MPH will be closed from Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31 for the Memorial Day holiday. We will resume a normal workout schedule on Tuesday, June 1.
One year ago, a good man, my friend, got cheated. One year ago, I started writing this, only now finally having sense enough to finish it. No matter it’s so different now.
One year later and the details are hazy, but the roots remain perfectly clear. Aggressive cancer mixed with a tepid prognosis and lazy treatment can never end well. And, in our case, a misplaced road sign and a wrong turn also meant that the end arrived only five minutes too early for goodbye.
I believe in responsibility, honesty and rationality; in unfailing loyalty; in shedding security and solace in favor of vulnerability and experience; in getting out of your own way and into someone else’s; in believing in yourself and the things you so badly want until there is nothing left; in the innate human ability to carve out any existence or achieve any result desired; and that if you want anything in this life, you must go get it now. As this anniversary passed recently, I stopped on all of this, along with the predictable idea of loss and pain, and again on that sensitivity when bonded to effort—the crucible of an ultimate commitment to the task at hand.
I am amazed and obsessed with the capabilities of a human mind’s body. Coaching and training were born from, and now drive my desire to know exactly what this marriage can do under a range of pressures and expectations. We are compelled to move and fuel and breath and burn well past the constraints of safety and comfort because we are built to do so, and because this is living well. Day after day, the results of this struggle remind me of my existence and convince me of yours.
These trials of intense physical discipline inspire the quest for longevity and functionality, which, in turn, unlock our doors each morning. The victory for Melody, Rebekka and me against the daily industry of clearing your path to improved health and athleticism is one that may even occur beyond our time together. Maybe, between 60 seconds or 60 years from now, you will captain your firm’s softball team, play with your child in the backyard, grow gray with the man or woman of your dreams, or beat cancer. These moments, visible or not, move us to move you.
There are labels for everything and everyone in this life, and our success here is ostensibly branded with times, loads, repetitions and rounds. We are wrong, however, if we accept at all that those metrics feed our desire for achievement or validate shortcomings. It is, and always has been about trying—effort—regardless of what you think your capabilities or limitations are, and no matter the final score. My friend—he had his own dream, unrelated to health and fitness, and put his whole life, intention and energy into making it a success; this against a poverty of resources, meagerness of time and the rampart of disease.
If MPH is our dream, your efforts, not numbers, bring our modest corner of the universe to life, making it reality. These are what you are able to accomplish day after day, and what your fellow athletes experience alongside you; we form friendships and bonds from all of this. Do not miss these moments and opportunities. They come during a practical pursuit, from a hope for something extraneously better, but they do come.
And when the doors close each day at MPH, after we have seen the tension, labor and progress, it carries my hope that the exercise and nutrition we prescribe may reduce or eliminate some scenario comparable to my friend’s for one of our athletes—an extension of our dream. This idealism is not lost on me, but no change comes without first a wish.
When time finally runs me down, it will not be because I had not done everything I could to stave it off, nor will it be because I was unable to consign my well-being and tour that dark, vulnerable place where failure is as probable an outcome as triumph—this, set off from a purpose in loss and pain, and a desire to just hold on.
Remember this weekend your reasons for fitness—for anything. Admire each day’s exposure and look forward to new sacrifice. Here is where you can live. Here is where you can travel the full range of emotion and physical capacity. Here is our affront to average. Experience it, because it is not worth waiting any longer, or sheltering yourself from the possibilities.
Carter: the only one I’ve known who pushed to completely unreasonable effort and pain, only to grow and live and inspire with equal force. Rest well, my friend. We’ll take it from here.
No comments, just reflection and rest—for the next three days.