My first foray into working out was inside a traditional gym. There were machines and resistance equipment. I was fascinated with learning how to set up each strength machine perfectly while designing just the right program to achieve the physique I was striving for.
I always felt good with the conventional programs. I had scheduled days such as Chest/Triceps, Back/Biceps, Legs/abs along with cardio. Old school, like 25 years ago! As long as I stuck to my program I felt good. I was actually scared to deviate.
I thought I was strong until I discovered Kettlebell training. I was humbled learning how disconnected my body really was.
The first time I did a Get Up 15 years ago, I could barely get off the ground with 8lbs in my hand. Pull ups and real squats were a joke. I was under the illusion that I was in amazing shape, until discovering the Kettlebell philosophy. It was a downer realizing my body didn’t know how to work together as one unit after all the time I put in to the gym.
I was fantastic at bicep curls and I even had the biceps to show for it! 😂 My leg press was strong and my legs looked good (at least that’s what I thought). I could leg press with 3 huge plates per side. But the carry over wasn’t there!
Clearly my body didn’t know how to use itself.
In this last year I’ve stepped away from using Kettlebells consistently. Afterall it’s been 15 years on and off (mostly on) and I felt it was time to change my focus. The last few months I’ve been playing with mostly ring training and hardly even lifted bells except to film a workout for Lauren’s Playground.
This morning I felt real guilty about not purposely swinging or snatching a bell in more months than I can admit. As if I abandoned the very thing that got me the strength I have today. The very thing that allowed me to once do Get Ups with 62lbs and gave me the body armor to pull up with 52lbs worth of Kettlebells hanging from my feet. My body learned how to work together in a balanced way because of the Kettlebell training I did. I owe my structural integrity to the philosophy behind Kettlebell training.
This morning, since it had been a while, I thought I’d swing and snatch a Kettlebell that was actually impossible for me when I first started.
The snatches with the 35lb bell felt amazing, even though I hardly snatch anymore. The 26lb that once was heavy to me, felt like air. Is this from having the skill embedded in my body? Must be....
The point is I will never forget what gave me the foundation I now have to allow me to try things I could never do in my 20’s and even in my early 30’s.
I am so grateful for all that the Kettlebell has taught me along with the coaches and colleagues I’ve had the honor of working with and learning from along the way. When I’m not learning I feel like I’m dying.
Here’s to honoring where you started from and appreciating what got you on your path to greatness. Never forget your roots!
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