Friday, August 24, 2007

Dan John and George Pocock.

Last night I was reading through Dan John's archives, and I came across an article "Spirituality and the Athlete." It begins with questioning the meaning of the often banded about statement "I am a very spiritual person." I have always had a problem with that statement. It is meaningless, and the person using it can never explain what they mean by "spiritual." It got me thinking about how I define spiritual. The best definition of "spiritual" that I could find is "of, from, or relating to god." With that definition in mind, it became apparent as I kept reading that sport and athletics can be one of the most spiritual pursuits one can undertake. On page 87 of the archives Dan says:

At the highest level of performance, there is a moment of transcendence, where the sum of the body’s potential and the training regimen are superseded by the beauty…the human potentiality…of the art of athletics. The athlete may never fully explain these moments in words…it is truly an “out of body” experience.

It reminded me of the following quote by George Pocock:

It’s a great art, is rowing... It’s a symphony of motion, and when you’re rowing well, why it’s nearing perfection. And when you reach perfection you’re touching the divine. It touches the you of you’s, which is your soul.

I find it remarkable, but not surprising that the two men above, decades apart, and in completely different disciplines could have such similar feelings/ideas about touching the divine through athletics. Transcending our feet of clay, the sack of meat that is our body, and doing something remarkable is what makes athletics (whether it be climbing a mountain, rowing a boat, running a marathon, or lifting a heavy weight) so magical. I don't have the arrogance to say I know if there is a higher power, a God, or gods that manipulate, or judge our actions. However I do know that we can transcend the basic and base mechanics that are our body and can reach for something higher. To create a moment in time where we are something more. In those moments, your teammates, rowing shell, the discus, or the weight and the floor are a part of you. You exist on a higher plane. Those are divine moments where there is no need to question the meaning of life. I'll find the answers to those questions when the time comes.
Moments of transcendence are rare and they are fleeting. I have found them in athletics, in the Andes, and in the placement of a wedding band, but no matter what form, they are the greatest affirmation of the 'spiritual' that I have experienced. I hope that I can seek those moments for the rest of my life.

last nights workout:
Speed pulls:
10x2@ 285

Zercher lunges:
5x5 (each leg) @ 135


A while back I sprung the 100 TGU challenge when CES got back from vacation, he has returned the favor with the SSST challenge. I am terrible at KB snatches. CES uses a hard technique, which he tried to teach me when I was in the river city. I can't do it worth a crap. The bell comes slapping down on my forearm.. hard.
Can't do that for 10 minutes.
I am going use a softer Girevoy technique, we'll see how it goes. My technique has to get better, doing hundreds of something is a good way to learn.

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