Saturday, May 6, 2006
Creative Control

Today, I bought a sledgehammer. The guy at the hardware store asked me if I wanted a bag. I laughed. The girl behind me in line said, "You should at least hide it, so you don't scare anybody."

Evidently, carrying a sledgehammer down Newbury Street on Saturday morning causes the terror alert to go from maroon to royal purple, or some such sh*t. Despite the obvious threat to the general public, no one bothered to ask me what I was going to do with a twenty-pound sledge.

Good thing, too. Telling strangers you're going to use it to hit truck tires usually causes them to give you the evil eye. If
you insist that it will enhance core stability and improve your explosiveness, the reaction doesn't get any better. The funny thing is, I'm not even the first person to use a gigantic hammer for training. I stole the idea, straight up. I don't remember if it was Ross Enamait's idea or somewhere on the Crossfit message board. I'm pretty sure Eugene Allen has mentioned it a couple thousand times.

Creative exercise tends to get you some strange looks. Nonetheless, there are a thousand and one things you can do to become a better athlete, none of which involve spending $79.95 a month on gym dues to some big box, no-squat-rack-having, spandex-clad, please-wipe-down-the-leg-press sh*thole.

Find a hill, and run up the thing. Then run up it faster. There's absolutely no rules that say you can't do pullups on a tree, on a sign, or on your desk at work. You're limited only by your audacity and your creativity. I've got a friend who regularly "boulders" at the Brookline Village T station. There are playgrounds all over the City of Boston, and eight year-olds tend to be very impressed by bodyweight exercises. Deadlift one end of your couch for reps. Find some yuppie running down the street and goad him into a race. Steal his fanny pack if you have to.

Go ahead. Let 'em give you the evil eye. When you clean house at your next community sporting event, all the crazy looks in the world won't matter. You'll just be the beast. I mean best...


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