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Monday, May 13, 2013

Sweat Bank

His sweat has turned from warm to cold as the cool air turned his skin into a leopard like coat of goose bumps that shot up his spine and down his arms.  The drastic change in weather from inside the gym to out has made the once river of sweat die in its tracks and stick to his body like a hook grip to a bar.  The wind left him breathless as he began to walk to his humble apartment that rested just a few blocks from the gym that he has been training at for the last year.  His walk brought him an awkward silence, but a well needed time to himself he valued deeply.  Echoes of yelling, cheering, and bar slamming played over and over in his head every step he took.  The echoes and recent memories began to drown turning into vapor as the mist of the cold day and car horns took over a new reality, a peaceful one that every athlete must have at least once a day.  Boston was his home, and Boston would always be his home.  He knew the back streets like a champ, cutting at least 10 minutes off his walk home, where only a native of this empty, but huge town would know.  The bottom half of his long black coat rested over his gym bag as it occasionally hit his right knee, causing him to switch hands from time to time.  The collar on his coat was popped up past his ears while his chin stayed tucked downward.  A place where deep thoughts are born and then thought about.  Church bells rang aloud off in the distance, and a light rain met him half way home.  The cars' break lights started to stand out more, as they became not only brighter but more blurry.  The sounds of the street only intrigued him, just like the sounds of the gym. "Ears and eyes always open," his dad would preach to him before being tucked into bed. "See, hear, understand, and then create," his dad would say before turning off the lights and cracking the door just slightly so the monsters wouldn't come out to play. The Boston native never forgot, one memory that stuck with him, and so many other memories he wished he could forget.  The walking signal flashed go, and before he knew it, he was stopped by the first step leading up to his apartment.  He was home after a long day of training. 

The hot water burned his skin like squats to his legs.  Long days call for an extra long shower, and the harder the training, the more the small arrow leans to the H on the shower knob. Every workout has to go somewhere, right?  He thought to himself while watching the water by his feet swirl in circles down the drain.  His shoulders hurt from missing too many snatches in front, so he turned the shower head to a more powerful setting, giving his shoulders a light massage.  He has been training for three months straight, preparing for his first local meet in weightlifting.  His coach has been proud of him as he has been making great gains.  His boss on the other hand, has a different take in his awesome job, his marketing boss that pays him a very nice salary every month wants him at the office more rather than taking time to rep curls at 24 Hour Fitness.  Little did his boss know what he was really doing, or little did he care.  The Boston native was baited and hooked to weightlifting, and the disease was too late and deep to try and leave this great sport he stumbled across on YouTube months ago.  His shower door was cracked open, maybe from child hood stability, or just because the baseball game was playing in the background, and a few peeks out the shower door was part of his cleaning process.  The confusing thought of when he would get all of his training back plus more for a reward, grabbed his attention from the ball game, and swirled his head back under the hot water.  A Weightlifter's Bank is what he needed and wished he could walk into it.  A Sweat Bank that allowed an athlete to deposit and withdraw every drop of sweat he or she worked for.  A place where an athlete can see how much sweat he or she has put into any sport.  His forehead started to wrinkle, as his eyebrows drew down like window drapes. If our bodies lie to us and play tricks on us as athletes.....then how do we really know how much better we are getting.  Where does all the sweat go?  He thought to himself while now brushing his teeth dramatically like he was playing the violin as the hot water now came punching down upon his back.  He then froze in complete stillness.  The water from the shower head became motionless while the baseball game was put on pause mid pitch.  All of Boston stopped.

Let me, as the writer, stop the story for just a sec and talk to you, the reader, about the Sweat Bank before we pick back up on the story about the man from Boston.  Don't worry he will be fine.  He is not dead or alive right now.  The world he knows has just stopped for a brief while, while we chat about his interesting idea and theory.  Let's face it, I can stop his world anytime I want, because I am the one making the world he is living in real.  I am the writer, the creator.  Without me he wouldn't exist.  He wouldn't be in the shower nor a weightlifter.  He only knows Boston because I placed him there.  His whole life has been created with a single cup of coffee.  A Sweat Bank does exist!  When you wash your cloths in the washing machine, all of the sweat accumulated in your clothes drains down deep into a factory run and managed by your Ego.  There is an entrance to this factory in every one's home.  You just have to look for it.  You have to believe in your sweat one hundred percent.  Your ego lives under your feet while taking a hot shower.  The sweat living on your body from a hard day's work runs down your body hitting the shower floor and finding its way in the drain only to be met by your ego wearing a bright see through poker hat while smoking a cigar.  Your ego is tall and lanky, slimy and multi-colored.  Three arms, two for your ego, and one for your ego's ego.  An ego has many egos in itself which make the factory of your hard work sweat run efficient and fast.  So many workers working hard on your hard work makes this land down under your feet confident and prideful.  Your ego is not always confident, it takes much support and encouragement from hundreds of your egos egos egos and so forth to stay secure.  Your ego is insecure, that's why it is an ego in the first place.  Giving off the impression of confidence when not being confident at all.  The more sweat the ego contains from your hard work in the life above, the better your ego feels down under.  Down under in the dark the egos work.  A small light reflecting green from their see through visors swing back and forth from your movement above.  But your ego stays hard at work preparing for the day you want to cash out.  Or what they call, sweat out.  You don't know your ego at all, you know it's there, you know how it acts, but you and I and this character that we created all have no idea who it is or what it is.  All we know is that its presence is known.  But what we didn't know, is that our ego is our sweat's undertaker, our sweat's master.  Character from Boston......come back alive my friend.

The baseball game didn't skip a beat, but something was off.  He got out of the shower butt naked and walked out into his room where the TV now showed a monster home run and the crowd going crazy.  The TV was loud, but he was quiet.  His eyes traveled the room as if someone was watching his every move.  Something wasn't right.  He threw his covers off his bed looking for his alarm clock that would show him the time.  He felt as if there was a sudden pause or black out that occurred from the point of entering the shower and getting out.  The time was correct, therefore putting his theory in doubt.  His body was freezing from the water building little dots and villages from his head to toe.  The cool air reminded him of walking back from the gym as he preformed the naked scurry back to the shower that we all do from time to time.  He started to think about the Sweat Bank again, and how cool it would be to cash out a hard week's work in sweat dollars.  He became nervous about his first meet coming up, as his mind became focused on normalcy again.  What numbers should I open with, and what kind of jumps should I take?  All these, questions that clustered his mind, steering away his odd thoughts of Sweat Banks and watching eyes.

He dried off in his room with his dark green and red towel covered in swirls and stars.  It was a present from his parents that he never liked, but one of those gifts that he ended up putting to good use.  He dried himself off the same way as always, how that ritual came about he never knew.  One of those mysteries of life he guessed.  He smiled at all the pictures in his college-like room filled with friends and family.  He took pride in one thing that the people in the pictures always said about him.  "Jason doesn't have an ego, he is such a humble man".  He loved that about himself, and how others took him for it.

"Hey, Jason!"  He looked all around the room in panic as if someone just broke in wearing a scream mask.  "My name is Jon North, and I am writing about you."  He grabbed the phone as if he was about to eat a piece of food for the first time in 10 days.  His back hunched over as the outline of his spine came pointing out his back.  "Stop, its ok my friend.  I will not write anything bad about you, you will be ok.  I just want you to know that you do have an ego, a very big ego at that.  Your ego has not come out yet, for it waits for you in the Sweat Bank under your feet and behind your washer for the day you compete. The day you do compete your ego will shoot out of your last shower before competition covering you with all your built up sweat from the past three months.  Your sweat is your ego, Jason.  Your ego will soak into your skin and help you achieve your goals in your first meet.  All of your sweat has been accounted for my very good character friend.  Your ego has not lost your hard work.  It works long hours just as you do."

"Jason, are you there?"  "Yes I am, what is happening?"  "You are a creation from my keyboard covered in coffee.  You are a mix of emotion from my past splashed with thousands of readers all from different outlooks on you.  I view you one way, but the person reading this might see you in a different way."  "So then who am I really?"  "You are a 28 year old guy from Boston that loves his family, the gym, the community you train in, and the peaceful time you spend alone.  But I must end this blog now because I myself have to go train,  for you will one day live again."  "But how?  If you stop typing this blog, then I will die!"   "No Jason, you will only be on pause, because I will come back later and write you again, picking right back up where we left off.  You won't even know what happened, or that time was paused.  Say 'hi' to the readers Jason, they have gotten to know you well over the last 10 minutes."  "Hello, readers please don't leave me, I have a meet to compete in, and I have been training for three solid months."  "I promise on everything Jason that the readers and I will be back to watch your lifting soon!  We will cheer you on and root for you all the way!  I know you won't remember any of this, but ego is in all of us.  Learn how to find it, then use it to your benefit.  Ego is a scary thing, and can't be taken lightly.  You can use it in a wrong way, just like anything in life.  Next time I write you, we will both train crazy hard getting closer to your first meet.  We will slam bars!"

"Good bye, Jason."  "Good bye, Jon."  "Oh wait, Jon! " "Yea, what's up?"  "Will you tell Shankle that I am a big fan and that I say, hi."  "Hell yea, I will.  I will write Shankle into your reality next time.  I will have him train with you before your weightlifting meet.  Salute."


I am speechless.  Thank you Aaron Landes & everyone at CrossFit Lando

Sweat 2016

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