Letting Go of Sleep

Uptop Ksaw MtnThis morning seems to have gotten off to a rough & rocky start. Lying in bed, there’s an image of eyeballs dancing back & forth under flimsy eyelids. They call this R.E.M. sleep, short for Rapid Eye Movement. Someone venomously & violently screams my name. The shriek is so highly pitched that I can’t tell the difference between man, woman & beast. Only after I leap from bed & confirm that none of my sleeping beauties are in any condition to have made such a blood-curdling scream do I entertain the notion of going back to bed. Sleep ran & hid from the mysterious banshee, leaving me to lie in the dark, wide-awake & woefully underwhelmed. Plenty of meat on my plate, might as well start at it, before it starts eating at me.

What is it that encourages one man to write his way into some semblance of sanity while standing with his hands in the pockets of insomnia? We all have our methods of medication, self-induced & otherwise. I read somewhere that Chuck Palahniuk wrote Fight Club during his own bouts of insomnia. Maybe I secretly harbor hopes of writing some great book that will change the way we see the world, or maybe just the way we see ourselves.

It isn’t yet certain that I have a book incubating inside me. Maybe if there are enough nights & zero-dark-hundreds like this one, we’ll find out there is. Maybe my inner banshee, unseen but certainly heard, is tired of my daily distractions away from the pen, away from writing. With nothing else to go on, it makes for a reasonably comforting thought. When sleep is lost, we take what we can get.

I’m inclined to believe I’d rather wake to the clang of the Iron. Are you familiar with this sweet & melodious sound? It can be jarring to the uninitiated, just as coffee can be scalding to the unindoctrinated tongue. The world is shifting to the bouncibility of bumper plates, and in some circles the old ways & clangs are dying out. There is still a steady & evenly matched mix in the local garage, ready to be deployed to the sun-kissed lawn of CraseFit HQ, or anywhere our skin can drink Vitamin D in abundance.

The last few weeks are the tail end of the last several months of my current training cycle. All of it comes to a head tomorrow morning at CrossFit Kennesaw. Earlier in the week the American Kettlebell Alliance cancelled what was to be my first Kettlebell competition, and for months I’ve been training to make rank in the AKA. Several of us were to compete. Not necessarily against others, but against ourselves . . . the truest nature of sport & athleticism. Are you better than you were yesterday?

A new organization, the local & immensely lovable collective known as Georgia Kettlebell Sport, took the opportunity to transform this sad AKA cancellation into the very first Georgia Kettlebell Sport Competition. Many of us have been training for a while, and all suddenly found ourselves with hours of unaccounted free time on Saturday morning . . . so why not get together and have our own competition? The kind & compassionate folks at CrossFit Kennesaw kept their doors open for us, and just like that, we’re off & still Cleaning & Jerking, Snatching & smiling.

Maybe the AKA cancellation wasn’t such a bad thing. Maybe the day didn’t get off to such a bad start. Maybe the voice screaming across the upper frequencies of my dreams was my excitement unable to be controlled or held. Maybe early morning insomnial writing reminds me that there is no wrong side of the bed to wake up on . . . waking up is always a blessing, so why not take advantage of it. Think about how ticked off we’d like to be the one morning we didn’t wake up.

I could still use some coffee before clanging the mighty & thunderous Kettlebells over my head, but I know the score and I know the scald. Everything we want & need comes when the time is right & the situation is ready. Be bold & Swing merry.

Semper Fortis,


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