My brother went to Montreal and saw Cirque du Soleil. He was amazed by the feats of strength displayed by the men and went on and on about this one guy who was supporting his whole body with one arm. I shook my head and smiled – it was always such a strange thing to hear Kareem offer praise, so when he did it couldn’t help but be impressive. I had looked into bodyweight training and balance and static holds a few years back and pursued it with enthusiasm. But distractions and injury reared their twin heads and my training on that front waned.
It strange to hear someone say something like ‘I’m working out’ or ‘I’m going to the gym’ when what they mean to say is that they’re training. It’s important to understand that we are always learning, always in training. We are in training sitting down and standing. We are in training lying in bed. Our minds and bodies are never static – it is ever-changing, always in flux. Every moment that we are alive we are internalizing our behavior and the world around us. People who smoke become expert smokers. Persistent couch potatoes become world-class obese couch potatoes. When you say you’re working out, you mean to say that you are going to exercise to become stronger. But without commitment and dedication working out is still training, but not to be stronger. You are just training in mediocrity. Training in half-measures.
I was watching Kareem going on the gymnastic rings set and I showed him some of the people training in commitment and dedication on Youtube, and some of the skills their training has brought them. Kareem was amazed. And I was…blasé. There was no fire in me, to push myself, to reach for excellence. Maybe it was fear…of disappointing myself again. Fear of giving up.
I’ve been training in letting go a long time. Now I have to train in holding on. I have to train in commitment and dedication, train in discipline. And I needed an example – something, anything – that I could point to and say ‘Look, I did that!’ I put the time in and look at where I’ve gotten.
And then I was looking at my playing time on Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer.
45 d 8 h 33 m. 45 days’ worth of sitting and staring at a screen. Of shooting and being shot. Of killing and dying. Of winning and losing. Winstreaks, losestreak, deathstreaks, killstreaks – I kept coming back. 10 minute games at a time…for 45 days. A month and a half of non-stop training in Modern Warfare 2. Wow.
And it’s not to say that I’m not good. I can hold my own. But imagine what my body would be capable of if I spent that time, 1088 hours, not sitting, but working out. Would I be able to do some of those things that Kareem swears to do one day?
Modern Warfare 3 is coming out November 8th. I’m going to match play time with gymnastic time 1 for 1 until I get back to that 1000 hour threshold. And then I’m going to see which 1000 hours paid off the most.