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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2007, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Iron

Found this and thought it was pretty good. It's a little long but worth the read.



IRON

By Henry Rollins


I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention.

To not be like your parents.

To not be like your friends.

To be yourself.

Completely.

When I was young I had no sense of myself.

All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered.

Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me "garbage can" and

telling me I'd be mowing lawns for a living.

And the very real terror of my fellow students.

I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size.

I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn't run home

crying, wondering why.

I knew all too well.

I was there to be antagonized.

In sports I was laughed at.

A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every

waking moment made me wild and unpredictable.

I fought with some strange fury.

The other boys thought I was crazy.

I hated myself all the time.

As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry

myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn't going to get pounded in the hallway

between classes.

Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside.

I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers.

Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known.

Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat

him with respect, and you'll find a faithful friend forever.

But even with friends, school sucked.

Teachers gave me hard time. I didn't think much of them either.

Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam

veteran, and he was scary.

No one ever talked out of turn in his class.

Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the

blackboard.

Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if

I had ever worked out with weights.

I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had

saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears.

As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when

he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy.

Still, it made me feel special.

My father never really got that close to caring.

On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn't even drag them to my mom's

car.

An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.'s office after school.

He said that he was going to show me how to work out.

He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in

the hallway when I wasn't looking.

When I could take the punch we wouldknow that we were getting somewhere.

At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I

was doing.

In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises.

I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes.

I didn't want to blow it.

I went home that night and started right in.

Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop

me in the hallway, sending my books flying.

The other students didn't know what to think.

More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar.

I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr.

Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest.

I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran

to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt.

I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart.

My biceps bulged.

My chest had definition. I felt strong.

It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself.

I had done something and no one could ever take it away.

You couldn't say s**t to me.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from

the Iron.

I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does

not want to be lifted.

I waswrong.

When the Iron doesn't want to come off the mat, it's the kindest thing it can do for

you.

If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn't teach you anything.

That's the way the Iron talks to you.

It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to

resemble.

That which you work against will always work against you.

It wasn't until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given

myself a great gift.

I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain.

When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself.

When something gets bad, I know it can't be as bad as that workout.

I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my

enemy; it is my call to greatness.

But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain

correctly.

Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego.

I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn't ready for and spent a

few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork.

Try to lift what you're not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in

restraint and self-control.

I have never met a truly strong person who didn't have self-respect.

I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-

respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone's shoulders instead

of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see

vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for

imbalance and insecurity.

Strength reveals itself through character.

It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and

Mr.Pepperman.

Muscle mass does not always equal strength.

Strength is kindness and sensitivity.

Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional.

That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not

strong.

Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot

sustain it for long.

I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron.

Once I was in love with a woman.

I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through

my body.

Everything in me wanted her.

So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire.

It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I

didn't see her very often.

Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness.

To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

I prefer to work out alone.

It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me.

Learning about what you're made of is always time well spent, and I have found

no better teacher.

The Iron had taught me how to live.

Life is capable of driving you out of your mind.

The way it all comes down these days, it's some kind of miracle if you're not

insane.

People have become separated from their bodies.

They are no longer whole. I see them move from their offices to their cars and on

to their suburban homes.

They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly.

And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which

will eventually give them a massive stroke.

They need the Iron Mind.Through the years, I have combined meditation, action,

and the Iron into a single strength.

I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts.

Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate.

I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found.

There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength.

Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it's

impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get

told that you're a god or a total bastard.

The Iron will always kick you the real deal.

The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver.

Always there like a beacon in the pitch black.

I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend.

It never freaks out on me, never runs.

Friends may come and go.

But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2007, 11:42 AM
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Just a tad on the mental side, but very true in some respects.

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"If it has horsepower or tits you're gonna have trouble with it eventually..."
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2007, 12:42 PM
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The first part was awesome...

Then I realized this guy is still a loser. Completely obsessed with something that is inanimate, and cannot make fun of him. Afraid to take chances on living objects possibly. Anyone who considers Iron their best friend is insane in my book.

If only he stopped after being able to stand up to a punch...
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2007, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know about him still being a loser but he's probably a little crazy.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2007, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Smith
I don't know about him still being a loser but he's probably a little crazy.
His best friends a weight set, He believes people live outside of their bodies, and he thinks physical strength relates directly to romance.

I guess I'm the loser then since i have human friends, know that your body is all you truly have, and understand that girls don't give a shit how many lbs I can bench press.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2007, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffdaddy
and understand that girls don't give a shit how many lbs I can bench press.
Maybe not, but they sure do pay attention when I bust out a couple pushups without using my hands.

Raven 2006 Yamaha R6S

"If it has horsepower or tits you're gonna have trouble with it eventually..."
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-12-2007, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffdaddy
His best friends a weight set, He believes people live outside of their bodies, and he thinks physical strength relates directly to romance.

I guess I'm the loser then since i have human friends, know that your body is all you truly have, and understand that girls don't give a shit how many lbs I can bench press.

No doubt the poem is a little weird. I'm just saying I wouldn't call Rollins a loser, he's a pretty successful dude.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2007, 12:36 AM
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From what I read was good and in thought but fuck it was long and had to skip pages


93 Mustang: Stock w/Vortech S-Trim
I drive a car that looks fast but seems to be slow...
But traction would help
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2007, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffdaddy
His best friends a weight set, He believes people live outside of their bodies, and he thinks physical strength relates directly to romance.

I guess I'm the loser then since i have human friends, know that your body is all you truly have, and understand that girls don't give a shit how many lbs I can bench press.

I have a sneaky feeling that you just don't get it.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeFingerPete
I have a sneaky feeling that you just don't get it.
What exactly is there to get? MaThe guys obsessive....
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffdaddy
What exactly is there to get? MaThe guys obsessive....
Apparently you have little to no concept of figurative writing or poetic license.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeFingerPete
Apparently you have little to no concept of figurative writing or poetic license.
And you're absolutely right. Actually - mixing poetry and weightlifting almost pisses me off. I didn't even know it was a poem to begin with.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffdaddy
And you're absolutely right. Actually - mixing poetry and weightlifting almost pisses me off. I didn't even know it was a poem to begin with.
There are poems about getting pussy. Do those piss you off too?

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeFingerPete
There are poems about getting pussy. Do those piss you off too?
Not a bit...pussy and weight room aren't the same thing at all. Just like there's a difference between me spitting in the grass or spitting on you. There's a place for everything...there's no room for poetry in my weightroom.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffdaddy
Not a bit...pussy and weight room aren't the same thing at all. Just like there's a difference between me spitting in the grass or spitting on you. There's a place for everything...there's no room for poetry in my weightroom.
LOL, it's not like he wrote a sonnet and submitted it to every gym. People write about what they feel. Henry Rollins feels strongly about weights, so he wrote something. It's not like it's posted in the locker room and everyone recites it before every workout.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2007, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeFingerPete
LOL, it's not like he wrote a sonnet and submitted it to every gym. People write about what they feel. Henry Rollins feels strongly about weights, so he wrote something. It's not like it's posted in the locker room and everyone recites it before every workout.
And I feel strongly about keeping poetry out of the weight room...haha. you know that fuckers crazy...admit it...
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