I won’t pick up a kettlebell here at home and swing it. I will only swing a kettlebell or do a squat or a push-up or a sit-up if I pay someone to watch me.
Lifting weights and all that jazz is not something I will do here at home, alone. Even though I have weights here at home, and even though it’s good for me.
But once I get into the gym, I’m okay with swinging a kettlebell, but I want to swing it my way: the yogic way.
I want to notice everything. I want to block out distractions: the babble of my trainer, the bad music he’s blasting.
I want to focus on what’s happening. And not just bodily pain, but the color commentary running through my mind about this pain.
I want to hear myself tell myself the story of how I can’t do this, how much I hate this, how much this barbell stinks.
I want to listen to this whole narrative. And then I don’t. I whine. I look at the time.
But some days I can drop in. Some days I hit this groove in my brain, and my eyes roll back in my skull and I get this creepy look on my face. My eyes appear to be looking at you, but I’m not looking at you at all.
Kind of like the Children of the Dammed.
I’m in that gym but not in that gym at all.
I’m on the path to failure, watching myself with a curious detachment.
I know it’s coming, that failure moment, but I don’t know when. My trainer, he’s the one waiting for the end; me,I’m into the journey.
I’m involved, and not involved. I’m checked in and checked out. I’m watching the movie of me: Me doing squats. Me lifting a 50 pound kettlebell in a “dead.” Me on the rings doing push ups, wondering how many more before I can’t push back up.
I’m watching myself walk the path of failure. Just waiting.
I like that someone witnesses me as I do this. I like to have an audience.
Sometimes he gives me form cues: “Feet wider, sit back into that squat, do just one more.”
He said the other day: “I’m just here to watch you do what you want to do.”
And what I want to do is walk the path to failure. With eyes wide open.
Even though, sometimes, I need to roll them back in my skull to see where I’m really going.