Sunday, May 07, 2006
The Zen of the Humble Garage
I enjoyed Vern's posts today and will have to pick up the book on Natalie Coughlin and the Outside Magazine. One thing that caught my attention was Vern's reference to his "high tech garage training center."
I am almost ready to begin research on a book dedicated to the wonderful work and knowledge generated by the numerous, legendary garage training centers and mentors in this country. It is my contention that the foundations of training technique and wisdom is generated in these humble facilities by those who prefer to be independent of the big gyms/sports performance companies. The gurus with the fancy, turf-laden sports performance emporiums simply repackage and resell that which has been developed in the trenches. They sell, sell, sell; they do not teach, teach, teach.
I'll admit is surprised me a bit to learn that Vern has a garage facility, but it makes total sense now. The weightlifting community is rife with such facilities, as commercial gyms tend to have no stomach or room for platforms, chalk and noise of dropped barbells. And commercial gyms have no space to teach people to move! They are full of useless machines and televisions (and escalators!) that provide mind-numbing distraction and assistance to the faithful masses who get their narcotic-like CNN, CNBC and Today fixes. This is exactly the environment that does not support the development of physical health--awareness, alignment, movement and strength. It creates dependence on machines and dumb's down the body's own proprioceptive abilities to move in the context of gravity.
I have finally managed to create my own little basement space (see top the picture) that allows me to lift, move, play and do Iron Maven research and development without mirrors or TV. And I can at least control the temperature a bit, which is nice. I've trained in the summer in a Florida garage and I can say that it can be brutal: the heat, mosquitoes and humidity are challenging. I salute Vern and all of the other garage-based people out there who chose the non-commercial , beautifully simple, functional path.