Blazing fire under the moon
Burning taste of lead
We’ll ride forever
Cause’ the Iron is stronger than death
– Ensiferum ‘Iron’
Not the best opening quote, but traditions are sometimes not that convenient. Well, what is a tradition anyways. I’ve written a bit about my personal feelings about the gym and how I keep it up and what and why I go there. I have not spoken about ‘The Iron’ yet. That almost meditative bit of writing of Henry Rollins about the significance of going to the gym. I want to go into this for a bit, because physical excersise has both physical as well as mental effects on you as a person. I value them both, but the mental is why I’m so stubbornly going there.
Yes, I would almost start writing about fit chicks. At some point your whole aesthetic starts to change and physical aspects you find appealing are those that are honed by workouts. True fact, but that’s not what this post is about.
The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back. – Henry Rollins, ‘The Iron’ (source)
When you work mostly with your head, like I tend to do, there is nothing better than to have everything go away for a while. To listen to music or a book, while lifting weights, doing cardio and all sorts of excersise. Your body takes over and does it’s thing, anger, frustration and the daily troubles slide of your back. There is only you and the iron. Every bit of frustration you have, you can put into that excersise in a guided, controlled way. It will tell you what you can and cannot do and make you want to try harder. It’s one of the most honest things you’ll ever do.
When I started out I was always sceptical towards the so called ‘jocks’ with their ‘Gold’s Gym’ tank tops, tanned look and greased hair. I thought that this was fake and taking it too far. There must be some that use steroids instead of good food and that live on the supplement powders, but most are just really dedicated. It takes discipline and dedication to hang out in that gym 3, 4 or 5 times a week. It’s not for the week, because you have to give up other things. Sleep, downtime, going out, eating crap and just chillaxing have no part to play for those who take this path. Nowadays I get these gruding nods of recognition and approval of those guys, that’s cool. We’re all here for the iron and for our daily check. Whatever crap we get thrown at us during the day, these two hours are just us versus the steel weights and machines.
What is so nice about torturing yourself in the gym? I can’t tell you, there’s first drive to go and later the desire to go. You start going because you really want to. If you persevere, you start feeling a craving for it. Your body will start loving it, specially if you watch your food too. It will feel most satisfied when its beaten to pulp by excersise. When you crash down on your couch, with just enough time to watch one tv-show and read a few pages, you’ve done what most people can’t make themselves do. That in itself is a reward, the feeling your body gives only makes it better.