Thread: Are u Lifting or Playing?
10-13-2001, 11:53 PM #1CYCLEON Guest
Are u Lifting or Playing?
by Chuck "Mr. Intensity" Raymond
I just paid a visit to "Maximum" Bob's page and read a few articles posted there. One in particular that got me fired up was about guys who just lift. It really made me think, in the grand scheme of this game, where do I fit in? I am by no means a monster in size, Larger than some, smaller than others. What is this elite club called "Lifters" and why are they different than everyone else who goes to the gym and tosses the iron around? I want to take a break from being silly and really look at this from where it really counts, the Heart. If it ain't in your Heart, then you're surely doomed to fail. Or as Maximum Bob put it, Doomed to lurk behind a computer and argue scientific mumbo jumbo never to gain an ounce from your lifting efforts.
All kidding aside, I love the iron, I can feel the life force in the plates and the bars. When I'm out of the gym and I have to work around the yard, I can feel the life force of objects around me. In an odd sort of way, when I have to lift objects, I can feel the competitive spirit of the object. "What's Mr. I been smokin'?" I'm clean, how many of you reading this have ever went to lift something and either dropped it or have almost dropped it? Ever "feel" as if the thing jumped out of your hands?, Like it has a mind of its own? "Surely not", you think in the back of your mind, it's an inanimate object. I don't think so, there is some form of energy inside of everything, we call ours a soul, spirit, or life force. I call it "the fire" inside the iron.
Just like you can't walk up to a strange animal and pet it without getting bit, or the animal running away, the same thing goes for lifting. Well, obviously the weights aren't going to bolt for the entrance of the gym, nor is the dumbbell rack going to bite a plug out of you when you approach them. You do have to have the same kind of respect for the iron as you do for a wild animal. Approach the iron with the wrong attitude and in a real sense, the iron will bite you. The bite will come in many forms, sprains, bruises, pulls, tears, over-training, and in severe cases, even death. I'm not aware of anyone dying from a weight training accident personally, but I've heard plenty of horror stories about missed lifts that resulted in an injury that lead to death. When I trained at home as a teenager, I once missed the rack on my bench and the whole bar loaded with the weight came crashing back down on my chest. I couldn't breathe, thought I busted all my ribs and turned lovely shades of red from trying to breathe. I got real lucky, things could have been much worse, I was at home alone, in the basement, radio blasting. Luckily all I came away with was some bruised ribs.
It's an absolute must, you must respect the iron or it WILL make you pay. Just like a carpenter respects his tools, a lifter respects the iron. Ever watch a master craftsman build something? It almost seems if the tools are a natural extension of his body. No offense ladies, I know there are lots of excellent lady carpenters and such. The saw, hammer, ruler, all seem to radiate in harmony with the craftsman. When you watch a true lifter, the weight seems to sit naturally across their shoulders, appear lightweight in their grasp, or move fluidly through a range of motion. No herky-jerky stop and go movements, no unbalanced bars with plates crashing to the floor. No unnecessary screaming, usually these gentle giants come and go without leaving much of a wake behind them. The true lifter isn't out to impress the crowd with how much he can lift, the amount of weight used is just a means to an end. To a degree I think I fall into this category, I have learned to respect the iron, it has beaten me many times. I've learned to pick myself up, dust off my clothes and step back into the fire with it again and again. Some lifters are born, some are made, then there's my type, the ones forged in the fire, tempered by being hammered over and over in the heat of the iron war.
What's that you ask? Iron war? The iron war is a phrase I came up with after getting' hurt so many times by the iron. I've had my fingers smashed between a pair of 45 pound plates, made the ends of my fingers bust open like grapes. I've had my hand smashed in the stack of machines, dropped dumbbells on my legs and feet. Whoa!, sounds like I'd better find a new activity right? Not a chance, you see all this happened when I was younger, when I "Knew" everything and no one was smarter than me. What I didn't realize, couldn't see at the time, I was being forged in the white hot fire of the iron war. The iron was shaping me into a lifter, it taught me to have respect for it. In many ways, I feel it even guided me down the path to discover HIT. If you'll bear with me, I'll explain it a little better. Remember the Karate Kid? The old fella had the kid doing what appeared to be meaningless housework, yet when the time came, the old fella revealed to the kid that he had been learning all along.
This is the same thing that the iron has done to me. I've always loved lifting, every time I visit some ones' house and I see an old forgotten barbell or weight bench piled with laundry, I have to lift it. I absolutely cannot walk out of that house or garage without attempting to lift it. In the Sporting Goods store, if there's a rack of dumbbells on display, I have to get in a few reps. In a junk yard, old axles laying around? I have to Deadlift a few of them. It really is like a fever that gets in your blood. Once it's in the blood, there's no getting rid of it. I have dreams about lifting in my sleep, sometimes I wake up "feeling" my dream workout. My arms or legs seemed to have pumped themselves up, they feel heavy and worked, sometimes my heart is even beating fast, like I really did do a set in my sleep. Like a fever, it causes you to have dreams and wakes you out of a deep sleep where your eyes spring open, sweat dripping off your nose, and your left lying in a pool of your own sweat, the blood pounding through your veins. I've had dreams like this so real, as I was coming out of the dream and beginning to wake up, I've thought, "Oh SHIT!, I passed out in the Squat rack and now I'm waking up." Only to sit up in a dark bedroom.
Okay you say, that's all well and good. What is the deal with the title, "Lifting or Playing"? Just what it says, starting out, I wanted to give everyone a sense of what it's like to have "lifting" in your blood. I think it's a semi-religious experience once you're baptized by "the fire". I tend to believe that each lifter has his own unique baptism, no two lifters are alike. Some never make it through the ritual, a lot become disheartened and quit. Some never quite grasp the true meaning of lifting, so they never move on to the next level. I think everyone has the potential to be a lifter, only a few actually hear the calling and set out down the path to become one. Those that never make it to being a true lifter become a player in the iron game. Just like Football or any other sport, you have your stars, then you have your players. In the iron game, you have lifters and then you have players. The players are easy to spot. They generally tend to hang in groups, wear the latest fitness fashions and lug a bag full of straps and belts along with them. They will tie up equipment while they mindlessly gab with their crew. You can spot them flexing in the mirror just in front of the spandex bunnies. They surround themselves with the technical terms used for lifts. Pills and powders, some supplements that aren't exactly over the counter, spill forth from their gym bags. Not to say that these guys don't put in their time, and sweat. Just like all players on a team, everyone works, only a few go above and beyond.
I don't exactly fit the lifter profile Maximum Bob speaks of, I've yet to heft some of the poundage that some of the real BIG men have lifted. I've put in my time, I've put in the blood, sweat and tears that go along with it. Sometimes I wonder if the blood in my veins will turn a rusty, worn color that a well used Olympic bar does. Those of us who are as comfortable lifting in an old out building, garage, basement, under a tree, hell, any place that presents an opportunity to heft a weight, whether it's a barbell or a boulder, I salute you all. Lemme tell ya, there's no better feeling than wrappin' your hands around a heavy ass weight and crankin' out some reps. God I love this game.
10-14-2001, 12:10 AM #2
10-14-2001, 12:30 AM #3
I think everyone has the potential to be a lifter, only a few actually hear the calling and set out down the path to become one
Wow excellent Cycleon! I love the above quote! I think you are right so many people have great genetics and dont feel the urge to train and others who have average body composition decide they want to change that! I was reading Arnolds autobiography and he said he didnt have fantastic genetics but felt he HAD to be a bodybuilder! I have never as yet felt anyone other than Arnold & maybe Dorian Yates really felt they had to be the best of the best and would go through anything just to become one they had that 'eye of the tiger' I know all Pro BB feel they have to be good but i dont feel that anyone other than these two went all out to get it!
Everyone BB for different reasons but what ever your reason is i truley believe if you make that first step with at least an ounce of determination you will never look back!
I relate so much to what you have written even as a female and as PaPaPump said INSPIRATIONAL!
10-14-2001, 12:46 AM #4
nice post! the drive has to come from inside, and the love must exist in your heart. like the craftsman in the story, his work is his love. we carry the same torch
10-14-2001, 12:47 AM #5
cyc- you and big al should put together a philosphy book.
10-14-2001, 01:50 AM #6
that was awesome
man i feel so much better now . i ve been almost embarassed lately doin the majority of lifting in my basement . or playing around in the gym , envying the guy who wraps his knees and wrists and elbows then squeals like a schoolgirl with a skinned knee on every rep . or even the guy in spandex because unlike me at least you can some definition on him . i forgot its not between me and them . its between me and the weight . its about improving , little by little if need be . i cant believe how close i came to just saying fuck it last year . thinking i'd seen the last of my gains . maybe the mental gains are as important as the physical ones , the ability to endure and improve despite the obstacles . the absolute refusal to give up . so next time you see me in the gym i WILL be wearing my dirty shirt and sweats and i WILL get that extra rep .
Last edited by john47; 10-14-2001 at 01:52 AM.
10-14-2001, 04:19 AM #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- Back from Hell
Great post it makes me wanna get in the gym right now.....
10-14-2001, 07:14 AM #8
this is truly awesome, good post cycleon.
10-14-2001, 10:52 AM #9
Okay cycle has been hangin around Billy Boy too much. That was freakin powerful man.. dummm not only do we have a bunch of testosterone junkies here we have some philophers.. wow.. what a mix? No all kiddin asside Cycle, man I understand completely where you come from and yes, if you believe in the true life force of everything then everything has a place for it in the universe, "be one with the weights my son"! Heee haaa..
10-14-2001, 10:58 AM #10CYCLEON Guest
john47 - well said!!
11-12-2001, 01:16 AM #11
This is amazing.
Cant find anything to add other then i would like to be part of it.
11-12-2001, 01:55 AM #12
great post bro. this is one of the most important things in my life. i get sick or something , not bad sick either, i wont even walk to the mail box. but i could have a 106 degree fever and still would attempt to go and work out. love it with all i have in me.
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