Tuesday, January 3, 2012

All Men Should Be Strong!

If you've ever been to Rockefeller Center in NYC then you probably recognize these pieces of art. They take up an entire wall and a huge portion of the ceiling, and you see them right as you walk in.

To me, seeing these murals was as cool as seeing the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. As soon as I saw them I was wowed and inspired to keep training and test the limits of what my body is capable of.

Looking at these men, I really see the hard work and the sweat. I see the blood and the tears. I see all the things that it takes to have the physical abilities and the presence that everybody desires but that not everybody will work to achieve.

Maybe it was because I was on this trip with Travis Holley and Jen Cardella, who have both created highly respected muscle-building programs (Strictly Strength and Lean Lifting). Or maybe it was because the whole point of our trip was to visit the guru Zach Even-Esh, who founded the Underground Strength System. But the whole time I was in New Jersey and New York I was reminded of my high school weight room, which was filled with 70 young men yelling and screaming to do more and go harder. There were no excuses as we all fought together in the off-season so we could dominate the next year!

I also remember the days when I was training on my own with whatever I could find (cinder blocks, 50lb bags of dried cement, old rusty dumbbells, heavy rocks, tree branches) in my garage or backyard. When I began working I was doing even more physical work. The first jobs I had (delivering furniture, selling heavy kegs of beer) required physical labor, but it just made sense to me to move heavy shit all day long! I lived that way for many years. When I worked on the farm my job was stacking boxes of squash on crates, for goodness sake!

Even though I loved the feeling of taxing my body throughout the day, I always remembered that no matter what my job was...my workout was separate. I wanted to lift weights! Cleans and snatches, bench work and dips, squats and deads is what I had to do! My mind wouldn't let me stop. To me, these are examples of what men do. We are supposed to be warriors. We roam in packs, endure physical challenges, and strategically plan to ensure our survival.

Nowadays, I don't lift heavy that often, but I do play when Crossfit calls for it! In Crossfit, we are in a mental and physical bout. Our minds and bodies are being tested to do more than they are really able to. We need to be tested. Without a challenge we begin to settle and become content with mediocrity. To me, this means we lose our ability to live fully. I can't express my sadness when I am around people (including my own family) who don't seem to be living with intention!

I believe that this all starts with the physical body! The Bible speaks to us to take care of our temple.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
Can't we change the world entirely? Let's work on ourselves from the inside so that we can impact everything around us on the outside!

Let me speak to something I have an awareness of. These words are solely to make a point. By no means do I mean to present myself as totally egotistical, but when I walk in a room I generate a lot of attention from both men and women. I believe the reason for this is because people appreciate/admire those who take care of their bodies.

Many times, when I meet other males, they will say things like, "Man...how can I look like you? Can you get me there?" or "What do you do? I've been trying to do some lifting myself!" Women, I've noticed, have an appreciation for a strong male presence. I believe they feel a sense of security from men who have lean and muscular bodies. This is all my personal opinion and, like most of my blogs, has no relevant scientific research to go with it. But the fact of the matter is that I think that All Men Should be Strong! If you don't believe this...I challenge you to test this theory for yourself!


nikki55 said...

You are an inspiration to us, your family, and I am sad to say I just don't have the discipline to do what you do. I do admire you, I think you're right with your personal beliefs, women do feel secure when someone like you is around. And even though I don't "do as you do" I do show people what you do. I am proud of you. :) awesome blog. Love you.

JD Harper said...

To me, there is nothing more impressive than a person (man or woman) who has both an impressive physical presence as well as mental presence. It's not impressive when you see a huge person that carries themselves without thought. That's what I admire most about Big Mike. Articulate with a very imposing physical presence. Love being in your class.


DiegoCenteno said...

Glad to get inside look Mike! Hope you keep them coming!