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A Wordless Exchange

Isn’t it incredible how the power of a glance can change a man’s resolve.

I have a lad who trains in the Lunchtime Fitness sessions, a lad who competes regularly in triathlon, a tough guy, fit, strong and enduring. Recently he told me how he’d like to try his hand in Kettlebell Sport and compete in the upcoming Biathlon event in Kilkenny. The biathlon tests how many times you can Jerk a pair of Kettlebells in a 10 minute time limit early in the day and then brings you back on to test the Kettlebell Snatch in the same manner.

The training has already taken this lad way outside his comfort zone, he’s discovered a new challenge, a new level of suffering and a type of fatigue he’s never experienced.

I see him struggling, I see doubts flashing across his eyes as he feels the kettles begin to succumb to the call of gravity. But then his eyes catch those of another member, or even myself, no words are said only a wordless exchange, maybe a slight nod. Yet it is enough, enough to reinvigorate, restore and refresh this struggling athlete. Enough to let him know he’s not standing alone, but instead he’s standing on the shoulders of those beside him.

Today for example was a quiet day, it was a bank holiday monday, and for my lad it was Jerk day, the day he really struggles with. Beside him was fellow endurance athlete following a completely different program, one designed to build strength and keep him running hard and fast. Both were working hard, different men, different workouts, different goals. But several times I saw the exchange, a look, nothing more. Each time it happened both men stepped up their game.

By the end of training they’d both pushed themselves into uncharted territory, this was confirmed by the satisfied look in their eyes as they walked off the floor to the showers.

This is the Wild Geese Attitude that we speak so highly off.

It’s not cheerleading, whooping and shouting. It’s not high fives and pats on the back.It’s not tattooing your self with kettlebells and chanting the gym’s name…”Wild Geese! Wild Geese! Wild Geese!”

It’s a look in the eye. It’s about pushing forwards, challenging the boundaries, and by doing so showing others that they too can push their own boundaries.

Most don’t get it, they drift away after a few weeks. Some nearly get it, they hang on but stay on the periphery. Few get it. But those that do find themselves changing beyond all recognition.

It’s an attitude, a family of like-minded warriors each one a leader showing the others what they too can become capable off.

Will you get it?


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