Anvil or Hammer

Mental fortitude = stupid?

Posted in Gym Strength,Rant by Mike on February 8, 2008

Another lovely day at Dumbarton. I was feeling fresh as well as groovy. I still had a tinge of tightness for last weeks fun and games but nothing serious. I decided to play it smart but not too smart.

Jump Rope 3 min (rapidly becoming my favorite exercise of the month)

Front squat
X5 20K,40K, 50K, 60K. 70K
X3 80K, 90K
5X1 100K

30 minutes had passed, yes I took a full 30 minutes to do that, it was intentional.

Jump Rope 3 min

Military Bench (I had actually planned on the regular bench but I could tell my bench was going to be dramatically effected by my tightness of back
X5 45 lb, 95, 135, 185
X3 225lb
X1 275

Heavy Bag 1min on, 1min off X 2

1 hour had passed (still intentional)

Now we do some work
Circuit X 3
80lb Dumbell Deadlifts (pick up to standing, back to floor, drop, stand up, that’s one) x 12
40lb One legged dumbell deadlift (identical to the the kettlebell exercise) X 8
40lb Dumbell Thruster (front squat, jerk, that’s one) X 8

That was challenging and took about 15 minutes, I allowed ample rest between rounds of the circuit.

I was trying to think up a new circuit but was having trouble on the account of my body asking for clemency when some folks I knew walked in. a guy, his boy (both of them named Charles) and his daughter. Boy is 15ish and wants to just play video games so dad makes him come workout. Daughter is about 11 and wants to hang out with daddy but he’s worried about her overdoing it and messing herself up. Of course, he wants her to do bodyweight type stuff and she wants to go heavy like dad.

So I showed the kids my kettlebells that I had brought for just this occasion. They didn’t give a crap. No problem, on with the show. Girl is dogging it ’cause, well let’s face it, if all you get to do is push ups, you;d be bored too. To her credit, dad talked her into do “boy pushups” and despite a considerable sag in her body position, she was trying. So, to get her doing something I hit the Front Leaning Rest (push up position) and invite her to join me.

Dad tells her that if she can outlast me they’ll go buy her a video game she has been begging for, right this second. Thanks. So now I can’t lose. 20 seconds in I’m shaking and quaking. She, on the other hand, has her elbows hyper-extended in a way that makes me want to tell her to stop for her own sake. I continue to work the front leaning rest for what feels like an eternity but is probably more like two minutes before she starts to complain that it hurts. Indeed it does, but I can’t say that, so I smile. We go on for a minute more with her complaining and my brain screaming “Then quit!Please quit! I can’t quit.” Finally I beat her. It was probably 3 minutes. Yes, she was an 11 year old girl, she weighed in well under 100 lbs and yes, I’m glad I beat and 11 year old girl at a contest of strength. It sure would have been embarrassing to end this story the other way around.

Now, about mental fortitude. Big Rick was in on Friday as well. Big Rick is the quintessential middle aged, ex-has-been-never-was powerlifter, except he’s not fat but the rest is all there. He told me I missed a good time the night before that they were doing crazy stuff. So I ask for details. He mentions one armed deadlift, cool, I do that. Then he mentions this push up contest they had. It requires two broomsticks (I invite anyone, bone headed enough, to try this at their own risk, don’t blame me).

Lay one broomstick on the ground in front of you, about where you hands go if you are going to do a pushup on it. Take the second broomstick in both hands. grasping the one broomstick, place your the back of your fingers (between the first and second knuckles) on the broomstick on the ground. So, basically, your finger are sandwiched between the two sticks. Now do a push up. Well, Rick misread the look on my face and said “No, really it’s hard.” I replied “I have no doubt it’s hard, more than hard, it sounds like it would hurt.”.

“Oh, yeah, that’s what makes it hard.”

“No, that’s what makes it stupid. It’s that kind of dumb crap that gets stupid people hurt!”

“No, it’s mental fortitude.”

“Look, mental fortitude is about doing something you have to do or that has some kind of benefit but sucks to do. What you are doing is just retarded.”

Rick proceeded to insist on showing me how the exercise is performed, but immediately started to complain about the pain because he ruptured blood vessels in his fingers yesterday doing it. That is S-T-U-P-I-D. This exercise is no better than dropping a brick on your foot until it doesn’t hurt. Doing so will not help anyone and only invites injury.

End of rant.

**Author’s note, I am back dating this post two days to coincide with the events it describes.

3 Responses to 'Mental fortitude = stupid?'

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  1. No. 6 said,

    Rick’s stunt reminds me of the construction-worker-olympics games your dad mentions. Except that the CWO games are done to those whom the crew dislikes.

    I also know you’re jealous of those of us who can hyper-extend our elbows. 🙂

  2. brent said,

    should have really rubbed it in her face and bought the game she wanted so badly for yourself

  3. Mike said,

    ROTFLMAO. That’s why I like you Brent, you’re a bad person 🙂
    I don’t even remember what the game was, I didn’t recognize the name. Nonetheless, it would have been interesting to see how long she would have hung in if the game had been there, in front of us. I think may have lost that battle.

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