If we were out on Rose street at midnight on a Friday, this would be akin to a mating call.
However, it isn’t, it’s not, it wasn’t but who knows, the last part might be true.
It’s 7.10 on a Wednesday morning, and the bootcampees have just made it through the toughest workout yet. The steam curling up from Callum’s youthful nineteen-foot frame is water vapour: a sort of heat trail of effort and achievement. We all lie down and stretch and, as folks chat as they leave, I notice they have all left outlines – sweat angels on the mat – less innocent than their snowy cousin but a hell of a lot more badass.
When bootcamp started back in on January 8th, the first couple of sessions, you could see your breath inside.
The Fitness Soul gym is cold. Not a bit chilly – very cold. It was uncomfortable. It probably doesn’t even reach the legal limit for whatever the legal limit is. But, should it? All around the world, every day, people exert themselves physically in climates that span the spectrum of tauntaun-slittingly cold to the kind of heat that makes Uncle Owen and Aunt Veru worry about the harvest (yes yes, about 3% of you get that but trust me, they are laughing into their beards).
From the Arctic to the equator, people run, skip, laugh, climb, hunt, strain, push and pull and get strong. Check them out on Youtube, but beyond the cameras, a million are quietly getting on with it. And mostly they do it without injury and with acceptance. It is only when we go outside the comfortable realms of our every day that we change.
To get stronger, we must stress and tear muscle fibres. That’s what causes the growth.
We go beyond the discomfort and learn to exist, cope, thrive, and enjoy. And then we must seek out discomfort again. It’s the stoic methodology. Why should we expect to be comfortable all the time, and still achieve results? We aren’t entitled. There’s no reason why we can’t achieve greatness, each of us.
But we have to accept it is not our entitlement.
On Friday, a group of folks who have sweated, steamed, panted and heaved (and had a good time – we aren’t bloody savages!) in snow, ice, rain and wind will head out.
They are stronger, healthier, happier and a tiny bit better equipped to cope with hardship as a result.
Yes, it was cold and dark and rubbish at times.
So they wore layers and they got on with it. They have earned their minging, sweaty angel wings.