Monday, August 25, 2008

There is no mercy in this dojo...

I had an interesting conversation with a client today that seemed to revolve around him pointing at himself and saying "Normal person." then pointing at me and saying "Psycho."
I've been working with him for about two years now, so it's good natured, but at the same time true on some level. He was pointing out that my motivational skills are lacking. Such as when he asks what his motivation is for competing at the TSC and I declare "To crush the bones of your opponents to dust."
Initially the point was that people may not find swinging a kettlebell to be fun, and perhaps it could somehow be tweaked to make it more enjoyable.
Now, I should point out that he isn't the problem, he gets it. He is a lifelong athlete and doesn't have a problem with the idea of snatching a kettlebell for ten minutes straight, but he is always looking out for my business interests. My contention is that one of the primary reasons our culture is going down the tubes is that somewhere along the line we all decided that everything had to be fun.
No, sometimes it's just work. Everything doesn't have to be fun. You do not have to enjoy everything that you do. Sorry. Suck it up and carry on. We seem to be fleeing with an ever quickening pace from the idea of hard work, particularly hard physical labor.
This week I have two clients (well I have more than two, but not relevant to this) at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet very alike. Physically they are very similar. One is just beginning and is working through get ups with the 6 kg. and 8 kg. kettlebells. This is a perfectly reasonable (and safe) weight to start with. The other completed a solid set of six get ups alternating hand to hand with the 16 kg. and uses 40 sets of max vo2 snatches with the 12 kg. as her independent training. She has come a long way from the days of shaky get ups with the 8 kg. I see the road laid out before the beginner, and the only thing required of her is to put one foot in front of the other. So long as they are physically sound I normally tell my female clients that someday they'll be doing their get ups with the 20 kg. I get looks that mirror the "Normal/psycho" conversation, but it's true. All that is required is that the pieces of the puzzle fit, and that you start putting one foot in front of the other.


  1. TSC is about challenging yourself. It's not about crushing bones, so yeah, you are kind of psycho.

    If I do OK, and you do great, we're both better for the effort, even though you kicked my ass.

    I do agree with pushing the envelope and facing personal challenges. 100 snatches in a row with a 12kg might be just as challenging for one person as 24kg is for another. Either way, there's always another rung up.

  2. The only real opponent usually lies within.

  3. obession( or psycho) is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated.

  4. "Dedicated" is a scale; maybe 20% to 90% of daily energy focus. "Psycho" is a whole other category. One day, you're stuffing dead birds for a hobby; the next day, you're stabbing hotel patrons to death in the shower.

    Of course, focusing on improving yourself has nothing to do with being "psycho," just as hitting PRs has nothing to do with crushing the competition's hopes and dreams.

    You just train yourself to do the best you can, and some other fuck-head will still clean your clock. Live well, and don't be a dick.

  5. Many folks don't realize their true potential and really see exactly what they are capable of, but it is up to people like us to offer them a dream that's reality.

    Rif- I absolutely LOVE what you said: "obession( or psycho) is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated."

    That can't be more true!

    Good post Jordan.