Rest is an important part of every athlete’s training routine. I find that after just a few days away from the gym, I return to workouts that possess more energy, more enthusiasm, and that joints and sinews bend pain free.
The same principle also holds true for creative intensity. I’ve decided to take a break this week from blogging about craziness at the gym, and write instead about the blog itself.
After a little over six months, I’m about to pass 10,000 hits on gymsanity.com. This number doesn’t count the people who also read my blog without actually visiting the site, either through a feed reader or direct email subscription. While the (free) WordPress platform I use offers no information about the geographic distribution of my readership, my subscribers’ email addresses span 12 time zones.
I can also tell you that the hits coming into my site represent more than just me refreshing the same page over and over: WordPress knows enough to ignore my visits to my own blog. On the other hand, I am also aware that not every visitor recorded by the site came looking for gym humor. WordPress shows me daily the search engine terms people used to find my blog. Such terms have included “guys getting off in the steam room” – an indecent reordering of the words of this perfectly respectable post.
Most people assume I was motivated to start this blog for some financial purpose – or that it was an excuse to post a half-naked picture of myself online. In reality, this blog gives me the opportunity to be published without anyone’s permission; to touch and influence others without securing approval from an editor or boss. Most importantly, I found a forum where I can get my music out and let it play.
For many, that’s also what the sport of bodybuilding is all about. Now I know plenty of people who find bodybuilders’ superhero proportions to be unnatural, even ugly. But these naysayers are missing the real achievement on display: a group of athletes that have found their passion and are fulfilling their destiny. Bodybuilders endure a remarkable degree of pain for their sport, whether it’s hoisting some agonizing load in the gym, or resisting the urge to indulge outside it. Still, the fact remains: it’s only work if you’d rather be doing something else.