Damn has to be one of the best “workout words” in existence. It’s the efficient little brother to a whole bunch of other four-letter words NOT found in the Bible. With one syllable you can smile, feel better and accurately assess pretty much every vexing situation. How many words can boast half such a resume?
Last week the word “damn” slipped outta my big mouth while throwing an disgruntled barbell around. That barbell on that day, just had a grudge against yours truly. It was literally laughing at me. It was saying “Awww….you’re cute. You think you can lift me. That’s sweet”
Stupid 35-pounds of sass barbell. I get enough of that from my kids.
Lucky for me, sweat clarifies things. Half way through the workout, I threw the barbell down and went on to the next movement.
I realized the “damn” I had muttered under my breath (or loudly) may have actually been spelled “dam”. I was stuck. I was blocked. I literally couldn’t lift it. I felt “dam”ed.
I go to random, unknown, unheralded and often enlightening places in my mind when I workout. I had a couple minutes to run before I had to stand in front of that barbell again. While I ran, I took inventory on everything I knew about the water miracles known as “dams”.
1.My Uncle Monty drown in a dam when he was 31 years old. He was alone. My Grandpa still gets choked up when he talks about it, even 62 years later. A dam can be a dangerous place.
2.A “dam” can be a source of energy or power.
3.A “dam” can be a source of recreation.
4.My dad, and the other men in the neighborhood, had to leave in the middle of the night once to sandbag or “dam” the spring run off and protect our town. A “dam” can be a source of protection, irrigation and flood control.
Because all good lines have parallels….
A dam can be a sad dwelling spot. It can be a dangerous, stuck and slippery place willing to hold onto you forever if you allow it.
A dam can also be a place where you play around for a time. Don’t get me wrong, you’re stuck for sure, you’re not going anywhere. However, the sky is blue, the day is warm and a refreshing swim sounds grand. So there you stay.
A dam can be a protection. A defense for you, from you.
But the most powerful way a dam can serve is as a generator. A source of power. A surge of force propelling me out into the vast waterways that I am meant to see the world from.
Not bad for 200 meters of contemplation.
I stood in front of the barbell for the last round. My way out of dark places is to think of something I’m grateful for. Maybe not a great plan but it works for me. At this moment I was grateful for two things. First, in that day’s programming, the weight went down for the last round, not up. I was grateful for when things are really hard, then the load lightens a bit and I can move more easily. I am grateful for this in the gym but mostly in life. Lastly, I found gratitude for feeling “dam”ed because I was about to burst through the barrier and finish the damn WOD come hell or high water.
...and that is a powerful energy. A life force to be reckoned with.
So stay “dam”ed as long as you like. I’ll never judge you. I’ve been there. We all get stuck sometimes. Feeling stuck doesn’t necessarily mean that you are stuck. It could just mean that you are gaining power. Enough power to break through.
When you’re through watching the birds, enjoying the backstroke, defending yourself, making excuses or playing it safe. When you are in fact sick to damn death of feeling “dam”ed, prepare to breakthrough.
It is glorious on the other side. It is hopeful and bright. Full of joy, peace and relief, sweet relief.
I’ll see you there.