Monday, October 27, 2014

Thoughts about life, crap, training, and stuff

The other day I had to make a trip into Whore Foods, aka, Whole Foods.  Why is it that for some reason I still expect to walk in there and see a bunch of people who lift and are in shape, but instead it's always filled with fat hippies?

And how do these people afford all the shit in there?  I see grocery carts filled up and can only think "how the hell do you pay for that week in and week out?  And why do you care about organic and shit when it's very apparent that you have no care of what kind of shape you are in?"  This is mesmerizing to me.

While there, I found some organic protein powder.  By a brand called "Warrior."  On the label it had words like "hard-core" and "raw".  It also had "vegan" on there too.  All of those words don't go together.  I am absolutely positive that if the Vikings knew what Vegans were they would have invaded those areas without weapons and just beat them all to death with their hands for the pleasure of it.

I've been asked about a million times about what it was like to hang out with Dmitry.  I tried to address it the best I could.  He doesn't follow a special diet.  He ate what he felt like eating it appeared to me.  He has a HUGE noggin.  I mean, his head is twice the size of a normal dude's head.  And his hands are literally the biggest I've ever seen.  Just ungodly big.  He's super serious about 90% of the time.  Or at least he was around me.  He would loosen up at lunch a lot, and definitely when he was teaching.  But otherwise, he's pretty stoic.  I still liked him a lot.

Edit:  Charles told me last night that Dmitry has loosened up a lot as the tour has gone on.  So my guess is, he's one of those people that takes a while to get comfortable around people enough to be himself.

I am working on a video collage for my trip to Montreal.  Hang in there, it may take a few weeks because I still don't have all the video I need from the trip in order to get it done.  Once I do, I think it's going to be pretty awesome.

I am working on a potential seminar tour in Australia alongside another guy.  It's in the initial planning phases but it looks like barring some logistical issues, it will happen.  Most likely will happen in late March and early April.  From what I can tell it will be Sydney and Melbourne.

I often run into people who want to talk about lifting or remark about my appearance and say the strangest things.  Sometimes people say things like "I know when I was in the gym often I felt so good all the time.  I bet you feel good staying in shape like that."

This got me to thinking.  I don't know that after so many years, that you "feel great" all the time.  I do know that when I was doing more conditioning and cared less about weight on the bar that I did actually FEEL better.  When my bodyweight was in the high 230's and low 240's and I had a big gas tank, I felt pretty awesome.  But as I've gotten bigger and bigger over the years, I wouldn't say that's the same.  Not only that, but after more than 2 decades of this, I have a lot of cracks and pops on a daily basis.  My shoulder both pop, very loudly, first thing in the morning.  Almost as if they are out of socket.

On plane rides my hips hurt for days afterwards.  My IT bands get painful and my elbows are generally a wreck.

I think that there are types of training that can make you "feel good".  Lifting for the pump and doing some cardio to stay in shape (conditioning wise I mean) does indeed tend to make one feel better.  But pushing any types of limits in the weight room eventually beats the shit out of you.  And often times, the shit beating is a lasting thing.

I have two torn biceps, a badly torn adductor, tore the muscle belly in my quad, a permanently separated shoulder, and all sorts of other aches and pains that come and go.  I'm not REALLY complaining.  Honest.  I consider it an occupational hazard.  I'm just saying the physical manifestation of what many overly muscular people have, came at price.  When I was at the Mr. Olympia I watched Ronnie Coleman hobble out on the stage gingerly.  He had undergone surgery for a dual hip replacement.  My first thought was "that's what it does."  All the years of moving enormous weights, and training in a way that constantly asks the body to move forward past something it doesn't really want to do also means paying for it.

Interestingly enough, I had a talk with another guy at the Olympia who told me he had a conversation with an older powerlifter who said "if you think that's pain, then quit lifting and see what happens.  It's worse.  The pain becomes exponentially worse.  Now you're no longer moving like you did, and you're not taking the joints through those ranges of motion and it actually gets worse.  Pain wise."

Truth is, I never thought of that.  But probably because I can't ever see a time when I don't lift.  I know there will be a day come where I am just lifting because it's habit, and because I love training and won't give a shit about hitting 1 rep max PR's.  Certainly there will come a day when I won't give a shit about competing.  That day comes for almost everyone.  I have lots of other things I want to accomplish in life that I know will eventually be more important to me than what I can lift, or how I look.  I think that's the natural progression of life and all of the endeavours we undertake.  No different than how pro athletes wake up one day and go "ok, that's it.  I've had my fill."  And then they go on to other things that fill that void of competing or trying to get better at that particular craft.  That is, if they were smart.

I think it's important to be cultivating things in your life that will be there for you once that desire has waned.  Lots of people don't think about this when they are immersed in a particular passion.  Especially physical ones.  Never giving a single thought to the fact that one day, those gifts and abilities will be gone, and there will be this gaping hole where that competitive part of you used to be.  I have read several articles from former athletes who have indeed struggled to fill that void left by competing.  They are sitting around a big mansion with lots of money in the bank, but all the things that filled their life with happiness in regards to competing is gone.  And nothing is there to take the place of it.  When you empty yourself into a single thing like that, then it can be hard to find your place in this world once it's gone.  No different than a sport or a relationship or a job.  Virtually all of these things are temporal.  And this is why it's important to find other things to fill your life with, lest you live a life of wanting when all of that is removed.

People can get short sighted in the middle of living something that consumes them.  They can forget that it's very possible to wake up tomorrow and have all of that taken away very quickly.  What else is it that you're filling your life with outside of that one thing?  In a pie chart, if one thing is taking up too much of that space, then how are you going to fill it once it is empty?

That's really up to you.


  1. "I am absolutely positive that if the Vikings knew what Vegans were they would have invaded those areas without weapons and just beat them all to death with their hands for the pleasure of it." I'm in tears Paul haaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Great read again!

  2. Replies
    1. I would travel anywhere in the UK to attend. I would imagine you would get alot of interest

  3. Interesting thoughts Paul. Thanks for sharing this.
    Regarding Ronnie, he has admitted himself that his uncle and his brother had the same problems because of arthrithis, so genetics have to play a role in that too. With this I'm not saying that lifting heavy ass weights hasn't made it worse for him... And also my personal experience is similar to yours (I'm much weaker than you btw), that trying to break PRs, and lifting heavy does take a toll on your body.

    And this was absolute gold: "I am absolutely positive that if the Vikings knew what Vegans were they would have invaded those areas without weapons and just beat them all to death with their hands for the pleasure of it."

  4. But I want to go to Sydney! :) Seriously tho, I will probably be in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

  5. The Vikings would have used Vegans as weapons. They would have grabbed one, tore him limb from limb and used said appendages as weapons and the skull as a bowl for mead and ale.