Comfort In Being Uncomfortable
I have been blessed to have some really hard workouts over the years. Most training sessions are productive – but not all can be balls out, if you did you would some hit a brick wall in a few weeks. I am a big advocate of trying the best I can to comply with mother-nature. But every now and then you can catch her off guard and really pull something special out of the bag.
This was one such day in 2004
Steam was rising from my face – I watched it snake its way up between raindrops into the dark rain filled clouds. The cold hard concrete felt like heaven – laid on my back in a puddle – I could not give a hoot – it felt so good in contrast to legs – on fire – stabbing pains even – as the body tried to disperse the lactic acid trapped in the pump.
Breath laboured, body heat of the charts, rain on my face cold concrete on my back, so comfortable being un-comfortable.
I looked over to my left – Andy and Rob – same position, same pain – same comfort. ”Who’s f***ing idea was that?” Said Andy in a laboured but proud tone, knowing that we had accomplished something out there – something all three of us would really never forget.
Roll back time to around an hour
We are warming up for squats -in Bodyindesign studio in Morley Leeds, one of my early PT gyms, a ground floor industrial unit on a business park.
There is a crew of four – little me – Andy Barber – Rob Cory – Chris Mchugh.
To this day I don’t know who threw this idea in the ring.
But I do know it was leg day and as always squats were the main course.
But the idea was there – 10 sets of squats for 10 reps – with 3 plates – 140kg – not one of willing to look ‘un-manly’ before we knew it we were warming up.
Bar 20 reps – 20kg a side 10 reps – plate a side 10 and so on, on the last couple of sets 2 plates and 2 and a half plates – just a couple of reps each to acclimatise – not tire.
By now the butterflies in my gut were doing acrobatics – 2 and a half plates did not feel easy. But it was time to man up, Rob, Chris and Andy were and are today very strong big lads.
The 3rd plate slapped and banged on to each side of the bar – for affect and aggression. Belt cinched tight, set the bar on my traps – lift step back – down -drive – up -1 rep – repeat till 10. Rack, step out – get in line – to spot the next one before you.
This worked well with the four of us – you got time to recover and everyone got spotted and gave a spot.
This was not worked out between us or strategised – but just fell into place as good training partners tend be able to do. Communicate – by grunts nods and pointing, with the odd swear word for affect and urgency.
So we fell into the basic hard labour of this – by four sets – the reality had set in -things began to hurt. Set five went down – then man down. Chris decided he we were all f’ing mad – and despite all the name calling you could come up with and some you don’t even know, the door shut behind him. Chris is as strong as a bull and routinely squats over 200kg – real squats. But reps – reps are not his thing – never was never will be.
So just the three of us – 5 sets to go. Legs – back – traps – even my face hurt. Its at times like this you fight with your mind. Your rational mind says “what the hell are you doing?”. The bodybuilder mind says – “dig in – get this done -you can and will do this”. Less rest now – I only had time to open the door – its cold and raining but the air hits me like its best feeling ever. I suck in huge gulps and then get back in line on wobbly legs.
Set 6 to 9 went in a blur – by now the mind had switched off and you just moved – just did. For some reason set 10 was an absolute bastard. Maybe it was because you was so near to the end but yet so far, maybe I let my guard down and saw the end point and relaxed. I don’t know, 10 reps seemed never ending and I noted the same with Rob and Andy. Its working hard like this that bonds you for life – even if life takes you on another direction – there will always be that discomfort you shared along with a goal achieved.
So here we are outside in the rain sprawled out on the cold wet concrete happy as Larry.
Legs killing – so uncomfortable but comfortable.
A great workout shared by awesome friends to this day.
Love to ya all Ian