A New Kind of Fit

Friday, September 17th, 2010

This train ride feels like forever. I don’t mind. Today is meant for slowing down. The body’s been pretty beat up lately. I lean my head back and get lost for a bit. My left hand starts to tingle. I look down and examine the calluses across my palm and start thinking about the workout I just finished. Thrusters and muscle ups. Thrusters–a visual materializes in my mind. I start dissecting my performance. Did I get low enough? Did I lock out at the top? Is my shoulder going to explode later this afternoon?

Why am I thinking about this?

Muscle ups. Bar Muscle Ups. That was a first time experience. I’ll probably have a nice bruise across my chest for the next couple of days. At the time, a bruise sounded better than a no-rep.

Why am I doing this, again?

I used to tell people I workout so I could eat whatever I want, but that’s not really true anymore. Lately the work has found a way to impose its will on my diet. No more drinking. No more processed sugars. Lots and lots of meat. My carbon footprint has increased dramatically over the past month.

Why am I doing this, again?

Now, I tell people I train for life. For the opportunities it affords me and the confidence it provides. Want to run a 10K next week? Sure. Hike up a hilltop tomorrow? No problem. Debug a program? If I can deadlift 315 pounds, surely I can bend these tiny bits to my liking. It’s a pretty good feeling.

But today, I train to remember. I push harder because it helps bring back memories of her. The aches remind me of high school evenings, coming home exhausted from practice to see nanny cooking in the kitchen–the sound of the stove hood whirring and the smell of ginger or garlic running through the house. It helps me remember weekend mornings mowing the lawn while she worked away in her rose garden. It reminds me of how much further I need to grow if I’m ever to live up to the example she set for me.

It’s been nine years to the day, and this year I find myself back in the city that took me away from her. While I no longer mourn, I do often wish she was around to see the home we’ve created–that, for once, I could treat her to a home cooked meal or maybe show her around the city. The alternate reality in my head thinks she’d like that.

Today I train to remember. I don’t worry about PRs or Rxs. I don’t worry about how heavy the weight is. This is training for life. This is a new kind of fit.

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