“Threshold” by Samuel Frauenstein
Threshold: “The point at which a physiological or psychological effect begins to be produced.”
It’s a quiet day. No one is clamoring for the moment and I decide to read… Maybe a book, maybe a magazine, maybe it doesn’t even matter. All I do is stare at the pages as my mind drifts. I wander through my thoughts, never letting myself stay focused on one thing for too long.
Slowly, as if from a great distance, a word begins to come into focus. As I strain to make out the outline of the letters so I can know the word, it becomes clear to me in all its power. The word is in granite and sharp at the angles, but the word is weathered as well… Beaten from all possible angles, eroded by the rain and whipping wind… Scarred by the weight of its own meaning, but still hard and full of bright rage. THRESHOLD is the word that appears to me in my untrammeled sight.
The word comes to me and in that moment I know it has always been the meaning of everything–when the stones pile up on your back and the weight feels like it might crush you from the inside out. That my friend is the threshold… The place where the road begins, where you find out what you are made of.
So many times, when the weight was on my back it felt like the end. I was wrong. It is the beginning. In life outside the gym when I was weary, I thought maybe I had run out of road, only to see I wasn’t even on the road yet. Getting back from an injury into a sport like strongman really tests that. It makes you wish you played chess. It makes you yearn for the days of lying in bed injured with your feet up, hell, at least I had an excuse. Now there is no excuse, only sacrifice. No easy way out, only the fight to move the weight and to move my mind into the paradigm of what it once was – the warrior mind. The mind set that seeks the road and doesn’t run from it. The mind set that welcomes the threshold.
So I stand there, under the unfamiliar weight of a squat bar on my shoulders thinking about the threshold and about what happens when you realize nothing has ever happened to you, until now. I thought about how much I have been through and where my threshold could take me. I was filled with blinding rage and as I watched the blank stare come over my eyes, I knew I would find out, one way or another, what I am made of. I will know for sure when the weight becomes crippling, when the stones dig into my back and the blood comes up my throat from the pressure. I will find out everything I need to know, when I reach the threshold…
Strength and Honor