7/13/16 - Death of an Athlete
Willy Loman has been training on and off since he can remember. In fact, memory is funny. Willy’s world always seemed to get darker when he looked back on the memories of his life.
Just the other day, he had a frustrating session with the handstand portion of the skill work, which, of course, got his wheels turning in his mind. He thought back to his first gym moments, forgetting any real progress, and saw only struggle. He never was remarkably talented as an athlete and he once went home defeated when all the other guys in the gym seemed stronger than him as a young boy. Now, here we are and, looking though his pessimistic frame, not much has changed. He’s only been at DEUCE Gym for several months, but on the bad days it’s hard to see life as anything different than the usual struggle.
He shows up (semi-regularly) and often struggles to stay focused in class with his attention ping ponging between the worst of his past and the differences between him and the others around him. Some would call this attention as “anything but in the moment.”
Soon he began thinking of ending everything. At least then, he wouldn’t have to deal with this mirror in his face everyday. Not knowing how to see the moment in the mirror, he never liked what he saw.
Just this morning a coach gave him a cue to help his set up position and rather than seeing it as a key to a better future, he saw it as a nail in the coffin solidifying the truth of his past. “I’m terrible at this and there is no changing it!” In a instant, he quit only to never return to the gym again. The irony of course in his mind he was freeing himself of an unmanageable stress, when in reality he’d be leaving behind countless people seemingly living his very existence who would go on to experience remarkable life improvements.
Afterword: There’s a common question surrounding the original story of ‘Death of a Salesman’ which asks, “Is Willy a tragic hero? Or, is he simply pathetic?” I always answered the question with the latter. We see disillusioned, undermining behavior like that of our fitness example above all the time.
The bad news? Health and fitness is challenging. The good news? If you can get out of your own way, incredible changes are possible for everyone.
Students have come and gone wondering why things aren’t working for them, as if they are some unique organism that doesn’t respond to meticulously constructed stressors that build health and fitness. Meanwhile general populations that are living this are skyrocketing to new heights.
Find a 3RM Deadlift
Then, AMRAP 6
9 DB Hang Power Clean and Jerks (50/30)
12 Double Unders
Immediately following, complete the following for time: