How I Learned to Let Go & Begin Overcoming Gravity

It seemed kind of strange to think that this feature has been around for years and I have never used it, that is the email to post feature…

For this entry into my blog I want to share a recent book I read, which is what I do around here, and I want to share a story of how I came across this author.

First off, anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that I do take fitness seriously, and that I am currently going down a road to personal fitness that is more akin to development over the long term and not just for hypertrophy.

With that, a friend of mine and I had just gone to lunch and we were talking about how life was before covid and how we used to be more involved with the gym. He remembered that I had let those days go of going to the gym and he wondered what I had been up to. I told him about Convict Conditioning and how it had truly changed my perspective on what physical fitness should look like.

He kind of laughed at me and told me that stuff was lame, and not a broad or deep enough perspective into the art of callisthenitcs. “Have you heard of Steven Low and his book Overcoming Gravity?”

Well, obviously I hadn’t because he began telling me about what the book was about. Even mid conversation I pulled up library genesis and started looking for the text. Sure enough, it was there and over the next 48 hours I began reading the massive tome on gymnastic conditioning until I had fully engulfed the text and understood the basics.

The Basics to Bodyweight Conditioning

In all reality, I am not an expert. I am guy who started off in middle school swimming after school and taking that sport to its logical conclusion in high school: swimming in high school. Granted swimming did become a kind of gateway to another watersport that I think is highly under-rated and under-appreciated: water polo. But I digress.

You see, physical fitness had been about participating in a sport and performing at a very high level all growing up. Then in my twenties, fueled by unrealistic expectations of who I was supposed to be and manipulated into thinking I was more important than I really am, my rageful pursuit of hypertrophy was what dominated my world view.

It was when I started cutting back from the gym, due to covid regulations, that I started to discover a new world of difficulty that I had never understood. I mean, I could lift twice my weight off the floor. I could press my weight over head. And I could press one and a half times my weight off my chest… But a pistol squat? Get our of town. That’s when I started my journey into the beginnings of body weight fitness.

Now, I didn’t go into bodyweight conditioning for long for my first go at it. I got bored of doing the same stuff over and over again (ironic, weight lifting is really no different). But as the pandemic’s lockdowns and restrictions waged on, I knew that I needed to continue learning about bodyweight exercises or get weights. You guessed it, I bought weights like a good little consumer trying to find the shortcut to a toned physique and mass of muscles.

When I started experiencing pains in my joints, I discovered that I needed to reasses my fitness from the ground up. And that is exactly what I did when I learned about Convict Conditioning, I had to real learn to rebuild my strength from the joints outwards.

Enter the Expert to Body Weight Conditioning

Truthfully, I don’t really know much about Steven Low or what he is all about. But sometimes you don’t have to know much about an expert to know that the information that they are sharing is expertise.

As I discovered how gymnists train and the terminology that they use to develop tremendous strength in their sport, I found my self desiring for my self the kind of strentgh and mobility that comes with training the body against the weight of the body. And I found myself wanting that for the whole of my life and not just for a few years of looking shredded and feeling body bound.

See the big things that attracted be to Overcoming Gravity were the progressions into deeper levels of strength while attaining more profound mobility in my limbs. This is ultimately what I desire for my fitness. And it took stripping away all the ego, the misconceptions about the body and the slot machine of social media the surrounded my worldview to see that I want is to have the power and flexibility of learning how to use my body.

Steven Low does a great job teaching that the real difficulty in becoming truly bodyweight powerful is learning how to develop routines that progressively build overtime. And that skill of building routines is, from my perspective, what will set someone up on their journey to an understanding of physical fitness that can’t be attained through just lifting weight, running another mile, or taking another more exotic supplement.

The root of fitness means to be fit, and there is no better way to determine if we are fit than to take our body and leverage it against the world and see if we can overcome gravity.

Your Fitness Journey

Tell me about your fitness journey. Are my thoughts out of whack or do they make sense? Do you believe that weightlifting is superior to bodyweight training? Or are you aware of a methodology of personal fitness that isn’t readily known? Comment below.

On The Edge of My Seat With The Rim of Morning

Don’t you love being on the edge of your seat waiting for my next post!

Every once in a while I get the chance to finish a novel instead of a work of non-fiction, and it can be very rewarding too.

Today’s blog post is about the haunting realities that the mind can conjure up using only the most bare narrative elements. On the surface, we all think that what makes for good horror is jump scares and the sudden twists in the plot. But diving deeper, it is the mark of a brilliant horror novelist who is able to bring something that seems only possible in the mind, and when upon closer inspection bears all the hallmarks of reality. Albeit, a little too closely.

Finding Horror on the Shelves

After I had finished The Chrysalids, I was really impressed by how I came to choose that book. Purely based on the aesthetic inclinations I experienced while looking over its cover. Yes, I judged that book entirely by its cover. But when I found myself wanting another novel after I finished that one, I thought very deeply about the process of getting a book worm’s attention with a cover and the immensely complicated endeavor of marketing a book.

As I thought on that, pondered it, and went to the Barnes and Nobles where I purchased The Chrysalids, I looked for books that bore some of the similar hallmarks of that book. There was something that the publisher had chosen with the spine text and the color selection that really caught my eye the last time. There was something too in the cover art and the fonts they used. I believed, as I meandered the shelves, that if a publisher is so thoughtful in their cover creation, what kind of books were they willing to put their stamp of approval on?

Truthfully, I was rather impressed by many of the books that the publisher New York Review Books had. They didn’t seem to be interested in reprinting classics with fancy covers, or catering to modern whims and contemporary authors. No, they seemed interested in sharing hidden gems for authors that were buried in all the drab and dull texts printed over the last half century or more. William Sloane was most certainly one of those gems.

What Makes A Great Story

There are two incredible books bound up in this text, The Rim of Morning. And each of them are incredibly insightful in the ways that men and women go about exploring uncomfortable truths about their world.

But it isn’t the what that gets you, it is how the story unfolds

In the first story, we have a young man going to his best friend’s father, telling him about the recent suicide of the father’s son. In the second story we have another man who is having to discover why his friend asked for his advice on a recent invention of his. Both of these stories were fascinating to say the least, and again, not because of the jump scares or the plot twists; you know what is going to happen the whole time as you read these “two tales of cosmic horror.” But it isn’t the what that gets you, it is how the story unfolds that really drives you to turn page after page.

So you are probably wondering, why would I want to read something like this? I don’t know about you, but if you are anything like me, than you are really intrigued with how an author explores the psychology of his characters, or making conjectures about what is going to happen next, and even being bold enough to declare whodunnit. A great book doesn’t just tell you a story, a great story binds you to the pages as you learn of a friend’s suicide, or the terror that comes with a mad scientist’s passion. Great stories explore the love that people have for each other, and with any luck, you will find your self loving them too. In spite of what ever may happen.

The Hardest Part of Great Horror

It is a notable fact that horror, as a genre, is incredibly difficult to write. See, it is well known that stories have a beginning, middle, and an end; but where people get torn up about horror, as a genre and not in real life, is that there is rarely resolve when you get to the end of the story. You have turned hundreds of pages, you understand the monster and the motives, but in the end you are left wondering… is that it?

For William Sloane, I feel that he understood how to end his stories quite well. In fact, I would say that he did a much more succinct job of it in the second story, The Edge of Running Water, under this title than he did in the first; and my reasoning is that the end of To Walk the Night seems to button down really well after it all shakes out. Almost too well… The Edge of Running Water, however, left me wondering deeply about the nature of the scientist’s machine and what other kinds of machines are being made around us.

You really can’t lose, in my opinion, with which one you start first. When you choose to pick this book up, I would want to know what your thoughts are in the comments below.

When It Is All Said And Done

Horror, as a genre, is a realm of inquiry that I feel is highly under appreciated and tremendously over saturated by only a handful of writers. You saw that Stephen King wrote a forward for this book, right? And that’s ultimately the problem with the genre, it is difficult to write, it is difficult to appreciate, and it is difficult to find a book worth reading that isn’t just a bunch of mumbo jumbo or highfalutin nonsense.

William Sloane, though, is an author who has masterfully crafted a story that leads you to feel deeply on account of his characters. And what’s more is that masterful sense of doom he is able to weave around the story without it becoming bogged down.

Really, I enjoyed this book. And I most especially enjoyed reading these stories aloud with my wife before bed, and experiencing the tension with a friend. It was truly a treat to share a scary book with someone who likes to share scary movies too.

What about you? What horror stories have you read that other’s may have never heard of? Do you agree with my analysis about the problems with the horror genre? Comment below.