“Who am I? Depends on who you ask. Some see nothing more than a
mindless monster, an egotistical freak of nature to be pitied or
feared. Others see a man guided by a singular purpose. Who am I? As I
stand under this hot light and look into this mirror, I see a monster
and a man. But I also see a bullied fat kid. A son looking up to his
old man. A youth in search of a road. I’ve since found that road and
soon, I’ll know how far I’ve gone and who next I’ll become.”
miner trusts his shovel & pick. A carpenter’s got his hammer &
nails. A mechanic relies on his wrench. Tools of the trade, brothers…
Tools of the trade. In this line of work, it’s no different. I ply my
craft with these hands. Shit, I've got the scars and calluses to prove it.
The tools of my trade are basics. I keep 'em in this faded old canvas bag. See this
belt? Been using it for the past 10 years… A decade's worth of sweat, blood
and toil is written in this piece of leather that has gotten me out of
more than a few tight scrapes. Been using Animal Pak for nearly as
long… First supp I ever used, last one I’ll ever need. These boots--my
old man’s... In ‘em, there's nothing I can't overcome. The mirror
behind me? It ain’t there for looks. It’s another essential tool. It’s
not there to satisfy an insatiable ego. Narcissism … Shit, this sport’s
got enough of that... Don't need any more. Nah, the mirror’s there to criticize and
cut me down to size just when I think I’ve turned a corner. It speaks
the truth and never holds back. It's my judge and the jury. Listen up, in
this trade, in this great work, you gotta keep hammering
till every last nail is driven in… You gotta make sure you’re firing on all
cylinders and lay the rubber on the fucking road… You gotta smash the
fuck out of rock and chisel it down deep til you get to the pure ore
underneath… Cuz when everything is ripped away and it’s your time to shine, when the verdict is about
to be rendered, you know it will all have been worth it. Stand tall. Be proud. Labor on...
Week 12 Extra: Want a chance to win a free Journey poster, "55.30.29", signed
by none other than Wrath? We'll send an email to all registered users
in the U.S. with full details next Friday, 11/17/06. To register, click here.
‘em all? Dunno brothers. Society’s got it’s own narrow ideas about
beauty and when you don’t fit the model, when you can’t be squeezed
into those expectations, well then you’re fucked. Most who look upon
the large, fearful symmetry of my frame don’t see beauty. They
certainly don’t see conformity or convention. Shit, they see grotesque.
I'm a round peg they want to fit into a square hole... Ain’t ever gonna
fucking happen. Don't let it. See, I got this vision of who and
what I’m gonna be... A bodybuilder. Yeah, that's right, a
bodybuilder... The work of the bodybuilder doesn’t deal with ugliness.
Now while I ain’t no sleeping beauty, there is something beautiful
about this struggle, the discipline, the purity of my desire. Listen, I
see the bodybuilder as an artist. Instead of marble, he works with
muscle. Instead of a chisel, he works with iron. When I look in the
mirror, it's not because of vanity--it's because I'm perfecting
something that's not apart from me, but a part of me. I am the artist.
The marble is me. This pursuit will refine me.
ability to think, to reason, and to reflect… Sure, this is what
separates us from the beasts. Yet the line of separation is thin one,
we’re always on edge, ready to fall over the fucking precipice. Shit,
in the gym
though, that line
might as well be a fucking mile wide. It’s ironic that, in what should
be our natural element,
there is too much civility… We hold back. We're timid. We have been
tamed. We don’t hit the iron with reckless abandon.
We’re afraid of the pain. In nature, even the beasts quickly learn to
avoid things that will cause pain. As bodybuilders, we must unlearn a
lot, and at the same time, learn to be
unfraid of that which is bestial within us... Yet we can
never forget what makes us human. We must understand that being who we
are often means choosing to endure pain, willingly. Every creature will
do what it takes to survive, but would you hack off
your own fucking leg if it were caught in a trap so that you might
live? Could you endure it? To me, bodybuilding is like that. You gotta
be willing to do whatever it takes... Not just to live--to get food or
get fucking laid--but to surive, to thrive, to grow. Listen, when it
dealing with people, we must often be
civil. Civility, respect, and all that other shit—that’s the fucking
glue that keeps society together. But when it comes to our dealings
within the society of iron, remember brothers, let it all fucking hang
out... Or you just might end up on the wrong side of the law of nature. Reflect on that.