Flipping the Switch

Flipping the Switch!

The bar sits loaded on the rack as the weight makes the center of it bow and you can hear the metal whine as the load tries to break its will. Steel, cold hard unforgiving steel…never failing never faulting just honest pure existence. If you are up or if you are down the steel never judges. The steel waits for you like an old dog on the porch dependable and quite.  It doesn’t care if you are going to load 100kg on the bar or 300kg on the bar, it doesn’t care if you are strong or weak…it only cares about one thing. Pushing you into the fucking ground the first chance its gets…It is not personal, or emotional. It is the nature of steel to return to the earth from which it was born and it is your desire to prevent that from happening which determines the level of achievement unique to you.

You sit on a bench only feet away from the bar….the sounds of the weight room are still very present to your senses. The smells the sights the energy of other people in the room, some are positive some are negative some are indifferent but all present.  You sit, your personality on your sleeve talking openly waiting  allowing the future not to be known to the conscious mind, relying on others and other thing to prevent reality from becoming a part of your current and soon to be past. As the clock clicks closer and closer, one second at a time each stroke of the second hand begins to tune the mind like and instrument. Each tick on the clock and the world around you becomes smaller and smaller. No longer are you aware of the people on the other side of the weight room, no longer are you aware of the music playing in the background. Each continued moment in time the weight room becomes smaller and smaller and the people of importance become fewer and fewer. The smiles are gone, but not due to anger but because stillness requires focus and focus requires the internalization of passion. It is hard to remove yourself from the external universe when you carry a smile…. a smile is an open invitation from you to the world. It’s only moments now until the time to perform arrives, and it is now you, your training partners and your coach all thinking and breathing the same energy. All those that are still in your world at this point are here for one reason and that is to see you succeed over obstacles that lie in front of you. In a matter of minutes or perhaps seconds even those closest to you will become nothing more than sound bites in the movie of this moment. No longer are there conversations, no longer is there coaching. You begin to prepare your mind for what you need to do. You take a moment to draw upon the mental stimuli that you use to reach your inner world.
Allow me to let you in….

I can feel the pounding of the base…the music is driving me and the thump is intoxicating, the self talk has begun. In my mind I feel the world around

me as a giant energy source, I close my eyes and I pull from everything and anything that might be near. The words of encouragement…mine. The slaps on the back as I move around the room…taken. The eye contact from the animals on my level…acknowledged. The insecure dickhead guy in the corner arguing with his girlfriend… Stolen…and his girlfriend’s curious glances? Fire to my high octane male furnace and its boiling over and I can no longer sit still. I start moving around the weight room in circles, because that is the only way to guarantee that I will be back to where I need to be. I am  not  stalking or being aggressive…even though that is a very important step in the process, but that comes in time.  No, I circle because it’s the only way to pull energy in from all around the room, taking from everywhere….and anything.  When it is time to move into work mode…the circling stops the energy I have  borrowed,  I pull into me….I can feel the energy like electricity…its tangible…its more than a thought it is a physical existence and when  I pull it in I can feel it fill the center of my body until I am full. I feel that  if I didn’t use it I would become physically sick. I stand before the alter of iron and I look to the sky…always to the sky, and then I pull from the earth, asking for strength from both above and below physical and spiritual, I see myself as everything and everything is me.  I can see with my mind the energy rushing into me and at that point I silent myself and harness the madness…reigning it in. As my hands make contact with the iron for the first time the world explodes, the safety is off and it is time to release it all  back into the world…all the good all the bad, everything must go a total yard sale of emotion. For some it’s pretty….for me it’s ugly….100% mother**cker time and there is nothing that can stop it. It’s the first time that I see myself in the mirror and all the years of training all the days of work have come down to this one lift. A new standard a new level of excellence, and I look at myself long and hard in the eye. For me to flip the switch it’s simple. “Hey! Let’s go motherfucker!” This is what I use it is my switch and when it’s time to flip….I can turn it on like a light with one programmed highly aggressive challenge….I smash myself against the steel, I drive against it hard…I try to wake the iron, shake it from its passive slumber! This is one fight that I’m not  going to lose and the steel needs to know who’s knocking. From this point forward it is nothing but effort…no thinking…no turning back…blank raw madness! Color, noise, pain effort and passion….raging out against the world, and when the lift is done I feel nothing…no adrenalin, no anger, no sadness, no happiness only completion and when I breath in again I feel my world return and the people around me become alive because if I have done my job correctly, I

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have given all of their energy back and in return shared with them some of my own, with exception to the dickhead in the corner I gave his energy back to his girlfriend… This is why great programs and great training groups are so powerful….that energy passes around the room again and again…and again.

There it sits….cold, hard steel. No emotion, no thoughts just steadfast steel waiting to return to the earth. “In time…in time, just not today.”

Categories: Written Word

6 replies

  1. You taught me on the PICP 1 in Copenhagen in 2010, on the last night you were training and came over and spoke to 3 of us for about 40 minutes, I really appreciated it because you didn’t have too! Your posts always make good reading. Thank you!

  2. Great article again, Derek! For the love of The Iron. Keep up the good job!

  3. “I smash myself against the steel!” I love it…NEXT!


  1. Strength Training Library: Articles | Gregory Taper

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