Good day and salutations my fellow strongcreatures! That (above) is the true log I have been working on over the last couple of months. I decided that I wanted to experience what it would be like to hand carve this monstrosity. I only sparingly used my chainsaw and have learned that hand carving a strongman log is a feat unto itself. The process isn't complex, but it is time consuming. I have since decided to brush the dust off the chainsaw and employ its ability to chew through wood like a cracked-out beaver to my advantage. I do admit, however, that the test of patience required to hand carve any large apparatus cultivates a certain level of psychological strength. If you don't believe me, go find yourself a large piece of tree and start carving whatever you like using hand chisels. Go ahead, I'll wait...
I bring this to your attention because I am less than a week out from my last competition of 2021. This week I am focusing on recovery, positive visualization, and constructive self-talk (affirmation). I've written about positive visualization in a previous post and I know it won't be my last. But today I want to write about a topic that I believe is overlooked by athletes, especially strength athletes: creativity and rest.
I am probably safe to assume that the majority of my readership understands the need to rest the body to build strength. However, I would venture to guess that most of you, when you think about rest, you envision passive rest. Am I right? Do you dream of sitting back in your recliner, enjoying a mani/pedi, then being whisked away to a 90-minute massage? I think many of us think about those things as wondrous rest. But what about actively resting? I am a firm believer that engaging in activities that keep the brain active are vital to our overall health and fitness. Rest may even be some combination of light cardio and a hobby or two (or six, or eight). I challenge anyone reading this to break outside of the mold of passive rest and instead seek out something you've been wanting to tackle AND TACKLE IT! Maybe you've always wanted to learn Japanese. Okay, grab yourself some audio lessons, plug-in, and go for a walk around your neighborhood telling the stray cats to "Watashi no shibafu o oriru."
Humans need to be creative. It's not just about flexing our mental "muscle" to stay agile. It's about scratching the itch of accomplishment. When we resign ourselves to being "done" with an aspect of our lives we become stagnant. We wilt. We die. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN! Hell, you can even use your own personal obsessions to fuel whatever fire you've lit. You know, like hand-carving an overhead log (ahem...). Get out there strongcreatures. Be creative. And when it's time to rest, rest well! Strength and honor.