Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Highlander Lifestyle

I have suffered for bodybuilding shows in the past, dieting on fish and beef and sweet potatoes and riding the exercise bike for hours each day for twelve weeks at a time. No alcohol, no cheating, a monk's lifestyle that was always necessary for me to lose twenty to thirty pounds in a short amount of time. To do this type of activity, everyone and everything takes a back seat to your goal. Folks just  have to understand that this is different from what they are used to, and that it is just what you need to do to get in shape. I have to admit that there is part of me that enjoys the deprivation. I know that others don't need to starve themselves or do so much exercise but it is what works for me. I feel the need to do this to myself once in a while. It "resets" me for the rest of the year.

I know that all of this getting ready for a bodybuilding show would be much easier if I stayed close to "contest shape"year round, but for me, well, to put it bluntly, I don't want to do that shit.

I want to be a Highlander the rest of the year.

I'm part Scottish (MacDonald Clan) and I seriously doubt that the men of the great clans of Scotland worried about their body fat percentage as they competed in feats of strength and tested themselves on who can lift the bigger rock to their shoulders and challenged each other in feats of strength.  I bet that they were fierce in their competitiveness but afterwards they sat around and drank their homemade brew and feasted on meat with the bone still in it and they laughed and patted each other hard on the shoulders and went over the competition , exaggerating their feats from the day.

So for the rest of the year,  I change my mindset about the whole thing.  I think about the old, old days and what men used to live like and what men should live like and all the forgotten ways that men used to live. I don't want to worry about anything even close to the bodybuilding lifestyle. For the rest of the year, I want to picture myself living like a Highlander, which to me means not caring about being proper or strict or worried about the food I eat or what I drink.

To me, this means lifting weights, hunting geese and ducks, shooting guns, working with my Black Labrador Storm, eating Maryland cream of crab soup and burgers and whatever the hell else I want to eat and enjoying good friends and good times.

 To live like this means to me that you get done with a squat training session and you are spent physically but on a high mentally. You and your friends drive over to Bucks Tavern and when you walk in the tavern is dark and cool and it takes a minute to make out everything in there coming from the brightness of the day. You say hello to the surly bartender who deep down inside is a sweetheart and you and your buddies sit on the barstools with the torn vinyl on them and order ice cold beers and  big ass burgers and a bowl of cream of crab soup and you talk about the squat session that you just finished. Everybody laughs and cuts up and deep inside you know that this is a good time, but you don't want to ruin it by talking like that, so you just enjoy everything that is about right now.

All of this is much easier when you are young and carefree. But as the years go by, you start to accumulate responsibilities; kids, bills, work. 

Not a Highlander, but a badass picture

But in my mind, you must have the things in your life that keep you feeling alive and worth a damn as a man.

Doesn't that feel good? To walk around with camo on, a 12 gauge Remington over your shoulder and a big old dip in of fresh Copenhagen and your jet black dog bounding ahead anxious to get to the band to do the one thing that she loves above all else? 

You gotta ebb and flow, push and back off, run then walk, change it up and then change it up again. Oh, you still lift weights! You never stop that, ever. But you ain't counting calories, that's for sure. You feel full? Stop eating. But there is no weighing of food, you are a Highlander, after all. They didnt do that, did they? Doubtful. They were too busy eating freaking rabbit and whatever else stew and chugging some concoction that left them seeing the Gods by the end of the evening. 

Pretty cool, right, the Highlander thing? It can be anything, a Heathen thing, a Viking thing, a Barbarian thing. 

Whatever makes you think of men being men and wearing skins as clothes, strong and muscular as hell, with huge beards and dirty all over and hunting and with food stuck in their beards and sucking on the bones of their last kill. 

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.