This one time, at kettlebell camp…
This is a true story, to the best of my recollection which means it’s close to accurate.
Several years ago I was at a kettlebell training certification, this particular one lasted four days. The days can be quite long. Learning, training, practicing, and strategizing your survival for six to eight hours a day. This was actually the “transition” certification for me – I had been learning about my Original Strength, I was writing a book called Becoming Bulletproof, and the things I was learning at this certification were not fitting into my new paradigm. I was transitioning in thought because what I was experiencing and what I was being taught were not dancing well with one another.
Anyway, what had happened was, we were in a “training session” where we had to clean and press two kettlebells. I was to use two 24K bells (106 pounds). I cleaned them and pressed them, as I was supposed to do, sort of. One of the lead instructors was walking by me when I did this and he said, “You’re either really strong or you’re lazy.”
And there was another statement that didn’t quite fit – well it did, it told me my experience of Original Strength was leading me in the right direction.
But what does that mean?
“You’re either really strong or you’re lazy.”
I easily pressed the two 24K bells and he saw me do it. His issue with what I did was that he didn’t like my effort level. He didn’t see me prepare, tense up, strain, or breathe out like a pressure relief valve. What he saw instead was efficient movement. He saw ease. In truth, he saw strength happen naturally.
But what he saw did not fit his expectation because it was not the method of the way being taught. What was being taught was high tension techniques to lift heavy loads. This was being taught to brace the body and to remove strength leakages. This took a LOT of energy. As I said earlier, I was strategizing my survival to sail through the four days of the cert. So, I guess in a way I was being lazy. But the reality is, I was being efficient. And, I was expressing strength, easily.
What I was discovering is that when the body has it’s original strength, it’s reflexive strength, it is tied together, it does not leak energy, it doesn’t need to use tension techniques to brace itself in order to prevent injury while it is moving a weight. Instead, it simply moves with ease, reflexively, intuitively and naturally.
When the body is well connected, hard things become easy.
And strength looks lazy. Or, it looks really strong.
There was a choice in that statement, so I choose “really strong,” as in real strength.
In the absence of original strength, tension techniques and strength skills can serve a purpose, briefly. But, they won’t help you move better or feel better. At best, they help you lift better. In the presence of original strength, tension techniques can really take your “lifting performance” to a whole new level, though they may not be needed unless you just want to move really heavy things, like a power lifter.
The point to this is that we are all designed to be strong. We are all designed to move effortlessly, beautifully and powerfully. We are designed to express what is naturally inside of us – Strength.
It wasn’t laziness that was on display that day. It was strength expressing itself.
Again, that’s the point. When you’re really strong, when you have your original strength, strength is simply an expression of who you are because it’s who you were designed to be.