I am pretty sore this morning.
It’s that good sore, too. I feel it in my hip and in my shoulder. That tells me it’s in the right places and from doing the right things. Chip and I hung around after the workshop and lifted. I got the best instruction I’ve ever received on the Olympic lifts and naturally I had some of the best lifts I’ve ever had.
There’s a smile I can’t quite wipe off my face, not that I’d want to, and while I’ll admit a part of it is from yesterday’s lifts with Chip, it’s really due to the excitement and enthusiasm I saw in the eyes of my tribe.
When Chip and I first started talking about the workshop, I envisioned one of Zach’s or Elliott’s events, something marketed to other trainers. And I did that. I emailed every Crossfit in the state. I personally visited local boxes and handed out fliers. I emailed gyms in Atlanta, Nashville and Chattanooga. I took out ads in Facebook that targeted like minded enthusiasts across the entire Southeast.
I attracted one trainer from Atlanta, a tattooed, fifty-something rocker, whom I am excited to know and enthusiastic about future collaborations with. In addition to his other interests, Steven has a band in Atlanta. A loud, noisy, raucous, Neil Young inspired band named Shed, for their practice space, of course. If you’re into that sort of thing, and I certainly am, check out their website HERE.
Steven just sent Chip and me a letter of thanks. It begins with an eloquent glimpse into what we experienced this weekend.
“Thanks for the workshop. Being able to be in a room with people interested in becoming a bit more human was refreshing. Expressing the wide range of our mammalian abilities is key to beginning to understand that understanding is always incomplete. Yet, within this state is our home, a place to to be and rest in the flux.”
Everyone else who attended, and the workshop was full, was someone I knew–a colleague, a client, a friend. That’s really how it should have been from the beginning and it didn’t take me long to realize this. Inside the first morning of the workshop I received several comments, each one telling me how glad they were they decided to come.
By the workshop’s end their eyes were bright with new knowledge and a new fire. Capabilities never before considered stirred like rekindled embers and the wide open possibilities of life loom ever present before them.
In the weeks leading up to this event I was approached by several who had signed up, expressing a bit of their concern over being up to the task of completing a two day strength workshop. I couldn’t help but smile. I remember what it’s like, fretting over an unknown you’ve just signed yourself up for, worried, maybe just a little, about how you’ll compare to everyone else in the room, hoping at the very least that you can hang with the group and not be left behind.
I smile because I know that feeling so well and I know the only way to get past it is to do it anyway. I smile with pride because my tribe did it anyway.
Chip has said this and I echo it as often as I can. In the strength world it’s often not the biggest, strongest lifter who gets the greatest applause. It’s the one who works the hardest, shows the most heart and exerts the greatest effort. A lifter who pulls 500 pounds easily is not nearly as exciting as one who pulls 105, but is putting all she has into that lift.
Steven put it best in his letter, we are a group of “people interested in becoming a bit more human.” Movement, struggle, challenge, failure, trying again, and succeeding are all essential parts of being human. Our gym, our dojo, is a place to practice this, to more fully realize our humanity, our potential, our current limitations and how to push those boundaries. We come to learn that sometimes, with the right attitude, struggle can be fun.
And that is what Chip brings to the table. Chip is Puck, in the body of a forty-something, California punk inspired, West Coast white guy. His mischief is joy, it’s taking you outside your preconceptions and opening you up to potentialities you never even considered. He’s not content to improve just himself. He wants to show you how to do it too.
Improving yourself takes courage, but I know, because I’ve seen it, it’s something you’re capable of. Embrace it. Have fun.