Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Worst Part of the Race

(This is you. This is you punching fear in the face.)
I was talking with some classmates about long distance runs when one said, "the most difficult distance of that whole race is the six inches between your ears." Boy, that says it all doesnt it? That is also true for ANY race, competition, event, problem, project, endeavor, dream, lift and pose. So while you may consider yourself a weightlifter, a CrossFitter, a runner, a yogi, a dancer or what have you we are always wrestling with that six inches between our ears.

What is the number one reason I have found for attempted, but failed, lifts? Fear. Fear keeps us from dropping under the snatch. Doubt nags at us and makes your brain freeze mid-pull. How many times have you seen someone, or yourself, go for a clean only drop the bar from the top of the triple? That's just that six inches messing with you. Sometimes it's justified and rational but there are times that it's just fear. JUST fear.

A lift is just a lift. Trikonasana is just a yoga pose. But we LOAD these things with meaning. I can't begin to list all the times that I've thrown or wanted to throw the jump rope across the room because I was screwing up on double-unders, judging myself (wrongly) for it, getting emotional and allowing the Thing to become shameful judgement of Me. It's just not right! Here's a quote from Swami Karmanada Saraswati about approaching your practice with fairness and without fear. He's specifically discussing yoga, but oh how this applies to any of our crafts!

"Do not fight your body. Do not carry the world on your shoulders like Atlas. Drop that heavy load of unnecessary baggage and you will feel better. Do not kill the instinct of the body for the glory of the pose. Do not look at your body like a stranger, but adopt a friendly approach toward it. Watch it, listen to it, observe its needs, its requests, and even have fun." -Swami Karmanada Saraswati

Oh the things we could accomplish if we had no fear or doubt, if we could access our body and will's full potential! If we weren't carrying the weight of judgement on our shoulders maybe we wouldn't drop our shoulders on the dip-drive. Maybe that bar would feel lighter at the lockout if we weren't inhibited by imposed responsibilities. Maybe you could kick up into a handstand if you weren't afraid you'd crumble, literally and figuratively.

Remember that your craft, your practice, is yours. When you're in the moment BE. IN. THE. MOMENT. Because the six inches between your ears doesn't just give you fear and doubt. A tremendous source of power lies there waiting to be spoken to. The power though wants to feel loved, it needs to be inspired to come out. Power needs a muse.

Interact with power; be power's muse!


With fittest intentions,


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