I have written down nearly every workout I’ve taken for 43 years. Every weight lifted, every repetition performed, and every set completed has been documented in handheld spiral notebooks since I was a kid.
A pen to spiral binder is a crude form of data collection, but it’s information nonetheless. Information to be studied. Information to be drawn from. Information to be used to make future decisions in pursuit of ongoing improvement.
After all these years though, I know how much I should be squatting with on a given night, or how much weight I should load on the bar for some skull-crushers. The putting the pen to paper at this point, is about more than gathering information. Above all things, it is about ritual, and for me, it is a sacred ritual at that.
This documenting of my actions with these crude tools, helps connect me to what I’m doing — to my purpose in the gym. It’s a necessary part of the workout, and a necessary part of my spirituality. In one sense, I’m writing down my actions and storing information for later use. In another sense though, I’m taking inventory of my beliefs.
By etching these letters and numbers which have accounted for so much of my life, I am in a sense, taking sacrament at the altar. It is this dogmatic process which transcends the workout itself, taking it to a much more spiritual level. That means much more to me than the gathering of information to be used later.
Another part of that ritual, is to close one spiral binder after several months, and begin another, which I did last night. Another mile-marker along the never ending road that I’ve been on since I was 13-years old, and I will follow so long as I am alive.
I don’t know where this road is taking me, and I don’t know when it will end, but I have enjoyed, and I have found great meaning in documenting the journey…. Jhciacb
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