Henry Rollins wrote for Details a piece entitled, Iron. The following is a portion:
I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone’s shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr. Pepperman.
Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.
Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it’s some kind of miracle if you’re not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.
I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.
Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.
The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.
I absolutely love that article. I completely agree with Henry - I am walking the brink of insanity every second of every day - we all struggle to make our way in this world. Some have it easier than others, but still we struggle either emotionally or physically. For me, fitness is the glue that binds me together. When I'm having a bad day or feeling the weight of my situation on my shoulders, I know that if I go for a hard or fast run that when I return - exhausted- the only thought I will have is accomplishment. Not stress, not worry, not fear or rejection or loneliness . .....just bliss because I moved my body and felt my heart beat, my lungs expand and all these movements meant that I am still alive. CrossFit is another way I keep myself from jumping off a cliff, seriously. Nothing feels better than to walk into the gym, feeling grumpy or whatever negative emotion I may have, load up the barbell and take it out on the platforms. Exhaustion does something good for my soul - it it like I performed an exorcism . I tend to beat myself up until all I CAN feel is tired these days. I know everybody reading this can relate......you are mostly CrossFitters and endurance athletes. We love the pain that comes along with moving.
Soooo - get out there today and remove whatever doubt or stress you are carrying around in your soul. I just finished a tempo run and I feel like I can focus again - like myself and move through my day with renewed excitement. WooHoo!