Tav Byerhoff, Tribal trainer and leader, has opportunities opening up to him in Southern Cal. Tav grokked Bodytribe within minutes of his sojourn into our sanctuary, and has since added a great deal to the growth of the Bodytribe way (and our ever evolving idea of fashion). Our huge loss will be LA’s gain, and I hope they figure that out pretty quickly.
So for this week’s blog, take it away, Tav!
I put together a conditioning group that meets two days a week (in all honesty it’s part of my personal workout that I invited a very small number of people to be a part of, and on a certain level I feel guilty for charging them to attend but a girl’s got to eat, right?). It’s high volume and high intensity and it’s frankly kind of retarded.
After a couple of weeks however, the workout facilitated two important and unexpected epiphanies. Besides the increases to my strength and endurance, it reminded me why I fell in love with exercise in the first place. There is a transcendent effect on the mind that occurs perhaps ONLY when the body is exposed to the utmost threshold of it’s physical ability. It’s just as powerful and real as any other enlightenment and it’s beautiful. For a long time now I have been working within a definite comfort zone, an understood and calculated mix of max effort and GPP training. Intense but short in duration or long in duration but not too intense. Not too focused and not too creative, actually.
(Tav is featured a bit in our upcoming Brutal Recess DVD)
But recently something inside of me asked me a question. It said, why? When was the last time you (me) felt truly challenged by a work out? When was the last time you (me) felt scared? Having gotten to know my zone I realized that I was refusing to see it as being anything other than what I have experienced thus far. It was defined, a museum piece, no longer alive, it was limiting. So I sat down with my zone and I said ‘zone, I like you and I know you and you are so much a part of me and my strengths. But maybe there are parts of you that I don’t know yet’. And then I started to write some things down on paper, an incantation to a demon, and I met it – at least part of it. I put together a solid two hours of mobility and max effort and repetition method and GPP work that I had never done before and built a 4 week plan around it
The first night was hard. The second night was intense. After the third night I almost broke into tears in the deli isle at the co-op realizing that I could no longer take the lives of other animals when we feel can life so completely. So now I’m a vegetarian. And this is just it. This is the whole point of exercise. It is not to get buff and sexy and pose in the mirror while you brush your teeth (although that is obviously a fantastic side effect to fitness), it’s to further ourselves emotionally and physically and spiritually and then give back to others when we’re able.
The journey of physical fitness is very much a hero’s quest following the same cycle of all epic myths. In the course of a workout or a life time of fitness, the hero (you), is called to adventure, finds friends to help on the road ahead, goes down that uncertain road to do battle against an unimaginable foe (your inner dragons, demons, ogres, weights), and returns victorious with treasure (again, you), to share it with the world. So I took this away from my experience: firstly, that intensity and challenges in the gym are not just physical experiences, they are deeply emotional and must be if your are to get everything there is to get out of them. Secondly, they don’t stay there, they leave with you and go where you go. They become you and you them and you grow to unbelievable new heights in the process. Thirdly, I have had the fortune of realizing this along side other people, my allies on the epic quest, my tribesmen and tribeswomen who I count as co-heroes in the myth of our lives and for however long it lasts, it’s been awesome…
(From Tav’s Youtube page, Ritual Fitness)