of retreat. A simple thing like dead earbuds that I forgot to recharge seems as valid as any excuse to “just go for an hour” or better yet stay in and get some work done.
The distance that I am capable and the distance I will let myself go are two metrics that seem to never marry. But I measure them like they are old friends. I know last week I made it 2 1/2 hours before I felt the twitching of a leg muscle, vocalizing my already profound desire to stop. So I use that as the measuring stick, I want more than that, I need more than that but I have to play a trick on myself in order to get it.
And when I get there, I won’t want it, I’ll suffer, I’ll make the next time harder, by focusing on how uncomfortable it is to be “out there”. I’ll hate being weak and slow, but most of all I’ll hate being a quitter, so I’ll keep pushing, keep tricking, convincing myself that I need this, that I want this.
The saddest part is that I have all the answers, what I needed was the problem.
Ride: 3 hours at conversational pace
Earlier in the week we did this:
66x of each
Deadlift @ 115
Box jump @ 24”
KB swing @ 53lbs
Knees to elbows
Thrusters @ 55lbs
wall balls @ 20lbs