The Silent Partner

TAGS: The Silent Partner, Eric Maroscher, lifting weights, passion, powerlifting

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This is not about a hashtag. It is not about a social media post. This is not a statement about a president, nor a view that is pro or anti [place your firearm views here]. It is not about a social movement, a cause, a charity, or a political affiliation. This is not an attempt to talk louder than another’s voice, or an attempt to convince a person, people, or group of a given viewpoint. It is not about a conspiracy theory. It is not about Americans or Russians or Martians. It is not about who is right, or who is wrong, or that the truth might actually lie somewhere in the middle. It is not about anything deep or of grand social or philosophical gravitas. It is not about a time period in history or some amazing medical breakthrough or a radical social change agent. It is not about someone with a hallowed epiphany, nor someone too obtuse to notice anything at all. It is not about saying too much and being thought of as verbose or saying very little and being viewed as vapid. It is not about presenting the most lofty and grand of ideas nor juxtaposing them with something anyone can conceive, believe, or achieve.


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It is about the most essential, basic, simple thing. A thing that, for some with the right makeup, can manifest as lifelong passion, or a companion, or a soulmate, or sometimes a nemesis. It is about the most simple of tasks that can prove to be the most challenging of pursuits. It is about merely moving something from Point A to Point B. It is about hardly being able to move something from Point A to Point B. It is about failing from time to time to move something from Point A to Point B. It is about a lifelong pursuit to move something from Point A to Point B, but never succeeding.

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For some, it is a chore. For some, it is a challenge. For some, it is a calling. For some, it is the key that unlocks the fabric of the entire universe. It is and is not a belief. It is and is not a spiritual experience. It is and is not the beauty in the eye of the beholder. It is one thing to one person and a totally different thing to another person. All one knows is what it has been for them. All one knows is what it does for them, and although others have their reality, an individual's reality is unique to them and no other person will share that same exact relationship.

How dare someone postulate what lifting weights means to you? How dare you presuppose what lifting weights is to someone else? And that is simply how that goes. For me, lifting weights is a symbiosis, although the reality is that the weights get nothing from me whatsoever. Anthropomorphically speaking, lifting weights has been the friend that has always been there and has always told me the truth, every single time. The weights weigh what they weigh and I can either lift them or I can’t. They never try to convince me of anything. They are what they are and that is what they will always be. They have been an inspiration as well as a challenge and everything that falls in between.

The weights were there for me when I was a little boy in grade school, lifting in a sweltering garage during a summer day while looking into the convex window of a 1972 Chevy Malibu as my mirror. The weights were also there for me when I was a grown man, driving seven hours to the hospital every Friday and back home again every Sunday. They were there for me each night between those drives for ten consecutive months as I visited my mom. As a child, they were my delight during those grade school summers. As an adult, they were my solace where I could lose myself deep within the reps during those life-changing months visiting my mom. The weights were keeping me strong so I could in turn be strong for my mom each and every day.


MORE: Why Do You Lift — Meaning, Identity, Hope and Passion


The weights never speak to me and never answer when I question or talk at them. They are my silent partner. They are like magic and seem to suddenly appear, no matter where I have moved in life. Each new town I moved to and each gym I joined (and there have been many), I got to know those specific weights. The plates become very familiar to those who spend time with them. Like people, each plate has a unique feature: a bit of rust here, a paint chip there. Some 45s are thick, some 45s are thin, some 45s weigh 47 pounds, and some weigh 44 pounds. Over four decades, there have been many. I can recall each gym’s weights in my mind’s eye: Drew’s Gym in the late 1970s. Robinson’s Gym and Pumping Iron Gym in the early 1980s. Bobby V’s Gym, Old Lance Gym, New Lance Gym, Son Light Power Gym, Mark’s Gym in the late 1980s. Heavy Metal Gym and Frantz Gym in the 1990s, and Monster Garage Gym in the here and now.

Over the decades, the weights on the squat bar crescendo: 200 pounds, 300 pounds, 400 pounds, 500 pounds, 600 pounds, 700 pounds, 800 pounds. As the decades pass, you run into the same weights climbing down the ladder as you did while ascending the ladder. You might care, but the weights do not. They are still the friends that have always been there and have always told me the truth, every single time. The weights weigh what they weigh and I can either lift them or I can’t. They never try to convince me of anything. They are what they are and that is what they will always be. They have been an inspiration as well as a challenge and everything that falls in between.

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