read this blog. . .
read this blog. . .
Can the circadian rhythm be magnified and reflected upon a calender so large that it represents the four seasons? Can one define their behavior by the absence or unparalleled plentitude of sunlight? If geography cannot cure something, it may certainly aid in pattern recognition. It allows the user to meet and greet new vessels who may festoon their flesh in the manner typical to the youth culture of that region. No doubt. It affords the traveler, the troubled transient, a chance to hub themselves among a set of spokes versed in dialects and practices as yet introduced to the vagrant vessel. It has become very clear that I am undertaking all of the ‘freakish’ endeavors I fancied as a teenager now that I am an adult, earning decent bread, and with a ripened set of desires that surfaced around 1987. I wanted to have big muscles. Got ’em. I wanted to have tattoos. Got ’em and getting more. Piercings always looked cool, appeared painful, and cost money. Check, check, check. Since my first big session of work in 2002, I have known that being heavily tattooed by gifted artists was going to be a big part of my future. With the stigma once attached to tattoos all but vanquished in this country, the emergence of thousands of skilled artists has made tattoo art just as popular it is affordable. I have found a guy who, though he may not know it, owns my left forearm and the bare canvas that is my chest. I will see him Tuesday night to wrap up the posterior of said arm. It is just as clear to me that these things I do to my body are an external reflection of the new set of emotions I exposed, and now ride, after that deep digging session in Cali back in May. Every time I move somewhere, every major event or relationship’s commencement/curtailing has left an impression on me that I have then impressed upon my physical form. In 1998 I scarred myself intentionally to celebrate a near-perfect score on the rifle range. In 2002, on my brother’s 18th birthday, I sat in the chair at South Pacific Tattoo in Waikiki, across from two of my Brothers in ‘Corps, and allowed Scott Sterling to place a large family piece on my right arm. Well now I am back from the edge of my own sanity and want to redecorate the vessel. Some cats put rims on their car, some girls dye their hair. This armor clad war dog likes to take some pain away but tasting a little from another’s hand.
One set of body mods a year. That is the cycle I am on. Spring 2007, pierced flesh and new work. Spring 2006, new work. Fall 2005, re-pierced my ears. Etc. etc. backwards to 1998.
I saw lip piercings all over southern Cal and I wanted one. Two, actually. I performed a bit of holiday shopping for my friends and blood, and then treated myself to a bit of piercing. Saturday night on South Street. 610 and 215 know what that means. And what it can lead to. Though I was chaperoned on this trip by a fellow Crew Member of the Joe, I had set no trouble on the menu for myself by virtue of my new found desire for, well, self preservation. I like to dress, and look scary, yet this bad boy needs no more reinforcement that lies in a bottle, a pool hall, or a night spent scratching an itch. A wee bit of venomous vexation costing me a day’s pay is good enough. And if you find this interesting, or if you, for some reason, find this ‘out of character’ for me, tune in on Wednesday 19 November. I will have a tale for you.
So a guy walks into work, and he has done something different with his flesh. Responses various and sundry fly out of the mouths of the Crew. After 90% of the Crew offered up [some vomited up] their feelings about the Snakebites, I cataloged the phrases I heard and tagged them to demographics that felt appropriate.
The unpierced, unscarred, unink’d crowd- ‘Ooooooh, did that hurt?’
The Tattooed Crowd- ‘How bad did it hurt?’
The scarred, ink’d, pierced crowd- ‘Did it hurt like the rest?’
The Old crowd- [really nasty voices] ‘What did you do you to your face?’
The Squares- ‘You know in 20 years you will regret that’.
The closet freaks- ‘So, where else are you pierced’
The Freaks who are out of the closet- ‘Want to see mine?’
The veteran body modifiers and everyone else who actually took a moment to think about what they were going to say- ‘Looks good’.
I have been naming all of my workouts since early October with a phrase that begins with the letters of the alphabet, in succession. Today, I was on T. Backwards from today through last week. . .
“Taming the Itch”
Rite of Passage Ladder Climb
5 ladders, rungs of 1-2-3, 24kg.
36:36 Max v02, 5 sets left and right.
I was very, very angry during this workout. Watching the Eagles tie [lose to] the Bengals messed me up. I laughed it off and then it came back. I curbed the urge to go into one of the studios and hit the bag. Instead I unloaded on my shift tonight at Trader Joe’s and crushed the closing duties I had. Acting angry only makes an adult look silly and unprofessional. And I knew my profile was going to be elevated tonight for reasons previously stated.
“Some called it home” Thursday 11-13 1900 hours.
Sumo 200-210-220-220-225 for sets of 3 reps. All of these reps were the very definition of a grind. D-O-G reps as they will be referred to perpetually.
24kg ROP Ladders 1-2-3-4 for 4.
24kg Get Ups x 5L,R.
“Reinforcing the Steel” Sunday 11-9 1300 hours.
32kg ROP Ladders 1-2-3 for 3.
“Questions never asked” Friday 11-7 1700 hours.
V02 Max 36:36 [16kg, 16 reps] 12 sets alternating left and right every set.
“Protect ya’ neck” Thursday 11-06 1900 hours.
32kg ROP Ladders 1-2-3 for 3.
This was a rough start. I broke right after the first ladder and ate 2 bananas and a handful of raw [always] almonds. My left lat was in attendance but the right lat was lunching on me. I had to reconstitute those presses with tension from the nether region. Rookie style. I’m talking about going back to the loaded clean and spiral of tension that, while always there, had to fall into remediation due to the absence of my ‘stronger side’.
SUMO 200-205-210-210 for sets of 3. 1st set of 210 were all DOG reps.
Tactical Pull Ups +6kg, 3 sets of 5 reps. Raised the bar to 8’4″. The added clearance from the deck had me hollowing out like it was Level II all over again. True gangsters remember the pull up tutorial from June ’05. Combat Applications. Pour out a little juice if you were there.
And another week is born from the death of it’s predecessor.
>November Coming Fire. Trees are turning at a slow rate, which, to anyone who cares to look, allows the different colors and shades of colors to create a fiery salad of 20 feet-high matchsticks rustling and shedding and going skeletal for what will no doubt be another mild winter. Climate crisis, ice age coming, whatever. I am on foot 90% of the time, and to have these mighty towers of carbon decorated by the chemical reaction of minus sunlight, water loss and decay, I am happy. Inspired by their death I went to iTunes and purchased Bauhaus.
Recently I went to another state to perform a private, 4 hour tutorial with a Level II RKC hopeful. We bookended the training with some local excitement. I watched dragons duel and entered the radiation chamber- a real W2 type afternoon. I plan to revisit this client in January after the pistol, windmill, and bent pressing skill has set in. Pulling Up and Jerking bells is no problem for this kid.
My private life, which hindered my career in 2007, has once again become a huge part of my career, however the surfacing of my personal interests in my twin-passion professions has done nothing but aid in my financial and philanthropic growth. Before, the external reinforcement of my ‘image’ with long nights at the bar, heavy lifting doing nothing for the health of my neck, and a weakened grasp on the quality of the food I ingested led to the decline of a once fine physique. Less pronounced was the degradation in my vaporous self, my ‘inner’, namely the loss of my passion for art as life, and life as a wonderful thing. What I found in myself when I went to California was what will forever be referred to as The Itch. The Itch to serve myself and only myself. To stretch the patience of my loved ones and students by counting on their loyalty to their own fitness quest to forever link them to me in a professional capacity. Twas the most selfish and manipulative of all motivations, though I was not aware of the behavior. So when I, on that May night after returning to LA from Denmark and Philly, strapped on the iPhones, darkened the room, and dug for the truth, I came out with two handfuls of shit so rank and malicious that I walked it to the edge of the cosmos and offered it to the void- hoping it returns to someone in better form, as that of starlight or rain, rather than darkness and cancer.
Now that I am working 65 hours a week between Trader Joe’s and Philadelphia Sports Club, I have no choice but to infuse my personal enchantments with the hours I am on the clock. For I have very little time otherwise to eat, to create, and to dig. People at the Joe have taken pages from the Warrior Diet playbook. Trainers at the gym have begun asking me question after question. Female customers at the store approach me for answers with regard to weight loss and vitamin/mineral supplementation. And I have a new friend whose presence inspires me to work harder than I have before in The Joe, The Gym, and The Chamber [my headspace]. So a few stickers on my clipboard and a few skulls painted on my handled bells draw attention. So I am turning 30 and still dress like a skater. So, here I am happy and motivated and well fed, very well shred, and back from a cold space with warmth and rear-view. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did not enjoy excavating. The manifestation of my body as art and the smartly charted moves I make each week are not merely a version of myself. It is the man I am hungrily becoming. It is the exoskeleton and the vessel guidance system I deserve to have. They, together, are the testament to the pain of my family, the chemistry of my body, and the work my friends and lovers did to put the damage I inflicted on display. Yes I read the note. Yes I looked at the pictures. Of course I recall the concert where I absolutely lost my mind and left you to twist. Can you See the reclamation on display in my eyes and my flesh? I armored my soul against souls for 28 years. With you, I exposed the tumorous mass and offered it back to the black. Black outside no longer means black inside. It was never grey, as grey signifies a medium. I was at one extreme. You all kept the plank balanced, and held the line. You would never ask for payment, but I owed this to all of you. My debts are growing smaller and my craving for responsibility larger. Find me deep inside you when you weep, and I will walk you to the void, where you may jettison the smoldering distress. It is NOT the color within. All cats are grey, but your days should serve your journey, not your cargo. Unload, open the door, and escape to the sea. . .
‘Kettlebells on Parade’
Rite of passage pressing 24kg x 3 rungs, 5 ladders.
Tactical Pull Ups +6kg for 3 sets of 2 reps.
Bodyweight of 229lbs.
‘Laugh until my head comes off’
Max V02 36:36 protocol, day one. 16 repetitions of the kettlebell snatch in 36 seconds followed by 36 seconds active rest. 5 sets Right, 5 sets left.
Tactical Pull Up + 8kg x 3 sets of 3 reps.
Hard Style Push Up x 5 sets of 8 reps.
‘Machines of Melody’
Sumo Deadlift 135lbs x 5 reps to wake up my Sumo position.
185, 190, 195, 200, 200lbs. all for sets of 5 reps. It was not yet a natural stance, yet no longer awkward. 19 hours later, at 0200 Saturday morning, my lower back exploded at Trader Joe’s. I was tired and dehydrated and that is where all back strains occur. Last year I would have been out of work for a week. I would have cried and eaten an animal sandwich and made the pain worse. Instead, I just kept moving and never though about it again. I did not train for 4 days.
Sumo Deadlift 165 x 3 reps, 5 reps. Felt it out.
Alternating Pull Ups and Push Ups: 3 pull/5 push, 5 pull/5 push, for 3 rounds.
Max V02 36:36 for 10 sets left, 5 sets right = 240 snatches in 18:00 clock time.
‘Of Wolf, and Self’
185 x 3, x3. 195 x 3, x5. 200 x 3. This took 28:00 to complete. I was patient.
24kg Rite of Passage Pressing. 1 ladder of 5 rungs. No ground, all pound.
Alternating Ring Pull Ups and Squat Thrusts 1/2-1/3-1/4-1/5 DONE.
Stacy brought her rings and I brought the TAPS bar to the upstairs studio at the Club. It was a bomb session. Then I went to work at Trader Joe’s.
I have not trained all week, as it is clearly time to rest again. When animal products dominated my diet and depression fueled self sabotage fueled depression fueled. . . .[you get it] I would work out like it was cool, and then get hurt about once every three months. I would refuse to break from training thinking that I would then have no right to eat. Ridiculous, I know, but the layoffs I take now clearly benefit me, as the reduced weight lifting leads to decreased eating and I end up leaner. I weighed in at 219 after UCLA. I weighed in at 234 on October 3rd. I weighed in at a searing hot 222 last Tuesday. The undulating weight patterns fuel growth, just as Pavel taught us to Wave Loads for bench pressing and other power training. I could always memorize the templates and give a student the company line, but now, I can hear it.