Friday, November 23, 2007

Faith: The Assurance of Things Hoped For and the Certainty of Things Unseen

I remember one of my first private sessions with Dr. Cobb: He told me that I was, "really, really, strong" and that when I finally regained my function, I would notice huge increases in my strength and that I'd be able to finally fulfill my strength potential. Honestly, I felt so broken, so defeated that I wanted truly to believe him, but thought I was doomed to live a life of regret and find another sport. Fortunately, the ability to lift KBs kept me from completely falling over the precipice of despair. Mid-2006 I really felt like giving up. The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that I owed it to my clients and my staff at the time to lead from the front. God, it seemed, had stripped me bare.

And yet, 20 months after the Z-Health journey begun, I'm starting to see Dr. Cobb's words come to life in my training.

Today, is a perfect example.

My stomach and lower back were not happy, undoubtedly from all the rich food. My hips felt tight. My mood, sour. It would've been easy to blow off training because I didn't "feel" like it--because I was "listening to my body." However, I was reminded that I am on a mission: I am training to qualify for the American Open in 2008. So I dragged my butt to my local gym where, much to my wife's dismay, I still keep a membership, just for times like these. I hit the head for the fourth time today and then walked back to the weight room, without even changing into my training gear. As I warmed up with some Z, I noticed a gentleman old enough to be my dad in the power cage squatting with a USAW Valeo belt and a pair of Chinese weightlifting shoes. It turns out he was quite active with weightlifting in NC back in the 80s. He and I chatted, as the English say, and he knew my first weightlifting coach. Apparently, some of the guys in the gym told him to keep an eye out for me, as there aren't many weightlifters in there (Ok, none.). I spotted his squat (315lbs/3 x2 pretty easily) and he eyeballed mine. I gave him my number to call me to train on the platform. If I hadn't acted out of faith, I never would have met him.

Here's the best part: My back squat was easier today than it was on Wednesday and 30lbs heavier. 335/5 x6 with 2 mins. rest. Last Thursday I hit 315/5 x5. Today felt easier than that. Not only that, the feedback within my body was instantaneous as I knew my technique was spot on: My right quad started to get sore and so did my left glute--exactly the opposite of my old pattern. Again, had I gone with what I "felt" today, I never would've experienced this.

Life is funny like this: We tend to only want to engage in situations we can control. But the joy of life and the pleasant surprises in life come not from the need or desire to control, but from walking where we cannot see, by walking by faith. All great empires, business or military, were built on faith. All great works of art were created by faith. All great athletes compete on faith. In fact, I cannot think of anything great that happened by accident or that was done under the complete control and immediate sight of the individual who performed that particular great thing. Faith then is not a "feeling;" it is the exact opposite--it is acting in spite of not knowing or seeing the outcome or the future. Faith takes courage. Faith is like exercising a muscle--the more you step out in faith, the stronger your faith becomes. And a positive feedback loop is then created. The more you exercise your faith, the more you're able to exercise your faith. This is something I've known intellectually, but not really experientially. Now that I'm experiencing it, it feels almost like a drug. I hope to become addicted to faith in God.

Today's Training:

A. BSQ: 335lbs/5 x6; 2 mins rest

B. Military Press: 170lbs/5 x6; 2 mins rest

C. RDL: 280lbs/5 x2; 2 mins rest

D. 45 Degree Hypers: Bodyweight/10


Blogger Brett Jones said...

Great news on the squats and on your continued progress. Hope you and Courtney had a great holiday.
BTW - lets chat this weekend - I have some questions for you.

8:07 AM  
Blogger Frankie Faires said...


Listening to body discomfort doesn't always equate to not moving.

I think there are levers to help in exiting particular states.

The three levers I use (in order) are:
biochemistry (foods/supplements)
emo-cog (anything that has the opposite effect of the emotional/cognitive state I am in)

The best way to listen to the body requires asking it a question - that question being:

Does this make me feel better?

The best way to know is to test it.


11:09 AM  
Blogger Mark Reifkind said...

now we're talking. good solid progressive work and a good mental adjustment as well.
You said it and it makes all the difference:
" I'm on a mission".

3:48 PM  
Blogger Tim Anderson said...


There are no coincidences. Everything for a reason. I am always reminded of this...

Press on. See you soon.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Franz Snideman said...

Great post Geoff! Ultimately everybody has faith in something........and it is that step into the unknown that makes life exciting and worth living for!~

3:27 PM  
Blogger Mike T Nelson said...

Good stuff Geoff! I had some similar thoughts recently on my last trip.

Excellent summation Frankie on the three levers! I still owe you a call back.

rock on
Mike N

10:18 PM  

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