04/28/2020 The Ice Wall

I’m staring at my Ice Wall today.

I visit my wall at least once a year. I built this wall myself, a long time ago, one stone at a time. It’s meant to be insurmountable. My wall stretches up farther than I can see. Yet at least once a year I faithfully come back and and I try to climb it again.

I needed this wall once upon a time. It was integral in my growing into the person I am today. I don’t regret building it. I regret very few things… but when I stand here and look up at it I do curse my wall building skills.

My fitness wall has always been cutting. I’ve had one goal for over 6 years. I want to see my muscles. I’ve worked my ass off to build them and dammit I want to see what I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Its important for me to take a perspective moment here before I continue. On May 1 I will have only been cutting for 3 months. Barely 90 days. I bulked for 11 months, and I didn’t start with abs in the first place. Also my life personally was not violently disrupted by COVID -19. If anything my life has partially improved. My expenses went down. My income didn’t change. My time freed up as things got cancelled.

I remember switching to bulking… and I remember the driving force behind it. I was in the exact same frustrated head space that I am in right now as I write this.

I cracked. I was angry. I gave up.

I fell down the side of my Ice Wall. It wasn’t the first fall I’ve ever taken off that wall, and i’m sure it won’t be the last. I chose to walk away from it for a while. Instead of licking my wounds and heading back up I literally said “fuck it” and went and did something else productive for a solid year.

Now its a year later, and here I am barely on the first ledge on my way back up my ice wall and already mentally struggling not to throw in the towel.

I was perfectly content with the concept that it would take 11+ months to finally cut the fat off. I was told it wouldn’t take nearly that long. Sitting at home on COVID lockdown it feels like I bought a box of bull shit from a snake oil salesman.

The truth is I’m staring at my ice wall. Its not necessarily safe down here or even comfortable. But its the devil I know, and the devil I’ve become accustomed to managing.

I know what I want is at the top of my wall. I have people I trust standing right next to me handing me one piton at a time. My feelings have nothing to do with diet regimen – I’ve mastered that hurdle and feel no remorse about it. My feelings also have nothing to do with Covid lockdown, I lift a full program from home, with very skilled denizens of hell to hold my hand every step of the way.

I don’t see progress. I don’t feel progress. I’m told to relish the success I have accomplished with the process itself.

Eating correctly is a fact not a success to me. Never missing a workout and giving it my all is also not a success. This is also just a fact. I don’t consider it a success, let alone progress in anyway to just continue doing what I do at this point. I’m better than that.

There is no light at the end of the tunnel for me yet. There is no tangible reward for what I am doing. It is just work.. I still can’t see the summit, and the ice wall itself is a bleak landscape. I don’t even see ledges to call micro-accomplishments.

All I have to go on is the direction to repeat the drudgery or fall again.

On a good day I see a vertical plateau of ice. On a bad day I see myself losing ground. Its excruciatingly slow and already making me miserable.

And I still make myself do it. I have to continue making myself miserable, because there seems to be no other way up the wall. I take solace in something my mother loves to repeat to me on a frequent basis.

“This too shall pass”