And though I want you to build more muscle so you can look better and feel better about yourself, I’d much rather have you strengthen your soul, improve as a human being, and become a stronger warrior as a result of the iron, than simply feel better about how you look. Of course, as we train harder, and with a greater purpose, our bodies transform in ways we’d never thought possible.
Be Brave My Heart…
Plant your feet and square your shoulders to the enemy. Meet him among the man-killing spears. Hold your ground. In victory, do not brag; in defeat, do not weep.
The iron should help you stand firm in the face of adversity. While it will give you physical strength, it should also give you spiritual strength. Will it do so automatically, merely by lifting weights? No, it can have the opposite effect. The gym is filled with insecure, vain, weak punks that flex tirelessly in the mirror, and whose soul aim is to get big so they can belittle smaller, physically weaker men. The few who are warriors, who uplift their fellow men, and who use the iron to strengthen their soul, do so only because they’re aware of the battle they’re partaking in as they train.
They’re aware of what the iron can do for a man. They understand its origins in battle, in the time of the ancient warriors that, incredibly, we still talk about today. They know that vanity, if used for good, can be good, but there’s far more that the iron can do for a man. To become stronger in the spirit from the iron, you have to allow it to help you not only become physically stronger, but emotionally and mentally and spiritually stronger as well.
Just as I walked up to the 800 pound rubber beast with an intent focus, using this obstacle to strengthen me as a man, and not just in the physical sense, you have to approach the iron in the same way. This barbell is yet another obstacle in life. It’s something that you can conquer, or be conquered by. It’s your choice. You, as in every other area of your life, control the keys to your own fate.
I Ride At Dawn
When I fought, I felt like a warrior. Then, as I moved forward with the business, that heart of the warrior got lost to the desk, the computer screen, and the complete lack of physical battle we face on a daily basis. We do face battles, but if we’re not constantly being reminded of said battles, we won’t approach them as such, or use them to strengthen who we are.
And so, I’m back in the boxing gym. I’m back training like a warrior to become a warrior. I am once again using the iron to strengthen not only my body, but my mind, my spirit, and my heart. The aesthetics always improve at a greater rate as the focus of my training shifts to preparing my body for battle, it’s the focus that needs to shift, however.
Here’s where balance is needed. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t be one of those weirdos who walks into the gym truly thinking he is Achilles, Wallace, or Spartacus, and yells so loud with each rep, to let the world know that he’s someone to be reckoned with. The loudest one in the room is always the weakest. The purpose of this article isn’t to have you walk into the gym as a dickhead, but march into the gym and strengthen more than just your body.
The purpose of this article is simple: use the iron to help you build a stronger life.
Don’t think that training is only a vain venture. Know where it was born, and why it was born. Understand how it has helped some of the greatest men the world has ever seen, be great men. Had Teddy not started training, we’d most likely never have heard about him. He used his body to lead his men into battle, literally.
A weak man cuts his capacity for greatness in half. He makes it harder to accomplish great things, to be adventurous, and to experience all that life has to offer. A strong man, if his strength is pure, and not completely ruled by vanity, has a leg up on the competition. He can try new things, extend himself, and persist whilst all others are forced to quit.
Men are warriors. We’ve been warriors since time immemorial. We’ve defended our women and children from evil, cowardly men for centuries. Society today has lost that warrior. We’ve become a lazy brood of cowards. We don’t seek justice, and we’re too blind to even recognize what justice is. We stand for nothing. We fight for even less. Nothing is wrong, or if we feel that something is wrong, we’re too afraid to stand up and fight against the evil that exists in this world.
Let your body lead the way.
Though we live in a society that, on the surface, no longer needs warriors, the truth is on the contrary. We need them more than ever before. We need real men with honest values to stand up and fight for what’s just and right in this world. Thus, let the iron bring back the warrior in you. Use it to un-domesticate the domesticated man you’ve become. Let it bring grit back into your life, and adventure into your heart.
Don’t just stop at the iron, though. Read books on warriors of the past, even listen to music about warriors. Let your world aid you in your quest to be a great man and an alpha male. Let everything in your life propel you further along this road. In doing so you’ll be far ahead of the pack that has their environment domesticate and emasculate them rather than helping them become stronger, and more courageous people.
Ride at Dawn is a song I listen to when I train. It’s by Ben Howard and Charlie Musselwhite.
Like my father
And his father, and his father before
Watch the soil burn in the fire
War after war
Done things I didn’t know I could
For the common good
Tomorrow I ride at dawn
Give a man a hundred years
And he’ll want a hundred more
Give him a hundred choices
And he still chooses war
From Salem Poor to Genghis Khan
Tomorrow I ride at dawn
I was born for battle
I was born to bleed
I was born to help those who have dreams of being free
Brother stop your crying, sister dry your eyes
You’ll hear my medals ringing from Shreveport to Shabagan
Tomorrow I ride at dawn
At first light, I march to battle
Not my own life, but brothers’ I must save
And when you hear those pipes and drummers
You’ll know I marched to glory or proudly to my grave
Tell my loved ones they must carry on
For tomorrow I ride at dawn
Be a warrior. Don’t wait for your body to turn you into one, be one now right now. Have a warrior’s courage, live with his focus, pride, and power. Grin when you fight, laugh at all those who stand in the way of the man you’re well on your way to becoming. Let your body propel you to greatness. Let it strengthen your soul. Let it aid you in your quest to be a burning blaze, rather than a timid, flickering flame. Train hard. Live hard. Be Legendary.