Saturday, August 12, 2017

A good letter from Sutinder Mann

Real World Fitness?

As I lifted the corner of the beast and pushed the immense metal frame forward with considerable might; I was thanking God that I lifted. If I were weak, I could not have accomplished this feat. It was more than being strong but an awareness of bodily power and being in harmony with my muscles which told me how much I could load them with.

It brought to mind the sage words of George Hackenschmidt

“The knowledge of one's strength entails a real mastery over oneself; it breeds energy and courage, helps one over the most difficult tasks of life, and procures contentment and true enjoyment of living.” George Hackenschmidt

Let me tell you why I’m having to lift an orthopaedic bed. For those of you unfamiliar with such a bed, it boasts a heavy metal frame with several motors set along its structure. We were having a new carpet fitted by two strong fitters, twice the size of me, who move furniture for a living. When they came to my father’s bedroom and adjoining shower room they hit upon a problem. The bedroom is small and with the bed taking about half the space in it, they could not lay and fit the carpet.

Normally they would be willing and able to shift furniture but when confronted by an expensive contraption of metal, which if broken would leave them liable, they understandably declined. So we were stuck. I needed the room carpeting and rather than arguing I knew it fell upon me to deal with the bed.

I first attempted to disassemble it, however the screws were so worn that the bolts would not come out despite using an electric screwdriver. The only other solution was brute force manipulation of the bed into the shower room. I managed to deadlift it over onto its side and lifted the corner of the hulking bed and pushed the immense metal frame forward with the other end having a carpet piece to protect the wet room floor. After some heavy pulling and pushing I was triumphant. In the end, the room was carpeted and I managed to get the bed back in place.

I know a number of contributors to Natural Strength talk about odd object lifting but this is the first time I had tried a facsimile of it and the following day I felt like I had been hit by a truck! I was hurting in a very different way from my regular workouts and appreciate how difficult it can be.

This brings me back the title of the Article “Real World Fitness?” I regularly see a Chiropractor who is very knowledgeable and has helped me immensely. I started to see him because of Stuart McRobert’s advice in Beyond Brawn and he noticed I train and has described me as stocky (which is a testament to the power of iron as I was a scarecrow when I started lifting weights.) We were talking about exercise and he was encouraging me to do more cardiovascular work as I neglect such training especially when busy with work. He said heavy weight training in a sense is not for real world fitness because generally for most people, including myself, you are not lifting heavy objects these days but cardio fitness will impact more every day. He is right but I’ll rather have might and muscle and not need it than not have might and muscle and need it. There may not be many everyday occasions in which you would need might and muscle but don’t be found wanting. Gain mastery over your body and gain contentment and true enjoyment of living as, Hackenschmidt urges.

Sutinder Mann
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