Being a Man

“We have the capacity and desire to be men – in the primitive, grunting, yelling, screaming, crushing, destroying, aggressive, violent sense of the word.”

Photo on 2010-11-09 at 22.00 #4By most people’s reckoning, I’m a big dude.  (That pic is me @ around 245 lbs)

I am around 6′ 3″, and today I’m weighing in around 255-260.  I’m no giant, but I’m usually hanging around people a good bit shorter and smaller than me, so I feel big most of the time.  I can move heavy things and my arms don’t fit in half of my shirts.  But there’s something most of my family and friends know about me: I’m not usually an alpha-male, aggressive man.

I play music, I write songs, I sometimes teach Sunday school, I teach elementary school, and I have two children under the age of 5.  I like comic books, sci-fi, and cheesy monster movies.  I never played football, and I wasn’t particularly strong until recently in my life when I really began focusing on it, realizing I had potential for great growth in that area.

…So with my artistic pursuits and family priorities, why Strongman?

strongman-logsAs men, we were created with bodies to do heavy work.  We have the capacity and desire to be men – in the primitive, grunting, yelling, screaming, crushing, destroying, aggressive, violent sense of the word.  Strongman, or powerlifting, or any strength-oriented pursuit gives me, and the rest of us modern men, the chance to be all the things “refined society” has ruled unacceptable.  It is not appropriate for me to shout, destroy, or express my violent side in my classroom.  (Duh.)  It isn’t acceptable for me to act that way with my family – it frightens them and I could hurt them.  Church?  It’s a time for reflective and serious worship.  I don’t play any competitive sports – my time is devoted to earning a living for my family, pursuing my hobbies, and worship.  There’s just never a moment where it is acceptable or even lauded to be those things I listed above.

 

…except when training strength.

 

atlas-stoneA few times a week, I get to tap into a wild side of myself that I don’t often express.  It feels GOOD.  My soft job and artistic pursuits don’t tap into my manliness.  It’s HEALTHY to scream and throw heavy things.  I am more than my brain and my feelings.  I am my body.  I am my aggression.  I am a force, waiting to be unleashed.  I’ve given that force a taste of Strongman training.  It’s something I would encourage every man (and any woman who wants to, of course) to take up.  We’ve been missing out.  There’s a time for everything – a yin/yang, a life/death, a masculine/feminine, and a day-job/warrior balance to maintain, here.  Go lift something heavy.  Start the journey to add serious iron onto your barbell.  I say there’s still a place, and a NEED, for the warrior mindset and the hero’s journey.

GO.  BIG.


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