The Kettlebell Sings

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” ~Herophilus

KB RiverThe kettlebell sings. Imagine an American football center in a four-point stance, back straight, legs slightly bent, booty dropped halfway to China, but instead of a football in his hand, the blistering curve of a cast iron kettlebell. Arms straight, the kettlebell swings back between your legs, ready to fire. With a thrust of the hips, the kettlebell meets you at arm’s length & eye level, singing a merry song.

My son lines up next to me, same stance, same good form, and lets his little plastic coated kettlebell fly to the level of his eyes. He & I don’t discuss poods (Russian unit of measurement that landed in America with the docking of the kettlebell boat). All he needs to know is that a 6 year old swinging a 7 lb kettlebell is stronger than a 40 year old swinging a 35 lb kettlebell (1 pood). Thinking back to when age was a linear progression, his logic appeals to me.

Strength is a phenomenon of relativity. Walking takes strength, running takes strength, getting out of bed takes strength, but strength doesn’t have to be just about the simple tasks. My son has a point: just because I’m not growing up anymore (and probably haven’t since I was closer to his age) doesn’t mean that I can’t keep growing in strength.

The song doesn’t neglect a single muscle. Soon, all of our muscles are singing harmonies with the kettlebell’s melody. After a few sets, sweat runs down our arms, glides over the smooth cannonballs of iron, and dives off the swing, carving arches of moisture in the shimmering sun. Little rainbows without any color. Same promise as the big rainbows, but we have to color in the details ourselves.

Never stop growing.


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