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Agape, World Peace and the OKC

November 18, 2012

I’m going to attempt to dabble in the realm of what I imagine it to be like inside John Wild Buckley’s brain as I find him to be an expert at defining and describing the undefinable and indescribable. This entry is supposed to be a recap of the end of my first 6 months as a kettlebell sport athlete and my results at the IKFF Nationals this weekend….but it will be very difficult to do that effectively, and truthfully if I do not also attempt to explain some of the amazing things I discovered…. I’m just warning you now that I’m about to get a little philosophical and potentially corny so if you want to stop reading …. now is probably the time.

Check out these pictures – the one on top is from 2011 when I first met Jason Dolby and John Wild Buckley of the OKC. The picture on the bottom is from IKFF Nationals this weekend (about 1.5 yrs later). I am so more badass (and 25lbs lighter) now then I was then!

To begin – Dr. Martin Luther King. Now you may be wondering what the heck he has to do with any of this…. and if you are still reading I will tell you. He was a big believer in this concept of different kinds of love. King referred to three different types of love all stemming initially from the ancient Greeks: eros, romantic love; philia, the reciprocal affection between friends; and agape, the highest form of love. Although he did have some churchy religious attachment to agape (which I am not referring to here), his primary belief in agape was that it was an “intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being.”  He defined agape as ‘‘purely spontaneous, unmotivated, groundless, and creative.” MLK basically believed that world peace was achievable if people just tapped into this love source more. You are probably thinking “Oh no…this girl is as as emotionally sappy as Dolby right now” and FINE! Go ahead! No tears…. yet…. but I’m just trying to say that not only do I have a huge amount of love for the OKC family (and not in a creepy way), but I honestly feel that what they are spreading using the vehicle of kettlebell is just another version or form of agape love that MLK describes. And more of that love out in the universe can only benefit everyone.

So… needless to say that my experience with my coach Jason Dolby has been nothing but awesome. It was such a perfect fit and I’m so excited at the growth I’ve made under his guidance and teaching. I’m stoked for the future as I pursue this kettlebell thing for a while. Right now my knee feels amazing (could still be the injections – but I’ll still accept that) and so does the rest of my body. I’m stoked to hit stage 5 and get to play around with things other then kettlebells, but I’m still energized at the thought of getting back at it!

My initial goal starting out with Jason was to achieve a Rank 1 in the Long Cycle which would have meant 98 repetitions with a 16kg bell. I was also hoping to drop from the 65kg weight class to the 59kg weight class.  As I mentioned in previous entries – I met the weight class goal which was big for me on a personal level, not just a fitness level. It was tough…but I did it! 🙂 I will admit that my strength did take a bit of a hit that isn’t impossible to overcome… it just requires more patience and time which didn’t work in my favour this time around, but I’m totally o.k with that.  As it worked out in my training with Jason a pace of 8rpm was the most idealistic for competition…. still unknowns though as I had never done 10 minutes with the 16kg before. So my new competition goals became lasting the 10 minutes as well as consistently completing a 8rpm pace for the entire 10 min.

Now I just realized I need to back up a second. I just stated the last 2 sentences as though changing my original game plan was “no big deal”. Truth be told,  I was heartbroken, embarrassed, and disappointed. I don’t cope well with change (although I do my best to hide it), especially if it appears as a regression instead of a progression. My agape love for Jason helped me come to terms with my new goal and it was a pretty surreal experience. All of my life in competitive sports I have competed for coaches who were paid to coach, but not paid by me. So when it came right down to it…they didn’t really have to give a shit about me, they just had to get results. If that meant running me into the ground until I became injured… so be it. Literally, survival of the fittest-  because on a team you can always be replaced, so only the strong will continue to compete another day. I didn’t realize how much this had impacted what I thought a relationship with a coach should be.

When I had to adjust my Novi goal I initially felt a little angry and cheated by Jason wishing that “if only he had pushed me harder” I might be able to sustain the 10rpm pace I longingly desire. Jason and I had a head to head messaging conversation where he asked me point blank – “do you trust me?” And I realized that the answer to that question was not something that I could (and I definitely did not) feel conflicted about. All I needed to do was look at the reality of the situation – who had been there for me since the very beginning and monitored every workout and every progression? Who was the kettlebell expert? Who was the one who compiled all of my feedback  and adjusted each workout based on how my body was feeling/responding? Jason. And who did I trust the most with all of this information? Jason. Yes. I trust my coach completely.

Once I decided to let go and trust my coach completely I felt a huge weight off of my shoulders.  When I stepped up to the platform to lift while they counted down the last 5 seconds I made sure to take the time to smile and in a flash thought about all the people I cared about and how much I wanted to lift well for them. I picked up the bell and completed my best set to date.

Mission accomplished. I lasted 10 minutes. I improved my previous personal best (64rep) by 19 repetitions (83reps) and did 3 more reps then the 8rpm pace we established which came from Dolby’s encouragement during my final minute where he basically told me to go for it. After 6 months of busting my ass, and  paying strict attention to my diet – it was the best moment ever to be able to lift and have my coach with me to support me, count my reps and hold my hand the whole way. It was also amazing to meet the other OKC Chu-Hu’s who are beastly lifters that I have the greatest admiration for, as well as just incredible human beings (see Agape above). My kettlebell journey is not over. I have more work to do and it is something I am not planning on giving up any time soon. I am determined to make it work within my life – with my husband, my teaching career , StrengthBox, MovNat and all things Chuala related. Currently my 2013 goals are to hit my Rank 1 with the 16kg bell within the next 6 months (potentially June/July in Hawaii), and also train for the 1 hour Long Cycle next October in California. Master of Sport is definitely a goal for the future but not something I am in a race to complete. Right now it is all about enjoying the journey.

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