Un****ing Your Mind

You stand before the bar and you’re screwed before it’s even on your back. Your lift is a failure before you lift it. You finished before you started; you are mindfucked.

People say “unfuck yourself” but perhaps that’s not accurate. Your back is fine, your hammies are fine, your hip flexors are ready to rock. But your mind? Well, your mind is elsewhere. Your mind is stuck someplace else, while your body is in that workout.

Sometimes work is stuck in your head, sometimes it’s love, sometimes it’s just the idiot who cut you off on the highway on the way to the gym. And sometimes, it’s much deeper. Old memories, old fears, old relationships — they leave scars that run deep and don’t show on the skin. We forget about them, until our lift or our life takes a sudden turn we didn’t anticipate, like a ghost grabbing the wheel of your car and steering towards a turn you didn’t intend to make. You find yourself at a strange exit, wondering “How did I get here?” … although something in you — deep down, in the high grass of your soul — knows exactly how you arrived there. And the really scary thing is that only you, ultimately, can determine if you want to get back on the right road.

Your lift? There will be another one. That’s one of the glorious things about the barbell, or the kettlebell, or pretty much any workout. There will be another. You’ll have another chance to decide, to get your mind unfucked, to prove your strength, to prove yourself. These moments, these decisions, these courses of action though … well, they are your life. All of these small sums add up to you, your life, who you are.

So, stand in front of the bar. Stand in front of your life. And figure out where your head is at, where your mind is, where your thoughts are living. If shit isn’t right, you better unfuck your mind before you go any further. Because there’s no point in picking up the bar if you’re not ready to lift it.

Take time. Get your head right. And then approach the bar.


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