The Amazing Mundane

mundane1Social media type posts should sporadically be mundane or uninspiring. One out of five sounds about right. Commenting on our routines and even  weaknesses would allow others to know something closer to the truth about us and perhaps connect in a deeper sense. I don’t care what you post, everything is not amazing.

“This is how it really is around here.”

Would this possibly allow genuine growth on a small and large scale? Would it take us beyond the critic who says “Social media is a charade and makes us feel miserable?”

Today, soccer rain-outs and a cancelled church activity placed a chunk of unscheduled time on my hands. That felt great for a while. After sleeping in, I offered to make the kids eggs and pancakes. I was glad they wanted Honey Nut Cheerios and leftover pizza. I don’t exactly enjoy cooking and we had things to do.

Amy works most Saturdays because it’s good for her and necessary toward our still looming student loans. I gave the kids some work tasks while I completed small repairs and cleaned windows. With children, of course, there’s usually another side to getting things done.  Asking them to work without providing specific guidance and attention usually results in frustration and tears. Of course they drug their feet, pestered, and generally whined. I snapped on one of them and had to apologize.

In all, the morning was restful and productive but wholly unremarkable. I will soon proceed to the basement to complete a mundane weight training session.  This will include some difficult but doable squat, push and pull exercises that are not Instagram worthy. Well, I tend to think that every training session around here that involves free weights under the trees is Instagram worthy, but that’s probably just me, and why I don’t have Instagram.

Here’s something that is easy to miss about training and life in general. I’ve missed it plenty. It’s a message that does not elicit discontentment and sale products.

Life is a gift, but it’s mostly not all that exciting. Likewise in physical training, too often drawing from the well of epic, high intensity, “Give 110%” mentality leaves you burned out or injured. At best, training stagnates sooner than later because the body’s ability to recover and grow is outpaced by our eagerness to MAKE it happen.

Training is not all dead lift PRs and backflips. Frequent epic workouts are not only unnecessary but also deleterious to sustainable long-term progress. Depending on your biological age and training history, you may be able to go like mad three or four days per week for a time. But don’t say that I didn’t warn ya.

From what I understand, simply reflecting on our choices/consequences and forming the right habits are far more helpful than a flurry of intensity or anything that requires herculean discipline. Instead of asking about specific exercises, diets, programs Two Weeks to a Tighter -This- and Sixty Days to Shredded -That-, we should be thinking about specific realistic goals that we can commit to over the long haul.

Some insight from the Amazing Mundane:

  • It is best to put in hard but reasonable effort, not frequently pushing your limits.
  • Consistency is key, far above the high tech, trendy, and fashionable.
  • Systematic progression (*not always linear) is the magic that keeps you from daily straining and suffering 

And for the sake of honesty and genuine growth, let us share some of our small victories, ordinary events, and failures. May we find the patience and strength to truly value the rather mundane process and do well with the unremarkable grind that over time, usually delivers us to the foot of something amazing. mundane

It truly is worth it, and too important to miss out on. And finally…

  • When that day comes, THEN POUR IT ON.

And certainly…let us hear about that as well.



Building an Iron Thumb – The Story of BG

miracle 2


I recall feeling physically great just a few years ago, in my late thirties, despite what everyone told me to expect. As a full time employee, a homeowner, a parent, and an adult, “they” said that I should have given up fifteen years ago. And for another fifteen I wondered “When will I hit peak?”

I’ve had many injuries first-hand learning experiences over the years. Despite set-backs, it was all uphill until the age of 38 when I severely strained a long-injured hip. Although my strength and endurance are nearly the same, my speed is down. Heading into year 41, I have no doubts about whether or not I’m past my prime.

The greatest differences are not in performance – the extreme and challenging feats, but rather in the mundane. I stand at an odd place. Activities of daily living are more of a struggle than a heavy set of squats. I can -barely- balance on my left leg and reach a sock around my right foot. Sometimes I hop and partially fall into the bathroom sink, but that. sock. is. going. ON. Without sitting down to do it.

I dead lift well over 500 lbs and carry over 400, but sleeping sometimes comes hard. I often awaken from a shot of pain when rolling in bed. I  chin-up with well over 100, but cannot stand tall immediately after sitting for a while. I don’t know whether to orient my head with the torso or the ground, because both feel wrong. I can complete side, front, and back flips, but cannot walk without a limp for the first few steps out of the car.

This is growing up: feeling the narrowing window of training that exists between “Still warming up” on one end and “Tired” on the other. You never really feel 100%. It often hurts to go hard.

Sooner or later, the body tells the truth. Mine has bore 40 years of impact and strain on bone, muscles, and joint. It’s been a good run, of approximately 24 years of heavy resistance training, 20 of basketball, 15 of baseball, and 10 years of taking hits while mountain biking.

It’s not so easy to give it up. When  it’s your job and point of pride and reputation. Looking ahead I see the Monty Python knight, lost all his body segments, still trying to GO. It’s merely a flesh wound.

“He needs a new hobby.”

Well, sure. I’ve already made a gradual transition to gardening. Except, instead of planting and growing flowers and vegetables, I sow with training knowledge, nurture with inspiration, and up pops strength, speedDL owen, and size. Rather than dirt, I work with load, distance and duration,DL Quay growing functional movement, confidence, and grit that lasts well beyond most athletic careers.

At my stage of the game, there is relatively little to benefit from intense training.  I accumulate some sweat, gainz, a little more wear on the joints, then feel great for a few hours. But training with others changes at least two people in more ways than one. I gladly pass forward what I know and love to do.  I haven’t yet worn out my iron thumb. Hopefully it will see me through to graceful aging.


So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength”…

Ecclesiastes 9:16

DL Liam