I sit in the corner of this coffee shop with miss brown eyes, drunk on sentimental thoughts and overcome with gratitude. The corner is where champions are made. The corner of the gym where the dust finds a home. Stories are told and whispers of “fuck this is hard” are shared amongst the athletes resting upon broken chairs. The weights leaned against the wall as if they weighed more than before the session started. The corner of the gym where chalk lays like snow, and the graveyard of barbells that have given their life for athletes to reach goals and dreams, now become a spectator while the new bars spin like a dream. I step over new bars while training, but never will I step over a retired bar. The three wooden platforms in the corner of the gym hold mighty, as only the heavy hitters have the opportunity to lift heavy on such heavy-duty platforms. Heavy hearted and always blinded by life outside, the athletes lift hard as coach watches from the side. Eyes of a thousand words speak volumes as the sound of weights hit the platforms, one after another. Music on low, for chatting about the session is necessary for proper feedback and coaching. Shit talking amongst the athletes is necessary for hard pushing. Positive encouragement is well-respected but only for some, as a lion in the grass sometiems likes to be left with only thoughts before the kill is on. Yes, the corner of the gym takes the least amount of space, while consuming the most amount of weight.
The corner of the gym needs to come back, for to many athletes train in the middle of the gym with no wall against their back. I don’t trust an athlete resting upright and tall, for the athlete that is hunched over and breathless is the one giving it their all. You don’t need to put on a show for your teammates and coach, for they know the real you, as the training strips you naked, as your walls fall and crumble around you. Don’t leave anything to chance, as your hard work will determine your stance on success in life and sport. If you truly purchase a ticket on the midnight train and set out for your dreams, only dreams can be made as the train steams. Your on your way! The night turns into light as your stop is in sight. You will soon be adding another barbell to the graveyard of non spinning barbells that lay rusted and never forgot. Rhythmic training begins to happen without instruction or thought, lifters begin to approach the barbell while the others rest in thought. One after another the session takes shape. Coaches pace as if trying to figure out space. Hands behind the back and heads down while only the eyes look up to see the lifter fall. The coach shakes his head as if nothing is ever good enough nor will it ever be. You get upset in the corner of the gym because the feedback is not good. “Well, if the lift was good then the feedback would be more weight, but because the lift was no good the feedback is a shake, for more awaits unless you lift that bar and create a fucken earthquake” – Your coach.
The corner of the gym is a teacher of sorts. Teaching you to not only become a champion Weightlifter, but how to. How to create successes when times are hard, relying on your gut and self-reliance. How to lift heavy when the body’s tired, is an example to yourself that your excuses mean nothing, and your actions mean everything. Act upon what you want, don’t dwell upon how you feel, for feeling’s leaves you self-doubt, for thoughts leave you with an overwhelming feeling of will.
Chase down the wolf for the kill, as shankle once told me while standing up adding more weight to the bar. I sat in silence watching Shankle add more weight only to miss. One thing I noticed about the miss was that he sits back down with an interesting silence of confidence, even after a miss. I looked up at him while my shoulders were in pain, chalky hands can only temporarily take away the pain. He then got back up adjusting his sweats, speaking agin in his voice if deep and darkness. “I will try again and eventually find that wolf, try again we must”. This was no smoke break, this is what we talked about in the smoke break after training. Going over what the fuck just happened and how to process such an outer body experience was the pure beauty of the smoke breaks. The next lift the wolf was killed, the throat was cu. The blood on Shankles hand shook mine while in deep breath said “its your turn boy, now move!”. I approached the bar in the corner of the gym with blood on my mind and on my hands, it was my turn to find the wolf in the snowy hills. As my mind escaped during the lift, the bar moved, coaches head titled to the side as I saw the wolfs almond-shaped eyes. Blood on the snow from the wolf Shankle just killed moments ago. I moved fast and violent with everything I had, cutting the grayed haired wolf’s throat to leave a pool of blood dripping down it’s fur. I sat back down and Shankle said nothing. I said nothing. The corner of the gym whistled from the outside wind creeping through the doors leading to the back of the gym. Silence after death. An unspoken understanding in the corner of the gym. We got that fucken worlf.