Last night I stepped into my weight room with all the fire of a teenage boy. I approached my workout with wide eyes and wonder. Energy was high and possibilities were endless. The consistency of both my eating and training over the past few weeks helped me to see edges and curves in my frame that have been hiding recently due to the stresses and time constraints of higher priorities.
Rather than stick to my usual workout soundtrack of books on religion and philosophy while I trained, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass filled the room. It was a measured, but serious 60-minute session of gravity management – a golden moment at the end of a challenging week. I was completely dialed in to the moment.
Throughout the workout though, as always, the cynicism of an old man was trying to douse that fire. It was another epic battle between the me I once was, the me that I am, and the me I wish to be. The me I wish to be, by the way, has always been the me I once was, only better. Funny how that works.
Cynicism is like witchcraft in the wind. It finds its way through the smallest of cracks. Youthful ambitions be dammed, they are as porous as a picket fence. In-between sets and exercises, I chuckled at the ridiculousness of it all – of the very act of lifting weights, and condemned myself repeatedly for my childish play.
How foolish this all is, I thought. One hour at a time, 6 days per week and over a 43-year period in the gym, I could have earned a dozen college degrees with that time. I could have done amazing work on behalf of the poor. I could have volunteered in my community. I could have. I could have. I could have. Always bubbling under the surface when I am working out, are those thoughts of what else I could be doing with that time and energy.
I reflected though, if only for a moment. I do volunteer in my community, though I could do more. I do give to the poor, though I could give more. And through all the hundreds of books I have listened to during my workouts through the years, I have cultivated and customized an intelligence that no college program could have offered me.
In that moment – at least for that moment, I got good with my passion for iron, though I know I will question it again before day’s end.
Last night I stepped into my weight room with all the fire of a teenage boy. I walked out with all the fire of a teenage man. And perhaps that is another evolutionary step in becoming the me I once was once again, but only better this time… Jhciacb
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