Why Is This Important?
(Kat Ricker nails her clean and jerk at the Tommy Kono Open last Saturday)
Heavy Jerks (singles and doubles, heavy)
Bench Press for Reps (sets of 4-6)
7 Southward combo: Pick a pushup or plank mobility movement. Make it something advanced enough that 7 reps is a little challenging (level 1: strict pushups. Level 2: pushups from the ground or Hindu pushups. Level 3: explosive pushups, 1 arm pushups or handstand pushups). Follow it up with 7 sandbag burpee clean and presses. Then shoulder the bag and carry it around the gym fast. Repeat for 6 reps of both, then 5, etc, until 1, run, done! Time it!
Hey… we took second place for best gym last year, losing to 24-Hour Fitness… ALL the 24-Hour Fitness gyms combined in Sacramento (about 25 of them). If one gym can go up against a chain (we beat California Family Fitness, another chain of about 10 gyms in the area), that’s pretty cool. So if ya have a second, before indulging in the mega-entertaining blog below, please click over to the Sacramento News and Review website and cast a vote. Yes, you’re required to vote for a few other things to… just make it up. Thanks a bunch!!!
A now, on with our blog…
Why Is This Important?
Halfway through my existence on this rock spiraling through space, which, for those who are keeping tabs of my recent endeavors, means 20 years ago, I was not particularly cool. Wait… I know this may come as a surprise to those who have tuned in to the Bodytribe channel only recently, amazed at how I juggle my current uber-coolness with an endless supply of humility. But alas, this complete package that you witness today had many obstacles and lessons to learn. Despite all testimonies to the contrary, and all evidence that points otherwise, I was not born bad to the bone.
(super cool with a 40K snatch? Maybe not… but I’m going to pepper this post with pictures from last weekend’s weightlifting meet, including the warm ups)
File this under embarrassing tidbits of personal history: In 1990 you could have found me at a Dungeons and Dragons convention. I, and a band of loyal gamer friends who all possessed frightening IQ’s much higher than my meager brain was capable of, along with maybe 800 other dice-rolling mutants who exclusively ate only food that contained Yellow #5 and could live on your shelf for decades, would converge onto some low-end convention hotel and pretend we all of some other era or dimension.
Yeah, well what did YOU do when you were 20 that was so much cooler? Sure, half of the folks at this convention just crawled out of their mom’s basements for the first time that year, Star Trek was discussed as fine art, and the man who wasn’t a virgin was king (emperor if he also had a first edition Dungeon Master’s Guide, which sounds way more exciting than it is), but let it not be said that this was not a fascinating group of people.
Yes, I was a geek. AM a geek. Proud and loud. Despite the hubris of my first paragraph, this is no big secret. And yes, I do feel I am among kin! Sure, we may thrive when getting our inner- (and outer-) athlete on these days, but many of us, possibly you too, gentle reader, may have been decidedly anti-jock throughout our younger years.
(Sam and his snatch… definitely cool)
There are few havens for strength geeks. Gyms rarely support either strength or geeks these days, and even most of the strongest of gyms don’t offer sanctuary for imagination. My travels have brought me to the exceptions of the trend, and praise be for the network we’ll all creating.
(Brutal Recess workshop at Westlake Crossfit in Austin)
There might be a Mecca for our particular brand of nerd. The Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sport has the brains and the brawn, being run by a pair of folks who might hold the title for smartest, wittiest, and possibly strongest, couple in America. This particular duprass, Jan and Terry Todd, have both been former world champion powerlifters and both teach all manner of physical culture, from kinesiology to history to good ol’ fashioned weight training. And through their efforts a great deal of Strength’s past has been preserved.
(Terry and Jan with the Weider’s at the Stark Center)
After spending several days there, in which my camera captured footage or interviews of folks from historian John Fair to world’s strongest man (and WWE wrestler) Mark Henry, I felt like I had just scratched off a winning lottery card, only to find a giant library underneath.
(yes, he’s huge… about 400 pounds… but incredibly friendly, and fiendishly strong)
Oh my inner geek was whacked out on it’s addiction to lore, but the big question that struck me hard was … a question I actually DIDN’T ask anyone (oh but I will now):
Why is this important?
Sure, as individuals we possibly pursue a passion for power (and alliteration, apparently), but what’s the point?
Oh no, this isn’t nihilism, because this question begot answers. See, we tend to Borg up with folks who share our weird, and this doesn’t actually promote the expansion of the brain with imagination driving the bus. Hey, I’m all for peer groups, but a support network in a vacuum is… well, even more dangerous than an orc with a +2 Sword of Sharpness.
On top of that, I’m breaking my bank (and at times, my sanity) trying to create a documentary about my passion. With no budget or staff, mounting travel bills and equipment a few levels below ‘amateur,’ asking why this was important seemed like a move towards wisdom.
Next week I’ll discuss my answers, but how about some feedback? Is the history of movement, strength and ability important? Why?
To Kat, Paige, Tom, Sam, Camilo and all the other friends of the local strength culture who came to support these lifters last Saturday…
Big Thanks!! The Tommy Kono V was a blast… only to be topped by a visit from the master himself!
Thank you, Tommy Kono, for visiting the Tribe. Your kind words, both in your lecture and between you and me, will always be remembered! Oh… and for anyone who doesn’t know, Mr. Kono has just published his second book, Championship Weightlifting. Seriously, this is the most insightful book I’ve read yet about the art of the sport of weightlifting. So, strength geeks, it behooves you to add it to your library, although I have no idea how to order it yet.
We’ve got an entirely new schedule of workshops and such to be posted next week. But for any friend of Bodytribe who is in or near Colorado, come play with us in Fort Collins on September 18th! Our Brutal Recess party is coming to Emergent Fitness, and I’d love to see you there! Plenty of info if ya clicky here.
(I may not be particularly strong, but I have a good photographer. Thanks, Allyson, for documenting the weekend!)