1

There is a major difference in saying “I know that.” and knowing from doing.

“I know that.” at a minimum takes exposure to accurate information and the ability to assimilate the information without allowing your internal bias to dilute, deform or otherwise mutate the information you are taking in. Not as easy as it sounds, however it is not out of the realm of possibility if you are interested, focused and cogniscent of the possibility that you might have bias or mental filters that impact how you see information.

Knowing from doing, taking the information and molding it like a toddler molds PlayDough involves touching, feeling and actually doing something to learn from the experience.

Waving the Load during the practice – I understood waving between practices, I (thought) I understood waving the load on the same exercise during practice…emphasis on “I thought”.  As my Dad used to say to me “You are not paid to think, you are paid to know.”

TGU – wouldn’t it make me stronger just to do all my sets with one weights and have more kilograms per practice ?

Well I know I don’t know it all, the Specialized Variety Get-Up Practices have become boring….which actually is when you have done them enough to start getting a response….Ah-Ha….so I decided to stop being bored and weak.  Instead I would take one small step for mankind and go a little further into the Russian side of things by waving my weights on the same exercise during the same practice. Regardless of if I liked it, didn’t like it, understood it, didn’t understand it…I wasn’t going to think just do it and find out.

Fast Forward two weeks of – 24kg, 48kg, 16kg, 32kg, 40kg or up, down, up or some variation of the up-down or down-up variation to learn something while being bored but still doing the move and to help some nicks to the body benefit from something less than a magnum force load on every rep.

What I learned on my summer vacation was 1 feel.

The 16kg with more tension was heavier than it used to be – the 48kg felt lighter than it used to feel…interesting.

So I did some more to see what would happen, anytime the Beast feels an ounce lighter that is good so why not stumble around, step on a few more landmines and see which ones detonate ;)

1 = the more I wave the more the weight feels the same regards of the number on the bell, the mean or average feel of the weight on my body is moving more towards them all feeling the same in the TGU.  It isn’t toothpick light and it isn’t bone crushing heavy, it feel more like moderate to slightly heavy.  This somehow links to the phrase “make your light weights feel heavy and your heavy weights feel light.”  I don’t fully understand it yet, but the month of TGU fest is not over.

I am not going to understand beyond the fact that I can make the 16/24/32kg feel way heavier and the 48kg feels a little lighter.  I have bells on the outer edge of my tgu area of different sizes and I needed to look at the weight to make sure I had a 48kg not a 40kg.  That is not saying that the 48kg is so light to me that I am juggling it, only that it feels a little bit lighter in the TGU.  The big “my reps went up and my time went down” moment has not occurred but this does tell me something is cooking in the kitchen.

You cannot harvest a crop you don’t plant first. So I am putting the blinders on, doing the moves and reminding myself that I am still in planting mode, not harvest. Grind now, shine later as Head Coach John “Inhuman” Shuman at Fork Union Military Academy loves to say.  He was my line coach as a post graduate and has been a very successful Head Coach for years with a reputation for churning out players who are very fundamentally sound…..because he makes them practice the fundamentals over and over.  So as linemen, every day we would jog over to a place that had 3 foot high post with logs across the top. Just enough room to get down in a 3 or 4 point stance.  This entire grid was about 10 feet wide by 10 feet long.  Two guys would get in the chute which was enclosed on the top with logs every 2 feet or so, line up about 3 feet apart, Coach Shuman would blow the whistle and we would collide headfirst with nowhere to go except straight through the other person.  We did this every practice, everyday for a good 45 minutes of head on collisions all season long. Everyday.

It seemed mindless, I mean “What was the sled for…we never used it.”.  He told us “You are going to learn how to fire out, hit on the rise and roll your hips without standing up.”  I have to give him credit, we were ranked #1 in the nation and our only loss was to the Penn State JV team which we had 14-0 at halftime. Coach Joe Paterno was watching, got red faced and suited up part of the Varsity team.  The guy in front of me changed from 250 pounds to 275 with arms the size of my legs. I was benching 385+ and could not move the guy.  I was strong (playing with a torn meniscus) and he was on another planet.

We lost the game 21-14.

When I thought about that experience I said “Well if you went to the logs every day for 3 months, in the grand scheme of things who cares how long it takes you to get this, just keep going until you get it.”

1 is singular indicating a very narrow focus, there is only one and there is no other. You cannot get more narrow than 1.

So the further I go towards Sinister, if you don’t know what that means….read the book, I did.  The more I jettison over the side as not needed and the more I narrow the focus.  Simple as in “easy enough to understand that Russ can do it” lol.

Russ can do it if Russ disciplines himself better.  I am starting to feel my body getting stronger and stronger, but the weight has not moved….yet.  For the harvest I am seeking the reality is there is more digging to do.

Somebody please send me a new shovel, this one is worn out and the ditch is not dug.

My mom reminded me the other day to remember – A) “You had your meniscus taken out and that didn’t stop you.”  B) “You blew apart your ankle, you got those screws put in and they told you that you would be “crippled” and you rehabbed it for 2 years…that didn’t stop you. C) “You had that bone spur ground out of your shoulder, you rehabbed that for 2 years and that didn’t stop you.”…IF you set your entire mind to “it” you find a way to come out the other side.  You always do.

I believe, I truly do and I also know because I am the guy on the ground hacking through the jungle with a machete that I know how much more hacking there is to go. Quite a bit.

As one of my old mentors told me once, “Russell I know you feel like you are buried waist deep in sand, but that resistance you are feeling indicates you are still alive and attempting to free yourself…..it means you are still very much in the game, so keep struggling it will give you some awesome scar tissue that will protect you later.”

I do feel good enough where I feel ready to bump the volume up just a tad, but I am not in clock watching mode. Just working movement and the movement gets better, that will be the prime mover in going faster.  In the meantime the strength is building and I am not stopping at every turn to test, test, test..I am going to just keep moving.