Yesterday I coached a friend and workout partner to a 315 pound deadlift – almost. I have said this to her, as I have said this to clients thousands of times:
“I will never put a weight in your hands, or at the ends of your legs, unless I am certain you can do it for at least one complete repetition.”
That turned out to be a distortion on my part yesterday. She and I joked and made small talk in her car as we headed to a nearby urgent care facility to seek treatment for her back. No broken vertebrae, just a muscular strain. I was asked to leave them room as the nurse shot up her back with a strong anti-inflammatory.
I bought her lunch after we left urgent care, and I then watched nervously as she ate. She was rigid and moved cautiously, with difficulty at times. I cried some, and said I’m sorry over and over again. I fought an increasing nausea as the day continued. I just couldn’t let go.
Humbly, she insisted this wasn’t my fault. We had discussed earlier that often times earning the biggest rewards can require taking the biggest risks. There was talk between us after lunch of her next attempt at 315. There was also talk between us of no future attempts of a single-rep-max, ever. I don’t even recall where we left off.
After my skydiving accident in 1993, I swore I would never deadlift again. These days I deadlift about every 10 days or so. Yesterday I watched my partner collapse to the ground after failing with 315 lbs. I joked with her and laughed until I realized she was hurt – then I was horrified. What purpose is there, I have been thinking ever since, in lifting such heavy weights…? Or running marathons…? Or driving cars in circles at 200 mph…?
There are blurry lines between what we want to do, what we can do, and what we should do. Identifying these lines is a challenge to be sure. Reconciling where we fit between those lines, or if we should fit between them at all, can be maddening. There are no clear answers. Still, we choose to do the things we choose to do because we love to do them. I guess that should be enough.
At the end of most days I still believe that sitting still is simulating death. At the end of the day yesterday, I had to wonder if sitting still doesn’t actually preserve life… rc
SEEN BELOW. CARRIE SANDOVAL SUCCESSFULLY PERFORMING A RAISED DEAD LIFT AT 275 LBS.