Elephants, Ropes and 35lbs Dumbbells

We are currently undergoing the largest social disruption since World War 2. Simply put, these are crazy-ass times.  I’m sure by now you’ve been exposed to the inane references to the emergence of unicorn companies from the 2008 recession. Well, guess what, if you’re not a software engineer living in the seemingly untouchable silicon valley, it can be hard to derive a positive mindset from the emergence of billion-dollar companies, in a time when all you want to do is roll your sleeves up, get back to work, provide for yourself and your family and at the end of all that, bend some steel at your favorite gym.
So maybe we won’t be CEO of the next big tech start-up, but it’s not to say we can make the most of this downtime and dedicate ourselves to change for the better. If there was one thing I would challenge you with coming out of the other end of our government-issued time out would be don’t ever touch 35 lbs dumbbells again...

Have you ever noticed that there are more sets of 35 lbs dumbbells than any other pair of dumbbells in the gym? Go ahead, look. When the world opens up again, take a look. The 35 lb dumbbell is the first dumbbell that adopts an external circumference of the rest of the rack of dumbbells, and as such, becomes the horizon for novice lifters and becomes our default warm-up weight for those more advanced.

For some, it may be your first set of dumbbell press for others, your default set of dumbbell curls. Regardless of the exercise, regardless of circumstances, we need to break ourselves of this self-limiting and self-sabotaging behavior.
This is equivalent to the elephant rope parable, whereby a baby elephant can be tethered in place by a rope tied to a stake in the ground at a young age, the spirit to test and challenge that rope brakes, even though the physical capacity of the elephant far exceeds the structural integrity of its tether.

A lot of people allow themselves to stay tethered to the 35lb dumbbell. They’ve stamped their hand to the “big boy” dumbbells and it’s there that the default, in this "good, never great" nebulous, limited not by their physical weakness, rather tethered, like the elephant, by a weakening of mind and spirit.

Look, this article has nothing to do with dumbbell press and bicep curl, these are merely the vehicles of language that I use to communicate deeper ideas with people who are fluent in this language.

How you do one thing, is how you do everything.

Time to step out, and step up.

Stay Strong,

Dr. Jordan Shallow D.C

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