I have drifted. Like the sands and the winds, I have been many places in my life. Like some of you and none of you, I have ran into the crossroads too many times before. I have journeyed into the dark as much as I have been guided by some I would deem spiritually enlightened. Along these lines, I have taken the same attitude towards sports that I truly loved. I have bled in the ring as deeply as I have torn sinew to shreds on the rugby pitch. I have torn asunder my body on the platform in the same manner my bones ache each and every strongman comp. And yet… I find myself in that dance once again. I can sense it deep within my soul that yearns for something different yet familiar, a new adventure as much as an old one. It searches for challenges beyond my abilities and new mountains to dig into but what am I running from?
Have I met all my goals in strongman? Have I finally let my body rest and let it find a new endeavor, the answer is NO. I have finally been given the health to make a choice to compete in other sports but by no means does that mean I have given up on the log, yoke and my long lost beloved stones. I have been asked if I have finally felt the damage and moved on to lighter and greener pastures. I wish I could tell them yes. I wish I could tell them and myself, that my mind has been calmed and my heart has found a new path but the truth is, I am unsettled. I yearn for new challenges not by the number on the bar but on the repetition of perfection. The search to find mastery is an unyielding machine and it finds me yet again searching and searching…
I chose the highland games not because I came to retire but because I live this life to excel in struggle. I am by no means good at this sport and I find myself lost like a teenager on youtube searching “How to” videos and endlessly watching others throw to compare and contrast. I am excited to compete and yearn to be the new guy on the scene. Unknown, un-cheered, with no entourage or waves of black and yellow. I yearn to be the shadow, the guy fighting to make the top of the pack, the rookie, the kid, the “better luck next time” guy. I search endlessly for this with a child like wonder, pawing and sniffing at the chance to develop a skill. To dive deep into the dark of a new sport yet again and have to prove myself. God, do I miss that!! Don’t you? The rush of your first lift, your first set of gloves, your first ammonia hit before the platform .. has it been so long for some of us that we forgot what that felt like?
After my spine injury and bicep tear, I never will take any training session for granted but I long for the days where stepping on to the competitive field was more of an adventure than an expectation. Are we sometimes too afraid to try something new because what will others think of us? What will others say? What would you tell the person in the mirror the day u picked up a new sport ?
When the winds blow cold and you sink to the bottom of your world there is no one there but you and the refined echoes of your madness bouncing around the rotting trench you created for yourself. When you have decided to dig yourself up from the muck and mire to push forward relentlessly without mercy, there are few voices to be heard. When you have exhausted your heart countless of times on the battlefield, broken your heart to pieces, and lived dreams so vividly it makes your eyes water.. there is little anyone can say. What is there left to prove when you know what your bones are made of? When you know the color of your rage and fortune whispers in your ear with challenges not woes..
I don’t paint myself a very strong person, instead, I am a mother fucker who doesn’t quit. I can feel my body betraying me, you know? I feel it. I feel it more and more every day and the insane amount of sports and damage and bad decisions I have done the last 14 years are foreshadowing what is to come, so why would I let off the hunt now? Why would now be the time to let go of the smell of prey on new pastures? New journeys of hardships and rivals that wait for me just beyond my grasp. It is this very hunt and this exact fire that fuels me not only in sport but in life. How can I give up on anything when my time has not come? When I have nothing to prove and have unfinished business? Are we not what we set out to do ? Are we not creatures of action and prowess? What kind of legacy would I leave if I only paved one path. Your choices in sports, as in life, should be the direct echo of your character and will. From the chalk and rusted floors of the gym to the green dreams of the highlands, this should be your story and yours alone. It should be something deep and prophetic that you can recant at night before bed and tell on your death bed when they finally ask you what you were running from you can simply reply “ it is not from…but TO”
Never Stray from The Way