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Of Stones And Strength

Rick Walker

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A change from all the craziness this week:

Saturday was my step-son’s 18th birthday. He can now fight and day for his country, go to prison, our hang out at a strip club. For his 18th birthday he wanted a tattoo. We took him to the shop Saturday afternoon and by 5 pm, he was under the gun. Grimacing and sweating, he took the hour long tattoo, an 8 inch tribal cross in the middle of his back. We then went to my mom’s house and finished the evening with some pool playing, birthday cake, and target shooting.

I had missed my workout on Saturday, and was itching to do some lifting Sunday morning. I got up, got dressed, and ate some egg whites. As I sat on the couch watching TV and sipping coffee, I glanced out the window down to the creek that I used to play in as a child. There sat 2 wonderful large stones, just wanting to be lifted. There were also a number of smaller stones that looked just right for pinching. Awesome! The weather was perfect. Sunny and a brisk 40 degrees. A sweat shirt would do.

I trekked down to the creek bed and made a makeshift bridge out of cinder blocks to reach the other side. Once over there, I began pinching rocks and snatching them, finding huge thin rocks and 2-hand pinching them, and finding rocks thicker than the blob and just trying to get them off the ground. I also shouldered both of the bigger stones and walked around the bank with them. I was having a hell of a good time when I heard my step-son talking to me. Cool. He wanted to do it as well. I instructed him on how to cross the shaky block bridge I had made and soon he was hosting rocks as well. We came to the agreement that these stones just were not heavy enough, so armed with a pry bar we headed down stream.

We lifted a number of rocks as we made our way down the river, none of them all that challenging with the heaviest weighing in at maybe 200 pounds. After about a quarter mile we came upon the mother load. A huge quarry of stones averaging in size from Volkswagens to small atlas stones. There were hundreds of them. Who knows how long they had laid there. As a small child I had explored this creek for miles, but I am sure I passed the stones without ever realizing what power they held. Now, as an adult standing there with my step-son, the power of these stones drew me in. I stood in awe looking at them. They were all shapes and sizes, all colors. Some were almost round, while others were jagged and cumbersome looking. Shaped by nature, these stones held endless opportunities to those willing to get down and dirty in the pursuit of strength and fulfillment. As I stood there, a thought hit me. I am with my son, who just turned 18. He is a man. We need to find a man-hood stone and have him lift it to signify this achievement.

I walked among the stones. They were on a steep bank so I rolled a number of them down to the creek bed. Some were 200 pounds, while others I rolled had to push the limits at over 300 as I had a hell of a time rolling them. All the while I was looking for the perfect stone for my son.

I found it and rolled it down with the rest. We now had at least 10 stones on the creek bed, waiting to be lifted. We started with the lighter stones, 200 pounders, Derek lapped and stood up with them while I shouldered them and attempted to push-press them over head. I came to one that had to push the boundaries of over 300 pounds. It was big and ugly, but had some great hand holds on its jagged edges. I hoisted it and lapped it. From there I stood up with it, shaking and swaying like an oak tree. I finally stood erect with it on my chest. I was bloody, dirty, and smiling from ear to ear. I gave into the strain and dropped it to the ground. When I locked the stone out, it caught my chin and lip, and I had a bloody toothed smile.

We kept lifting the stones. Trying different hand holds, different styles. Some of the lighter ones I tried to get from the ground to overhead in one movement. Then we sat on 2 of the huge stones and started talking. I explained to him the importance of stone lifting. How the stone is from nature, it’s the purest form of strength testing there is. It is quite simple in the stone pile: either you lift it, or you don’t. No belts, no wraps, no suits, and no rules. Grab it, hoist it, drop it, and smile. Period. I explained to him how it made the body strong from the head to the toes, it was a total body blaster and perhaps the best way to train for functional strength. For the first time since I have known Derek he actually looked interested in something that had to do with strength. He listened to me intently.

I took a drink of water. I asked him if he had ever heard of manhood stones. He hadn’t. I explained how in some cultures, boys are not considered men until they are able to lift the tribe’s manhood stone. The stones had to be lifted from the ground onto platforms. I pointed to a nicely shaped stone and it’s platform and said, “Have at it.”

The stone was of great shape. I am not a geologist, but what ever type of stone this was, it was dense and heavy as hell. I would have estimated it’s weight at well over 300 pounds. It’s shape favored picking it up like a husefell stone, that is, it was wide at the top and thin at the bottom. It stood about 3 feet tall. I was able to stand up with it, but it took damn near everything I had to lock it out and I held it for only a short amount of time before it crashed to the earth.

The platform was one the stones I had rolled down earlier. It was square in shape and about 10 inches thick. This meant that Derek would have to get the stone at least 10 inches up to clear the edge and place it upon the platform. I got it into position for him. I then told him to get serious. To erase all negativity and attack the stone with a fury. I told him it was a battle. He had to be willing to fight and, if necessary, to die. Any hesitation and the stone would win.

He grasped the stone. I knew right away that his hold was wrong. It was awkward and he was struggling to get low enough to even start the pull. Once he felt like he was in position, he went after it. Within 15 seconds his face was beat red. The stone stayed glued to the earth’s gravity.

I told him to get a drink, get his head right, and try again. I told him he had to find the right hand hold, somewhere that would maximize grip and allow all of his energy to go into lifting the stone. He grasped it again. This time he looked much more comfortable. He wiggled his butt down and began his personal struggle with nature. His fight with life and death. After what seemed like eternity, I began to see the stone leave the ground. I got behind him, screaming at the top of my lungs. The stone kept creeping up, inch by inch. At almost lockout, he lurched forward and racked the stone atop the makeshift platform. I grabbed the stone, and he fell to the creek bed, breathing like a freight train.

After 5 minutes, he stood up. All he said was, “wow!”. I shook his hand and congratulated him on his accomplishment. There were no cameras, no video. No people standing around watching. No chance at a magazine article or supplement sponsor. No rule books, no certificates, and no world wide acknowledgement. It was him versus the stone. Him versus himself. Him versus the voices in his head.

It was true and it was real.

We grabbed our water jugs and headed back to the house.

Rick Walker :rock

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Amen, Brother!

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Sounds like an incredible experience! Bonding, and with stones. I wish I had some good rocks to practice with near me. Any time that I'm out hiking in the wilderness, I never hesitate to get "down and dirty" with the stones!

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Great story Rick. Awesome. Amazing change that type of bonding can create in young men. I know what it did for me, and what it sounds like it's done for you and your step son. Thanks for sharing.

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That was a great story! Thanks for sharing it, Rick. Kudos to your son! I can't think of a better way to enter into manhood.

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I wish the rest of the world appreciated strength so. You're son is lucky, today's society likes to undermind the importance and significance of strength regarding manhood.

Edited by foggymountainmuscle
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Great story Rick, and it sounds like you two shared one of those rare father and (step-)son moments where you both are on exactly the same wavelength. Those moments just happen, but I'm sure it's something that you'll both remember for the rest of your lives.

Your writing was excellent, and it might be nice to (Note to Wanna) have a section of the board devoted to stories like this, kind of like the FAQ page. Great to hear that you didn't let the IM thing get you down :rock.

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Wow...what a great post. You made my day. Tell your step-son congradulations and happy birthday.

Wanna: I second that vote for section of the board devoted to stories like this.

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Wish I coulda been there bro. Your boy's a great kid. When's he gonna join the board?


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