Dan John: Wandering Weights, Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 29

As I type this, I'm sitting in the Atlanta Sky Club, near where I met Gary Player not long ago. Player continues to impress us with his daily exercise regime and the fact he wears a Green Jacket from the Masters. Friday a good friend took over the command of one of our Special Forces groups in San Diego, and Tiff and I were honored to be part of the ceremony. Then I flew to South Carolina to take part in the Sorinex Summer event, where I met Adam Nelson, Olympic shot put gold medalist.
 
In other words, it’s pretty easy to be humble today.

One thing about the best and brightest, as Earl Nightingale explained, “as you move higher and higher in any field, the people become more and more helpful.” This remains true with these fine examples.
 
Craig Marker has been crushing things lately at Breaking Muscle. This article does a nice job outlining the hinge.

“Sometimes it is easier to ask people to get into the hip hinge position by asking them to set up for a standing long jump. People naturally hip hinge as they are asked to jump. As Andrew Read explained, the kettlebell swing has been shown to improve vertical jump by about 20% in collegiate level athletes. The kettlebell swing is certainly valuable for building explosive strength and it may substitute for plyometric movements.”

That’s a valuable bit of information.
 
Fooling around on that site, I found this piece from Chet Morjaria, and it resonates with one of life’s great truths: You are one piece. You can’t separate your life from your lifting.

“If you want to be respected, you need to be respectable. Being respected isn’t about lifting the biggest weight or having the fastest time. Being respected is about the integrity you have as an athlete. That is a deeper, less transient respect. A respect that begins from within. Respecting yourself comes from acting with honor and integrity in everything you do.”
 
Simple and to the point, I found this TC Luoma article to be a fun read. I was trying to coach when the pickle juice fad hit and moms were making their poor kids swallow this down after games. The correct way to drink pickle juice, of course, is after a shot of Irish Whiskey. That’s called a “Pickle Back,” and it's delightful. All of this nonsense with chocolate milk and all the rest has to be put to bed. Save for water, little can be done before or after competition to really make a difference. Being prepared is the best tonic.
 
My annual rereading of The Sword in the Stone, as always, stopped me. I first read this in the eighth grade (insert standard joke: The best three years of my life…), and I also picked up My Side of the Mountain and Seven Days to Sunday. These three books made me a reader, and they all changed my life in one way or another. T. H. White makes some amazing commentaries:
 
“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ~ T.H. White, The Sword in the Stone
 
For a good place to learn something, start with the Epic of Gilgamesh. Oft copied, imitated and revamped, there is something about this raw version that keeps me coming back. 
 
Too lazy to read this? You can watch it. Here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOrfrHys8g8#t=40
 
This is a great series of articles from Christopher McGougall, the author of Born to Run. I'm currently reading his new book, Natural-Born Heroes….I should be finished within hours as I write this…and it's a fine follow-up. 
 
The South Carolina Gamecock weightroom had quotes from Sydney Harris. I foundthis short set of “the best of,and will be buying some of his work.

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”
 
Like I mentioned, I got to spend much of the other day with shot put gold medalist Adam Nelson. He remains one of the classiest and nicest guys in sports. This archived series of posts shows how open “Nellie” is to helping out.
 
Integrity. Life-long learning. I think these ideas are core to success in life.
 
Until next time, keep lifting and learning.

Dan
DanJohn.net

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