IRONMILL: PHASE 1

This is being written at 3:30 in the morning on Saturday October 27th.

I’ve found myself in this very exciting pattern of wearing myself out through workouts, running the gym and overall worrying to the point of falling asleep every night by 9pm. Then waking up dastardly early for no apparent reason.

Once I get 7 hours of sleep my overgrown strongman body almost instantly wakes up and anyone that knows me from child hood sleepovers, college benders and basically any annoyed soul that has tried to sleep in with me around knows this to be true.

I’ve passed out with my pants down in more bars than Ke$ha or Lohan combined.  Just kidding incase my mom is reading.  But I do have a knack for falling asleep.

Me And Ke$ha have this in common.

Sadly this sleep problem has ruined quite a few relationships.

Hey, I guess no one wants to date an overgrown sweaty late 20’s strongman model that wipes his hands on the dog (thank god he’s orange: Doritos) and can’t stay awake late enough to watch Modern Family.

Last year, when Amanda and I first started the dating ritual of Destiny (Me coming over after work, passing out and promptly drooling on her after 30 minutes of T.V.) She thought I was just not that into her.

Now, She knows the dirty R.E.M. truth.  “I thought you were  just uninterested and acting like you were sleeping so you could go see other girls, Now I know that you were actually just falling asleep,” she says.

How charming I must be to make that sort of first impression.

Since I’ve switched back into strongman mode and the workouts have been decidedly brutal, the sleeping  schedule has taken a turn for the worse.

I’m now mumbling and incoherent as soon as the sun goes down and after a nice glass of wine or frosty brew (1 or 2 only) the body shuts down instantly.

This is a great thing for growth, recovery and a recharge!  Bad for your stripping career!

I was very, very apprehensive about throwing it out there that I was going to make N.A.S Nationals this year and shoot for top 15 after the well documented / retarded mishap of crushing both feet only 13 weeks ago.

When I was writing “that moment” (Feet thing) was going to be my battle cry and I started pointing my every thought and action towards recovery I suppose I never genuinely thought I would make it.

Let alone improve on almost all of my lifts in the process.

Now I know, I know.  People will grumble under their breaths and assume what my supplementation is or is not.  Whether I actually broke my feet or if that was Amanda’ well placed photo shopping.

Like T.O. coming back to play the Super Bowl after breaking his ankle, I thought it was all a big stunt and probably blown out of proportion.

I’m here to tell you I do not care what any who doubt me thinks.  Through the support system at Ironmill we’ve created and god knows I’ve fought it every inch of the way trying to be Vigo Mortenson from “The Highway.”  I’ve somehow succeeded despite….umm…myelf.  Amazingly enough.

Things have literally turned out unbelievable to me with how far they have progressed.

Couple that with just using everything I’ve learned through Football, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding and YEARS NOW in the Sport of strongman I know what it takes to get strong as a Natural Athlete.

Anytime someone has seen me in the past 3 months Im gorging my face eating.  SOMETHING.  Anyone that has worked out with us knows how deeply I push myself and the whole group to get better at the same time.

We’re creating a culture here at IRONMILL.  Battle tested strength soldiers.  We teach the intangible that every single poser out there wants but can’t grasp: Intensity.  Focused intensity.

Every single one of my online or in person training clients are seeing absolute great gains in strength, body composition, self worth, energy and endurance.

It’s incredible to be that positive conduit for someone.

My goal was to set out to help change a community for the better and right now I can see shades of our mark already seeping through the tightly bound negative seals as the industry’s hue has been slightly affected by our presence.

Small, nearly indiscernable changes but they are there if you look closely enough.

Those almost impossibly small metrics are enough to keep me chugging forward at 4 in the morning.  It’s invigoration at a cost of my own energy I never thought possible.  So however exhausting as it drains every ounce of “being” I have: it’s as equally amazing.

The recovery from injury:  The support of our little army.  The incredible emails we receive and feedback from clients. It’s all an explosive combination we’ve thrown into the Molotov Cocktail of what is about to happen in the upcoming months.

I couldn’t look at our group of people, our facility and where they’re going and be more excited.

It’s probably cliché’ to say but I am so excited for Nationals!  And Nervous!  Not because I feel I wont perform.  But when you put in this many devastatingly brutal workouts  you simply hope it was all for SOMETHING.  I understand now the metrics of my own success have already been set in my mind so now there is nothing left to do but execute.  It stresses me out!

But man let me tell you. A well placed drink CAN help take the edge off.  If you’re an adult who does not have a problem with addiction yet struggle with healthy stress.  It’s a miracle what a perfect timed beverage can do for you!

Not binge drinking singing Sublime Songs in the woods, but actually being stressed out, downing a glass of wine and feeling the calming effects of our last legal drug in America.

I was doing some programming for our IRONMILL athletes / clients / patrons and took a picture of the Old Milwaukee beer I had sitting on the computer.

I promptly posted it to Facebook to be uber funny and ironic.

IRONMILL Programming: Powered only by the best.

Under the picture was the caption: (IRONMILL: DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO)

Everyone made fun of me for drinking Old Mud and posted these crazy old stories that I had long forgotten but glad to remember about us as kids and your Grandfather’s favorite brew:  Old Milwaukee.

My reason for drinking Old Milwakee story is colorful and terrible all at the same time so I figured why not share it?!

I live in the ghetto of Lancaster. And this kind old lady with wild purple hair takes ALL of my packages that get left on our doorstep to her house (on her own accord mind you so I really never know when I actually get something ) to guard for safe keeping away from the “damned Mexicans and bad kids” – No prejudice on my part. But that’s how she says it.

Every day practically, she stops us and says how she has no pain medicine for her back and hints at needing either money or a drink.  She can afford neither.

Long story short, The last time she intercepted and guarded some of our Body’s Best supplements we ordered for the gym, I vowed to her I would buy her a 6 pack of beer of her choice.

She asked for Old Milwaukee. I went to the store and found that the deliciousness of Old Mud can only be contained in 30 packs.  Not 6 packs.

I bought a case. I divided out 10 beers and walked them next door at 9pm at night and knocked on her door.

She wasn’t there but her Granddaughter (I would say 12 years old) was.

I said, “I have these…uh…for your….uhh.” (not knowing their relationship or the women’s name) She said ..”GRANDMOTHER!!”

“She’ll be so excited” the girl announced.

The girl reached out for the gift and I promptly handed a bag of Old Milwaukee Beer to a 12 year-old girl. It was almost odd how uncompromised I felt as the girl snagged the beer and slammed the door shut.

I stood for a second mildly confused at the transaction that had just transpired and walked back to our porch.

I told Amanda as I walked in the door, “I think I just handed a bag of beer to a 12 year old girl.”   She laughed and said only I would do something like that.

An hour later the Old lady comes over visibly drunk and says how thankful she was and what a nice surprise it was to have a bag of 8 beers sitting on her chair when she got home.

She Thanked Amanda and myself and stumbled back into her house.

So when you wonder why I have 20 cans of Old Milwaukee in my fridge. I say to you,

“I got a prejudice 70 year old women with purple hair and her alcoholic 12 year old grand daughter hammered and if you listen to the ebb and flow of life, It couldn’t have been done any other way.”

Here’s to you Old Milwaukee. Keeping my packages safe, 12 year olds on their way to a healthy drinking habit and our little crazy neighborhood at bay for at least a short while longer.

 

Final Thoughts on Nationals:

One final thought of mine before we load up our Rehband and take this dog and pony strength show on the road during Frankenstorm.

We listen to 105.7 The X a lot in the gym on an old 90′s Boom Box that Amanda had apparently wore out from smoking too much pot as a 15 year old and listening to Matchbox 20 on repeat a thousand times contemplating the meaning of life.

We call in to “The X” and ask them to play some Rage Against the Machine when we are deadlifting or Tool or something LOUD.  They abide half of the time!

Recently the new Kid Rock Song “Let’s Ride” has been being getting played a lot and I couldn’t tell it was him at first!

Through Auto tune or just maturity in his voice or maturity in actual song writing it didn’t sound like The Kid.  I liked this song every time it was played though.

We grew up as kids with “Bawwithdabaw” and “Cowboy” and I remember lifting to those songs in our high school weight room 12 years ago.

Great memories.  Those tunes were in your face, aggressive, and machismo (which is still good) but the last couple albums of Kid’s have totally mellowed out as he’s finding his new niche.

Snidely, I’m as big a music snob as they come.  So the critic in me literally cringes when I  say I like Kid’ new music on the radio.  Fuck it, I like it.  There.  I said it.

Where the loud, party and arrogant mentality has been replaced with the quiet confidence of Mr. Rock in his new tunes I cannot help but see the parallel to my journey as well.

It’s that quiet confidence I find myself comfortable in now as Me and ‘Manders head down to Ol’ Tunica Missouri to test the mettle of strength and inner gumption of the soul.

It’s calming to be at this point in my life now.

 

Where our highschool football team used to belt out:

“I want to be a Cowboy! Baby!

Ride At night cause I sleep all day!

Cowboy! Baby/ I can smell a pig from a mile away”

 

Now we croon,

“C’mon and grab your guns let’s ride

And may your conscience be your guide.

I’ll say a prayer for you to make it through to the other side.

Tonight’s the night we fight or die.”

 

“Come on and Grab your Guns lets Rideeeeeee, Let your conscience be your guiddeeee”  Indeed Mr. Rock.  Indeed.

 

Interesting how perspective changes.  Catch ya in Tunica,

 

Stray Strong,

 

L

 

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