From The Desk of Maverick Brenton.
Subject: The Alchemy of Pain & Power.
Some people turn to alcohol, some people turn to drugs and most people turn to digital entertainment these days.
Others turn to a combination of it all – drowning their sorrows, shooting up, and getting lost in Television.
All in an attempt to escape from the reality that they find themselves trapped inside.
Now I don’t blame them and I don’t judge them for it either.
Life can really sit you on your ass if it wants to, and dealing with reality is never an easy thing to do – but at the end of the day there’s no other way forward to better circumstances.
With that said, it is much easier to just forget, if only for a moment.
It is much easier to just block it out and run from it.
But that never works and you’ll always wake up to the same set of problems that you went to sleep with.
Your life, as wonderful or as fucked up as it may currently be, is with you until you go out – whether you like that or not.
You can run from it for as long as you want, but you’ll soon learn that no matter how fast you go, whenever you turn around it’s right on your ass like a pissed off pit-bull looking for something to chew on.
That’s why you gotta face the music man.
As a wise man once said:
“Wherever you go, there you are.”
Growing up I was lucky enough to witness first hand what happens when intoxicants are used to numb pain, escape reality and provide a temporary crutch to lean on.
Like far too many people in this world, I got a front row seat at the screening of my family being torn apart all because of something that is sold on the shelves of every supermarket.
Now I don’t look at what happened as a bad thing because I don’t believe in good or bad.
It is what it is.
Curses are blessings and blessings are curses.
However, from this experience I learnt early on in life that if shit was going wrong and old man adversity had come around for a chat – I could not turn to anything artificial in order to numb the anxiety, the pain or the discomfort, because I knew exactly what that led to.
Therefore I decided at a young age that I would face life head on without using anything artificial to make things easier.
I said I’d take the hits.
I said I’d hit back.
And I said I’d keep swinging until I got what I fucking wanted.
Now gentlemen – I want you to understand that no matter what happens in your life, and no matter how hard you get hit, you must never and I mean never, turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain and escape from your problems.
It leads to a very bad place.
So when old man adversity comes knockin at your door, and boy I promise that he will, you square right up with that ugly son of a bitch and you stand your fucking ground.
Don’t run, don’t hide, don’t go anywhere.
Take his blows on the chin, then get up off your ass and keep going because if you stay down, he’ll just come back and give you some more while you’re on the ground.
He’s a nasty motherfucker and he ain’t heard of mercy – you feel me?
Now I’ve said this in other articles, but I will say it again:
If you are going after a dream and trying to do something worthwhile – life is gonna fuck with you and it’s gonna test you out to see if you’ve got what it takes.
Hell if you wanna do anything in life you’re gonna be tested and sat on your ass multiple times before you get a win.
Give up, give in – and you’ll get what you deserve: which is nothing.
This is not a bad thing either because it keeps the spoils of war reserved only for those who deserve them.
Gotta pay your dues, friendo.
Now here’s a story about how I have always dealt with old man adversity:
Back when I was a teenager, I experienced some rough and tough shit that made me into a rough and tough shit.
Alcohol had eaten my father alive and burnt to the ground everything around him.
With nowhere but a women’s shelter to go – mum walked out the door, along with my siblings.
And there I was just standing in my living room with a bag over my shoulder, listening to my old man reason with me to stay – a pain in his voice that knocked the wind out of me.
Phew, I wanted to just give up right there and then.
I said to myself:
Fuck all of this bullshit.
So for a while I just stared at the floor and got lost in oblivion because I had no idea what else to do.
I was a kid with his world falling apart, floating in chaos and holding onto faith with one hand.
Most of my being wanted to stay and help him, but another part of me whispered something to me from deep within.
So I went.
Walked right past him and out the front door without saying a word.
His pain found my ears as I left the front yard.
And it put a fucking hole in my heart that is there for good.
Walking to my friend’s house, I felt a thousand miles from hope.
I felt like Tom Hanks in Castaway, stranded, in the middle of an endless ocean – with nothing but his own shattered mind and a fucking volleyball called Winston to keep him company.
So when I got to my friends house I did what I always do when life has me in a corner.
I loaded up the barbell.
And I trained until all I could feel was nothing.
That’s how I dealt with that shit and that is how I deal with anything that life decides to throw at me.
I get in the gym and I give it my fucking all – leaving no energy left within me.
I sweat out the pain.
I sweat out the anxiety.
I sweat out all the dark thoughts of hopelessness & despair.
Come get me! Come get me! Come get me motherfucker!
That’s what I say to life as I throw around the weights – performing rep after rep, set after set, loving every damn second of it.
And by the end of it all, I’m soaked to the bone in sweat, feeling only satisfaction.
That’s why I believe that forcing yourself to endure physical pain is the single best way to get out of your own mind and find clarity amidst chaos.
Ain’t no magical pill or fucking “medication” that’ll do what the weights can do for you.
So if you’re on drugs to treat depression or anxiety, throw that bullshit in the bin and go move some weight because pumping iron is the #1 natural remedy for depression and anxiety
Just the other day, I was sitting around feeling depressed because life is currently throwing a few tests at me and putting obstacles in my way.
It’s wanting to see what I am made of.
It’s wanting to know if I am serious or just pretending.
Now amidst my little depression, I couldn’t see what was happening – but then I remembered how life works:
You get up, fight back and pass the test.
You stay down, get pissed on and fail the test.
So instead of sitting around on my ass, feeling depressed – I went to the gym and moved some big weight, as you can see below:
How did I feel after moving some big weight?
I felt incredible and my mind was crystal clear.
In addition to that my problems were put in their proper place and I could see the bigger picture – which allowed me to stay focused and calm while moving forward.
Now isn’t that a much better way to overcome feeling bad, than popping a pill made in a fucking laboratory by some pale assed prick with a seven year degree in medicine?
Yes, it is.
Let me tell you something which I think is important:
My ability to face my problems and deal with pain through physical exercise has served me better than anything else I have ever learnt or done.
I have never and will never, turn to anything artificial for comfort when things go wrong.
I will just drive my ass to the gym and sweat it all out until an answer comes to me.
That’s why weight training is a big part of my work with this blog:
It’s who I am.
And there is so much more to the iron than it’s basic nature as a tool for shaping the body.
The iron has it’s own spirit, it’s own character, it’s own principles.
When I pick up an old steel dumbbell and listen to it rattle, or I rip a heavy barbell off the floor and fight for that rep with my soul – I feel something special.
I feel weakness leaving my body.
And I feel strength being forged within me.
Growing up, if I didn’t have the iron to pour my pain into, I would have done what every other youngster in my hometown did.
I would have turned to alcohol or drugs, then I would have been fucked.
A while back I read a poem written by Henry Rollins, a poem about the iron.
His experiences were very similar to my own.
The iron to him, was more than just iron.
In his own words:
“Friends may come and go, but 200lbs is always 200lbs.”
The iron was always there for him, ready whenever he needed it, and willing to take his pain away just like it does for us all.
I owe not only my physique to the iron, but my sanity as well, because if I hadn’t found the iron at a young age – then I would be in a very different place.
Personally I have never seen any point to “popping bottles” and going out to get drunk.
You tell me, what’s the point?
“Aw, but, you gotta have fun and you only live once, bruh.”
Listen fuckhead – wasting your money and putting poison in your body is not a smart way to have fun.
There is absolutely no productive outcome that comes of it.
You just wake up with regret, a headache and less money.
Better to spend time with loved ones, eat some good food and smoke a big fat stogie while you plan out your life mission.
So if you are a young gun just starting out in life, forget the clubs and forget about getting “smashed” like all of the cool kids who will be doing nothing in ten years.
Instead, do yourself a favour and go buy a gym membership – then make friends with a friend who will remain by your side and serve you no matter what.
And if you’re somebody going through something rough – go and do exactly the same thing.
Don’t turn to drinking, don’t turn to drugs and don’t sit your ass on the couch.
Go to the gym, pick up some weights and train until you have absolutely nothing left.
If you cannot lift weights – walk or run or swim or ride a fucking bike until you throw up.
Then see how much better you feel.