The Poetry of Power

Sometimes, I like it slow.

In slow motion, Ilya Ilyin’s massive lifts look like a sure thing. Of COURSE he caught that one–look how much time he had to get under that bar! The camera’s slow eye tells us a story about smooth and perfect movement. Take away the speed, and you miss the violence. Only the helter-skelter twitch of his eye hints at his flimsy grip on sanity. Sane people don’t talk themselves under a 242kg clean and jerk. Sane people don’t even do the math.
But Ilyin does. Hair set firmly in place, he is emotionless from pull to white lights; only the slight tilt of his head hints at the struggle within. What does he see in that thousand-yard stare? What does 500lbs reveal when it’s overhead?
Lydia Valentin looks like a highschool soccer player in her Adidas shoes and pink hairband. Watch her–notice the earrings, the ponytail, the eyebrows. Watch her breathe while the bar floats up off her collarbone, and she adjusts her grip. This is where physics becomes art. Then add up the plates on her bar. 
We talk a lot about training to be better at life. We say women should get stronger to pick up their kids, and men to pick up their socks. But these are people who are strong for strong’s sake.
Their sport is NOT lifting the heaviest weight; their sport is lifting weight BEST. The lifter of highest quality wins.
Virtuosity means doing the common uncommonly well. Gymnasts are judged on “virtuosity,” but anyone can point their toes to Tchaikovsky; it takes a warrior to remain their poise while 500lbs falls on them. It takes rhythm to synchronize the hips, and rhyme to jerk overhead. Art requires precision: practicing and executing with purpose. These are artists.
Your canvas is our gym. Your teachers are our coaches. We show the Masters as inspiration, but the art can be found at every level. This is what Charity teaches in the Summer Weightlifting course: the divine transfer of mathematics into art. F=ma is the path to infinity.
Hope to see you there.