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Finding quiet when the world is screaming

The world turned upside down. Every generation has moments that feel like inflection points and seismic shifts in the world as we know it. Moments in time that we later reflect on as reference points in our shared narrative. Where were you when... the stock market crashed, the great war ended, Kennedy was assassinated, 9/11 happened, etc.

The world has probably always felt chaotic and unpredictable, probably because it always has been.

Today is no exception. We are living through trying times. A global pandemic and the jarring attempts to mitigate damage with the push and pull of warring camps trying to manage the polarity of public health and individual liberties. Wading through an endless barrage of information, guidelines, restrictions, and revisions.

Our lives have been derailed, the steady cadence of everyday life replaced with the frenzied roar of a world off kilter. The amplitude of stress pushed to maximum distance from equilibrium.

How do we manage? What do we do when the stress feels overwhelming, the world is screaming and you want to scream right back?

Lose yourself and find yourself in the things that allow your mind to go quiet. For me that has always been physical activity. I practice quiet meditation as best I can, but when times are especially trying I need to physically manifest my stress into kinetic energy and pour it out into the world. When I was younger I would run the hills in my tiny town (really). In high school and college, it was the barbell. I would just load a barbell and lift until I couldn't feel or think any more.

Now it's kettlebells. There is something magic that happens inside every kettlebell sport workout for me. There is always a moment where the effort required leaves no room for anything else. I cross an event horizon where the world outside goes quiet, and there is only the clink of the bells, the sound of my heels hitting the floor, my strained breathing accelerating as fatigue mounts, the burning in my muscles, the heat in my hands from the friction of the handles, my heart pounding through my shirt, and the thought of the next rep.

The only thought my mind can bear to hold is the next rep.

Nothing else exists. Not work, not worrying about my loved ones, not paying bills, not my to-do list. Nothing. Just the next rep. The freedom in that singularity is addictive. It's what keeps me coming back week after week, month after month, year after year.

Find that for yourself. Whatever it is; painting, writing, singing, running, biking, lifting.

The mechanism doesn't matter, but seek out the things that allow your mind to go quiet when the world outside is screaming.

- Coach Jordan

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May 17, 2020

The hardest thing about exercise is to start, but once you are doing it regularly the hardest thing is to stop! Keep pushing Coach!

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