Monday Musings: Life Should be more like Weightlifting

Monday Musings: Life Should be more like Weightlifting

photo(6)Being a strong, motivated perfectionist can sometimes be a huge pain in the ass.But seriously. To some extent we are all this person. We’ve grown up with some degree of the American puritanical work ethic. The whole, pick yourself up by your bootstraps and stop your whining business. Great advice. Great work ethic. But is it the best and only way? Do we always need to do more? Do we always need to be in search of the next project, the next relationship, the next whatever…?For most of my life, the answer to that question has been: ummm, duh.If I’m not just a hint of stress at all times, I’m obviously not putting my best foot forward. I’m somehow letting myself down and not utilizing my full potential. It never really occurred to me that struggle and success aren’t mutually bound up into some great life equation.

To some degree, struggle is a cop-out for success. It makes us feel like we’re doing something. It makes effort intimately graspable and real. It’s like pulling a bar off of the ground for a snatch. If you yank that thing from the ground it becomes immediately apparent that that bar is heavy as shit. You have sought out weight, and by golly, you have found it.

If however, you approach that bar with a hearty amount of respect and patience - draw your belling in, engage your back, drive your knuckles to the ground and with that inexplicable grace only found in weightlifting, begin to lift it off the ground, only becoming lightning fast after that bar reaches your knees. Well, that is a different story. Have you still managed to get that bar overhear in one motion? Yes. But the experience was different. Instead of seeking out weight, you sought out weightlessness. Instead of resistance you found freedom. And instead of a crappy, inefficient although immensely effortful lift, you found power and a bad ass snatch.

I don’t know why this theory of least resistance makes so much sense to me when I have a barbell in my hands and then evaporates as soon as I consider work, or love, or life.

What the barbell does so beautifully is to articulate the balance between effort and strain.

Yes. Lifting something heavy and putting it over your head in one fluid motion requires an immense amount of effort, and focus, and practice, and patience. But it does not require work for works sake.

Life can and should be the same.

Our work. Our degree of success shouldn’t have to be gauged according to how hard it feels. We always have the ability to make life feel hard. Doesn’t mean that we’re getting anywhere. Instead it should be measured by the same sensation of that bar floating upwards.

It should feel like magic.

Well-calibrated magic. 
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