Its a new year and I am finally back at the keyboard. I had an umbilical hernia repaired at the end of last year. 9 weeks later I am starting to ease back into training and it has been no less than a monumental learning experience. A good friend of mine has put of the same surgery for coming up on 13 years and I can empathize. 6 weeks of no activity then an easing back in to regular training is a gut check to say the least. When my surgeon cleared me for “light” training I was not sure what he meant. “I know not of this light you speak of?!” I said to the man.
As I built up my cardio endurance on the treadmill and bike to a respectable level I truly felt as if I was in a bad dream. “Nothing that dramatically increases intra-abdominal pressure” he says to me. “Well then how shall I poop???” I says back.
It is not that I was not aware of the little dumbells at the end of the rack, or that I did not realize that the weight stacks had lower pin settings that the entire stack. I just chose not to bother with them. These “light” versions of my passion that the surgeon suggested seemed as appealing as the surgery itself but I tucked my manhood, grabbed the little baby weights and repped away.
I imagine the compromises that I was making with myself mentally were similar to a budding actress on the set of some b rated horror movie. “This is only temporary”, “focus on the future”, “paying my dues” etc etc.
As I sit here writing this I am closing out week 9 of my recovery and can barely walk. 20 rep squats you ask? Well yes indeed!! More than 135 pounds you ask? No sir!! And yes you heard me right. Crippled with soreness!!! 20 rep set with 135 and auxiliary work and I am sore as I was the first time I cracked open the Super Squats book I hold so sacred.
As I hold my ego in a sleeper hold and flashback to my fathers basement struggling to complete my 20th rep with 135 pounds crushing my bony shoulders I see a reflection in the mirror. A reflection of an almost 6 foot tall 165 pound teenager with dreams of great size and strength. As I stand doing shoulder flyes with a weight that would not intimidate a hamster I see the reflection of that memory looking back at me. This has been a recurring torment over the last 6 weeks. Images of the gains I sweat and bled over the last 26 years for lost in less time than it takes a werewolf to feed twice. Bones jutting out of my shirt and rapidly running out of belt loops to hold my trousers up on what used to be a pretty decent set of wheels.
“SNAP OUT OF IT WUSS ASS!!!”
OK I am back. The reality is that I did not lose that much. I am sitting at about 295 right now and strength and size are coming back with ease. The calendar accuses me of being on the wrong side of 37 years so yes my joints and such are needing a little TLC. Saturday after this coming one will see my return to the table and 2016 will be a most triumphant year I am sure. I will post updates from this point on chronicling any aspects of my training that I or anyone else feels was worth mentioning or requesting.
The take away of todays rant is that the mind is a deceitful monster if not kept in check. Do not let the most powerful weapon in your world have any degree of control. Constantly and consistently realign and refocus your mind to keep the right perspective and to focus its limitless power towards achievement and the accomplishments you are capable of. Take the leash off of it and it will crush your spirit and derail you for as long as you let it. Every situation has some angle you see it from that will keep you as on track as possible.
Return to the table was a blast. Definitely lost some strength but nowhere near as bad as I had feared. Loads of lessons learned and will be posting tomorrow a few articles bred from the lessons I have been forced to learn over the last 3 months.