Eight men answered the midweek bell to swing iron at Meathead this past week fighting off humidity and the dog day doldrums of the late summer. We began with a disclaimer that some would call eloquent and moving and others would call nonexistent and completely missing. Everyone hears things differently I suppose. Next came a warmup consisting of various exercises not including the side straddle hop, because as I have learned recently, when your running shoes are extended beyond their useful life, that particular exercise is about as much fun as being stuck in a middle seat on a cross country flight between a chatty vegan and a woman who is super excited about her new Rodan & Fields business (pyramid scheme). New shoes have summarily been ordered so as not to follow the cautionary tale of Gummy and Gloss and refusenik jumping jacks.
The holy spreadsheet of thunder and rock & roll let me know that press ladders and snatches were the order of the day. Snatches are terrible and snatches in humidity are terribler. First up was five sets of 1 press per side, then 2 per side, then 3 per side. Next was five sets of 10 snatches with each arm. The compulsory part of the workout finished we could move on to the things that I actually wanted to do, namely five sets of 10 swings, 10 merkins, 10 sumo high pulls, and 10 sumo squats. We then finished the morning off with some loaded carries and hollow body holds.
Now onto the part of the backblast that people actually read. This particular offering is terribly late for a variety of reasons, none of them particularly good. My ancient laptop is like Tennessee football, last viable circa 2012, and I don’t like writing on the iPad or the work computer. Also, I really couldn’t think of any theme I wanted to center my commentary around. The playlist was Motorhead because I was in need of a palate cleanser due to attending my first jam band concert the previous weekend. While the musicianship is undoubtedly amazing, the concept of one verse and chorus every 14 minutes is something I’ll never get used to. Oddly, over the 45 minute period, the Spotfiy algorithm selected three cover songs performed by Lemmy and the boys. Their rendition of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” was good, though not much different than the original. Aerosmith’s “Train Kept A Rollin'” was interesting given the stark vocal differences between Lemmy and Steven Tyler, and their version of The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” was something that was unexpectedly delightful. While trying to think of a good topic to write about, my thoughts settled on the school year that is about to start, and how it represents a fresh start and a clean slate, a midyear do-over on New Year’s resolutions. This time of year gives the chance for a restart that many of us need, and by many of us, I mean me of course. The past several months have been more existing than truly living for yours truly. Too many weeknight glasses of scotch and vapid television, not enough intellectually enhancing pursuits. Therefore I have decided to hit take the metaphorical game cartridge out of the console, blow on it (those of us raised on the original Nintendo Entertainment System know that is how to fix any software bug) and hit the proverbial reset button on the year. I ordered a new laptop and have decided to finally get started on the nine year plan of becoming a freelance writer. Why nine years? Well, in nine school years, my youngest child will finish high school, and at that point I want to have reconciled my last spreadsheet for the man, constructed my last PowerPoint deck for senior leadership, and cease to be a cog in the soul crushing machine that is corporate America. Now that I have put this ambition out there in print (pixels, but you get the point), I have an accountability network, and this group of ours excels at holding each other accountable. If anybody else could use a midyear recalibration, I think the dawn of a new school year marks a good point on the calendar to reassess, realign, and get going. As Andy Dufrense said, it’s time to get busy living. Now, there are steaks to be grilled (get the outdoor flattop griddle, it’s life changing), backyard footballs to be thrown, and riddles of how to monetize writing things on the internet to be solved.