Positivity is a trick, albeit a useful one, but it is just that. It’s a way of convincing oneself that everything happens for a reason or that hard work will pay off in the long run; it’s a way to feel good about your investment, even if what you tell yourself is far from the truth. But maybe, more often than not, it isn't and then you need to find new tricks because positive quotes from dead famous people or a new inspirational screen saver cease to tell the world that your head is held high and that you are still fighting the good fight. At some point you might get tired of lying to yourself and others, you might need a new trick?
Negativity can be an equally powerful statement in the right context. The common person will warn you about this, letting us believe that any negative self-talk leads to a negative self-perception. So we’re taught to lie to ourselves about our lack of preparation, unwillingness to endure or overall lack of desire to give an effort, rather than be honest with ourselves and work through the scenarios that allow us to improve. You should be placing yourself in situations that are uncomfortable, efforts that make you scared and create doubt about your abilities because without that we have no reason to adapt, to grow, to become greater than. How do we learn to handle our emotions if we always toss out the bad ones and replace them with a facade of positivity and fake smiles? The part we fail to recognize most times is that there is no such notion as a good thing or a bad thing, things just happen. These "things" are known as experiences and these experiences will provoke emotions and thought in one way or another that we classify after the fact as good or bad based on "how we feel", but they are neither, they just are.
A sixty-minute experience was the challenge this past Friday night—what Crossfit would call a "couplet" although this was a little bit longer than the average eleven-minute "CrossFit WOD”. As we readied the machines, laced up our shoes, and started to realize the effort we were about to undertake, a strange doubt lingered in the air, you could feel it. We all knew it would suck for one reason or another, some weren't prepared, some were, and a few in between, but regardless of fitness levels or experience we all had one goal... to finish. There was no bitching or complaining, at least openly, as I'm sure my name was cursed a few dozen times for recommending what the effort should be, but no one was positive about what needed to be done, they just dealt with it and faced it honestly.
The silence that captivated everyone beforehand broke instantly when the timer stopped, as people expressed their disdain for that particular piece. Some were able to admit their “greed” in going out too hard, others admitted their reluctance to push hard because of the fear they had of giving up or not being able to finish; but mostly people were honest about their negative emotions, about their inabilities and what they could improve upon. We suffered together, we grew together, we were honest with each other even when it was negative; everyone learned something about themselves and those around them, and at the end of the day that’s all you can ask for.
lunge + kick
some other shit
Third world squat + plus stuff
40cal (machine of choice)
It’s about the time that my legs start to feel a familiar tickle of involuntary muscle cramps that I am able to really process what doing a “long” effort is useful for.
All the variables in a physical push are like stylings to a piece of art. The strong head wind, the dust that you inhale that clings to the inside of your lungs, even the rumblings of my stomach that remind me not to eat too much or too fast are the exact things that I need to differentiate this experience from another, what separates me from NOT me.
We usually only appreciate an experience after it’s complete because we can refer to “it” as a thing—both the effort and the art—but they are not a tangible, lucid object, they are representative of a process; a constantly changing, morphing entity that becomes “us”. Effort is about change. This might be hard to swallow, but what are you if you aren’t a collection of your memories and experiences? And if your experiences don’t change you, then what is the point? Start peeling back the neurons that make up our experience, one at a time and eventually the “you” that you consider yourself will cease to be, and it will cease to be even before what you describe as you dies.
Is there a difference in NOT recognizing reality by our experience of it and this organism’s death?
This is the utility of effort, this thought of existence and non-existence. Not knowing what is the actual ME that I am so adamant about prolonging and what is the atomic composition of what I consider a person, because only one of these will have the motive to not die.
It only becomes important because I am “out there”, away from a place to relax. The discomfort is key because the ideas are just as uncomfortable. In fact, I can be so uncomfortable in my body that I’m unable to stand on the pedals, I can neither increase the speed for fear of muscle failure nor slow down for fear of falling over, so instead I search for any escape possible, so I leap into the deep psyche of being and not being.
Pain frees the mind. Suffering emboldens the spirit. Comfort breeds complacency. Pleasure enslaves us to a single desire, a desire that has no outcome, no introspection, and no reason to change because the process of pleasure is to capture and hold, it is to be in want of more, to consume until you are consumed by.
And isn’t that life in a nutshell?
Rebecca’s Private Idaho (the French Fry)