The Nickname "Hollywood" was lovingly given to me by a group of strongman nestled deep within the backwards Pennsylvania mountains sometime last year as we sweat our asses off during a routinely brutal strongman training day.
My white sunglasses I donned that day and apparent Hollywood charisma (Do I really have charisma? Or are most people just brutally boring? idk) sparked the camo laden country music twangin' crew to award me such a moniker.
So there it is, and here we are.
But Where do we go from here?
That is a question I find myself asking a lot these days. Mostly it creeps in during midnight Oreo binges and certain drunken sexual encounters. We have two choices when dealing with said circumstances: we either compartmentalize the trauma and move on or develop a certain facial twitch that still persists from too many black out nights left over from a college dream certainly realized :)
Where do we go from here?
In our Training?
In our relationships?
In our professions?
Are these questions too deep to tie together for such a simple strongman? haha..probably
But these questions plague my thoughts daily as we all pretend to have a clue of what this whole big ideal of life is about.
We're Like Sharks that have to keep moving. That is if your worth a shit to your sport, your family or yourself.
There is Constant goal setting and achievement involved in our sports: Where do we go from here ?
Another goal falls, another set.
I'm in my mid 20's so I don't claim to know everything. But In my short travels in this shindig of life I have been given a unique ability to learn from my mistakes.
Ohhh...the many..many horribly miserable mistakes.
I'd list them because I have no shame but i'm pretty sure the statute of limitations hasn't expired on the most perverse and interesting ones. jk
The truly damning realization I've found is the overwhelming percentage of people that simply don't learn a fucking thing from their daily encounters with women, men, co - workers , children , friends and most importantly themselves.
It's Mind boggling to realize most of the adults I know are so apathetically clueless: it's a completely debilitating and disheartening realization.
To become an adult and find the world is passified by gadgetry and a thousand mindless daily choices is saddening and confusing to me.
When you find out that it's NOT that hard to get caught up in the very thin social facade of what is put in front of us to keep us in line, out of shape and occupied it becomes dangerous to personal growth.
It's like Pulling back the curtain of Oz, finding out it's just a drunk monkey rocking out to old Guns and Roses tunes and accepting such as our shitty perverse reality.
No wonder we lift heavy shit and yell like animals in the gym. It's the last frontier that makes any sense to our ever softening male dominant attitudes.
We ruled the world for 20 thousand years. Now we are forced into pastel colors and subjected to Dr. Phil's mindless droning.
I would've been much better off as a viking. Pillaging what I want, Killing at will and dragging the women to my harem by their hair.
Our modernized life confuses the hell out of me! And I've always been a strict antagonist of what a 9-5 life sprinkled with T.V, fat babies, a crippling mortgage, hookers and crazy family will get you.
Do I really like watching Jersey Shore? MTV tells me I should. It is entertaining...but it ....it feels bad for me. Like i'm doing something really wrong.
I own a DROID and If I could get it to make my extremely important decisions for me...simply...I would. You know why? Because droid does all :) And droid is just plain smarter than I or you are.
I'm still trying to find the hand job application on the damned thing, then I could eliminate the f'd up women part of my daily decision completely. That will be a glorious day
My point is most people if not completely retarded are faced with these questions constantly: Where do we go from here? Is this it?
After all the egg white omelets, taxes, TPS reports and Bench Presses. Where do we go from here?
Maybe the bigger question is, "Is this it?". Like really? I feel ripped off.
I just got back from Competing in Hungary for the WNSF world team strongman competition. I got to carry the American flag on the world stage and represent my country in a sport I excel at.
3 years ago I knew nothing of strongman. I was actually dieting for the NPC Pittsburgh show and realized I hated the wasted life feeling that comes with dieting. Or at least the feeling from the way I dieted.
Side Note: There is nothing more brutal in sport than a strict bodybuilding diet.
But through sheer will I turned myself into a very successful athlete in a sport I knew nothing about.
And here I am.
I set a goal, Accomplished it overwhelmingly and now feel ... nothing.
Where do I go from here?
Some people are sharks, some are Manatees, some don't give one introspective shit.
Where do we go from here as The meatheads? The Gym Rats. Bodybuilders. Powerlifters. Strongman. Whatever comfortable tag you would like to put on what it is you do. We as a group of people dedicated to the advancement of body through strength, physique, endurance...whatever it may be.
Where do we go from here once you realize your goal as you sit accomplished bored and exhausted?
My life is always a constant tangled mess of imbalance and second guessing. I trained bodybuilding for years. Competed twice taking 4th in 2005 OCB Nationals. Competed in Bench Press / Powerlifting Comps. Deadlifted 800 lbs raw. Benched 525 raw. Squatted 700 in knee wraps and shorts. I've flat out won 14 of the 24 strongman competitions I've competed in. Some may call me a super amateur, I couldn't disagree. My goal is to turn pro as a strongman ( which will happen this year ) Total 2000 as a raw tested power lifter and compete on an NPC stage.
You grow yourself inside of your sport, into life, into an overall good human being by constantly saying , "Where do I go right now?"
Constant self improvement is a good thing or so were told.
Sometimes I gotta wonder as a single 26 year old male that doesn't buy into the cattle of life mentality that there is a strong possibility I just set these goals to keep moving forward so I don't have to stop and really think about the debilitating thoughts of life:
The accumulative debt, broken relationships, lost careers. Just the sheer amount of unbridled energy put forth chasing these Goals is mind numbing. I've definitely thought this was a strong possibility.
Maybe the "What's next thought" is almost overwhelming if you aren't prepared to face the truth of where you've already been.
It's much easier to keep swimming like the shark. It's survival.
Through determination and considerable work I have turned myself into a successful athlete accomplishing what many think are pipe dreams and worthless accomplishments without much monetary benefit.
Maybe they are right?
Maybe that is why I constantly ask What next?
Moving from one goal to the next like normal people move from one plate to the next in a buffet. Why eat that much food? Why keep setting goals? It seems over indulgent doesn't it?
One choice is def. healthier than the other but in all honestly both seem to have flawed principals rooted in hedonistic self indulgent thought.
Make no mistake: Our Primal and self indulgent decisions to be obsessed with our physique's appearance and strength /speed comes at a cost.
It is ignorant to think otherwise.
For instance: It has cost me many relationships and the stress of financial worry. It has cost others their lives through the many variables that are involved with being the best at what you do.
It has a price of time, energy and commitment that is hard to quantify but is tangibly felt through sleepless nights wondering if this is right? Am I doing the right thing? What is next?
Still though, You have to wonder if that's what drove Arnold. He set a goal. Get to America: What next? Mr. Universe. What next? Olympia, Movie star. What next? Governor. What next? Maybe we are never satisfied. Maybe Arnold was just lucky. Maybe both.
Maybe the most successful people on the planet are never satisfied. Maybe you and I are destined to never be satiated with accomplishment. That is a sad thought.
And it's ok If you don't ponder these questions but chances are you are probably mediocre at best if that is the case and you are quite honest with yourself about those facts.
I simply cannot stand the attitude of mediocrity. Maybe we view those as different things. It's obvious we do.
And there is nothing wrong with that. Live and let Live Right?
But I do ask myself these questions. I wonder. Is it worth i? Maybe I keep accomplishing these set goals and its addicting?
Maybe me and you have nothing better do to and we are simply vain and selfish to a crippling extent to ourselves?
You have to be vain to be to want the biggest muscles possible or be the strongest person alive right?
All are certain possibilities.
Maybe a few of us actually utilize in life the tools that heavy training and accomplishment temper into man or women's constitution. The tools of self discipline, hard work, consistency, sacrifice and the list goes on.
I guess I will sit and ponder that question: Where do I go from here? Am I getting a good return on investment from these endeavors of ours?
Honestly: Have you asked yourself that recently?
(Stupid people..dont hurt your brains with the thinking. Just go turn on Jersey Shore and let the sweetly thin veneer of society numb your poor little mind with fist pumping and internet porn while your constantly frustrated with yourself but have no clue why. yesss...let the fist pump take over.)
The rest of us:
Ask yourself. ......
I sit. I reflect.
Little Debbie Snacks.....
I grab my belt, my Ipod and head to the gym to do 900lb. Yoke walks. eh, I'll think about it later. Right now I'll just be the shark for a little while. :)
Till next time...