I’ll start off by saying the most important thing… I am not competing in Strongman Corp nationals. That wasn’t easy to think, say or type and especially not easy to vocalize or share with everyone but such is life. When I saw the events for nationals I was neither excited nor eager, in fact what I felt was a weariness.. almost a shoulder shrug being expressed through a long sigh. As I sat there and studied the events I realized the juice was not worth the squeeze for me. Unfortunately, the 4 inch deficit deadlift is something I was specifically told not to do by Dr. McGill with my spine and hips but more importantly, the training alone is capable of taking be back out of the game. I sat there and asked myself if I was being a pussy, a coward, or a cherry picking competitor. How was I going to look at everyone? How would I face myself ?
I sat on these ideas, thoughts and fears for a couple of weeks until I woke up one day and realized I no longer have much to prove to Strongman. Please don’t take this as a retirement speech or as a cocky mentality. On the contrary, I felt humbled by the idea that I finally felt I have given enough to the sport, to liters and myself as to not feel guilty about pulling out of something I did not or could not do. I had experienced years of giving to the sport but also breaking down for making foolish decisions. Years of giving her comps but also pushing far too past injuries and competing regardless had culminated into an odd feeling of accomplishment. I still have ideas, goals, dreams and bucket lists. I still have records to set, cards to be given and statements to be declared in strongman. It is not that I want to stop, it is merely that I want to give my all to what I want when I want and if I am going to die trying, then it will be on my terms on the battlefield and on the horizon I choose to be blinded by.
My eyes are set on the hunt. My prey is fast and far and the process of trudging in the snow has left me tired and often judicious on where I choose to step. The long journey of chasing dreams under the iron and stone have humbled me beyond my years and cost me the acute price of aging internally ferociously fast. I am neither ashamed or saddened by the fact that, at times, my ability to compete is primarily dictated by a personal cost to benefit ratio. I take these tasks and see is the ability to focus on events, battles and competitions that will pull the best out of me and make me earn my future battles scars, not with a shutter of disdain but instead, with a grin of pride.
I have my vision locked on the Strongman Games and the world competitive circuit. A huge part of me dreams about sailing over the sea to spread the influence of The Battle Axe Gym far from home. I have a long time to go but the Strongman games online qualifiers right around the corner and the ability to stand shoulder to shoulder again with some very hungry competitors, only drives me forward. They say the success rate of the wolf hunt is about 30-40%. The art of the wolf… the warrior.. is not living in the 30% but rather, surviving the 70%. Persevering through the pain, the distance, the hunger, the blinding storms and the torrential rains that batter against beaten hides and eyes. The long strides of endurance and the empty feeling of a winded soul. The nipping and stabbing of hungry teeth upon a prey that always seem so close but remain so very far. It is about the testing of weaknesses, the traveling of paths and howling of your spirit as you race across the forests fo adversity and mental obstacles. What is best in life? What is life to the old wolf? The hunt is life and so is the art of survival.
One more step…
One more storm…
One more hunt..
And on and on and on….
Never Stray from The Way