A black composite rubber 45 lb rogue bumper plate. . . idly resting on the ground. . .chalk outlines the hand prints that were just there minutes before. It had no intent of malice, nor good will, it doesn't care if you can pick it up, and it doesn't care if it hurts you. . . let me tell you more. . .
That 45 lb rogue bumper plate has a family behind it, a 35 lb rogue bumper plate, a 25 lb rogue bumper plate, a 15 lb rogue bumper plate, a 10 lb rogue bumper plate, and a ton of little metal 5 lb and 2.5 lb meanies that can pack a wallop. All the while, two lone bars sit lackadaisical, bereft of emotion, similar to the plate, staring into nothingness. The cold steel giving sheen to the viewer, as if there was a maniacal nature underneath the rigid exterior. One is 45 lbs; the other 15 lbs, their weight shows no sign of mercy.
Any of these objects alone can cause some serious damage, together they are lethal, and vicious. They don't care how much chalk you have on your hands or how much tape you have wrapped around your wrists. They don't care if you've combined them together or used them separately. They don't mind being thrown around, they don't mind being stacked. All they want is to be dead weight. They want to be inside your head when you hear what they are combined together, they don't care that you might be intimidated or scared. . .
The Coach yells, "225 lbs for men, 185 lbs for women!"
Gasps and muttering are heard under short breaths. Nervous chatter echoes throughout the gym. And the echoes seem to last for minutes beyond when the last person spoke, as if ghosts moaned the sentiments of the class from the rafters above. The music plays low in the background, "Shorty got low, low, low, low, low. . .Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur. . ."With the fur?!" So on and so forth, the weight doesn't hear it, that crap just bounces off of it, filling the athletes with even more nervousness, the music almost seems to get louder . . .
Now the weight is kinda happy, it gets to hang out with 3 more 45 lb plates, and a 45 lb bar. It knows its in for one hell of a ride. "3, 2, 1 . . . GO!", Its gonna be bounced off the floor, it doesn't care about your back, it doesn't care if you pick up with your legs, and it sure doesn't care if you don't come all the way upright and open your hips in the top position.
However long that workout is, the plate is active, active just like you and me. When we are active, we have to respect our surroundings, that includes the weights, that includes the bar. We can overcome all nervousness and we become confident in our technique. Our anger, frustrations, joys, pains, and accomplishments come from moving that weight. Lately I have the feeling that when people move more weight, they seem more confident, I hope I am far from the truth. My hope is that by moving any weight correctly that people become more confident and that they don't disillusion themselves by doing what they are truly capable of.
The mind is a tricky thing, there is no doubt of that. I give you a number and all of a sudden I hear, "That is a lot of weight!" But it's just a number, it's not what you are incapable of doing.
Let's talk about one of my favorite movies, Braveheart, one of Mel Gibson's greatest films (besides the obvious, Mad Max - kidding). In one of the greatest battles in the movie, William Wallace has to stoke the soldiers to fight against the English. You remember the scene, William Wallace watches as the men start to leave the battlefield before the fight has begun and cries out:
William Wallace: And if this is your army, why does it go?
Veteran: We didn't come here to fight for them!
Young Soldier: Home! The English are too many!
William Wallace: Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace.
Young Soldier: William Wallace is seven feet tall!
William Wallace: Yes, I've heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse. [Scottish army laughs]
William Wallace: I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men... and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?
Veteran: Fight? Against that? No! We will run. And we will live.
William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!
So the story behind this, don't be intimidated or bullied by the number in front of you, whether it is weight, heights or reps. It's just a weight, you now know it's nature, you know what it is capable of, therefore, you can defeat it!
“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” -unknown