I first wrote this back in March for my Contemplative Fitness Facebook page. It’s been a heavy week of bombing here at Camp Pendleton, not far from my back door. I absolutely support these activities, though I always hope the exercises of war will only be played out when necessary, and hopefully not at all.
When I was young I read the following sentence by Bill Dobbins in an article published in Muscle Builder And Power magazine:
“Watching Frank Zane train, his concentration is so severe that one gets the impression a bomb could go off in the gym, and Zane would neither let go the bar, nor lose his concentration.”
As a 15 year old, that statement left an impression on me that would be both formative, and long-lasting in my approach to strength training.
I have always prided myself on my ability to maintain a high level of concentration during an exercise – even if bombs were to go off around me.
Funny, now they actually do.
I live not far from the back gate of The Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. The explosions I hear daily can be so concussive that my windows can rattle, the mirrors shake, and occasionally the pictures on my walls tilt to one side.
When this happens during a workout I never miss a beat. I don’t lose focus. I will continue until my set is complete. My concentration is so severe that people in China can feel my intensity.
Despite this, my mind does drift some when I hear, and feel the bombs.
As I hear the explosions in the distance, and feel my walls rattle, I can’t help but think about the Marines firing those weapons – of where they have been, what they have seen, and if they will use explosives again in a genuine scenario.
On the days when the bomb’s concussions are as severe as my own concentration, and make the walls shake, my mind drifts even further in-between sets.
Would a person wonder, while doing arm curls, is their mother ok…? Are their friends ok…? Will they be ok…?
I wonder how quickly someone living exact that scenario might let go the bar, duck, and cover, biceps be damned.
Yes, I can hear a bomb go off and my lat-pulldowns will continue until the very last rep is completed. In-between sets though, my mind does wander… rc
Please check back in 2 weeks to see what happens when I push the “stop” button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there is this from the North Mississippi All Stars. Enjoy…