Friday, August 21, 2009

The center of the Universe

That's what a kettlebell swing is.

How many times did I hear that? At least 20 times at every RKC event (this was my 4th), from Pavel and all the Masters, Seniors and Team Leaders, plus at least 20 times every week from my own mouth, when I'm preaching this same thing to my students. Nothing new, one could think.

"An inch wide, a mile deep."

We were sitting in a restaurant Saturday evening, waiting for dinner. I'm talking with Geoff Neupert and I raise the subject of so many people failing RKC 2 and why. He seems reluctant first, 'I wasn't there, I don't know'. - 'But still,' I insist, 'an idea, maybe?' - 'Probably because many people forget the basics'. I don't let the subject lie, however, and go on telling him about my knee injury and the mixed feelings I have towards the L2 drills since that, mainly that the basic (L1) exercises had helped me get and stay out of pain but now the L2 drills seem to put me back into pain again: push presses and jerks bother my knee in the front, windmills and bent presses in the back, pullups bother my elbow, etc. (in short: fear).
He helps me clear up some technique details and gives me tips, which is already great. But then he says:

"It's all about the basics. Remember? The center of the Universe is the swing. A pullup is nothing else than a swing. A jerk is a swing. A windmill is a swing..."

Dinner was served at this moment, we didn't continue. But it's food for thought and I'm digesting it for almost a week now. I re-read some parts of RTK, NW and the old RKC book, searching for the jerk as a swing, the windmill as a swing, the pistol as a swing... I've found a lot and there's more to find. My brain keeps replaying that movie of him sitting there in front of me and telling me this. Not just because he made me stop fretting. It was as if I had caught a glimpse of how deep a mile can be.