The will to win
"No, no, no. A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can destroyed, or locked up. But, if you become MORE than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal... and if they can't stop you... Then, you become something else entirely."
"Legend, Mr. Wayne."
-- Ra's al-Ghul to Bruce Wayne, "Batman Begins"If you have not seen "Generation Iron" yet, stop whatever you are doing right now, get on teh internetz, set aside two hours, and watch it.
As documentaries go, it's pretty decent, I suppose. Mickey Rourke sounds like he was sound asleep right up to about 30 seconds before they poked him awake and told him to read his lines, but at least he's just chewing the scenery off camera. Overall, this documentary will not do much to change your opinion of bodybuilding. If you're into it, then you'll enjoy it. If you're a drug-free lifter, like me, you'll be simultaneously fascinated by how hard these guys push themselves, and repelled by how inane their workouts seem to be, how awful their form is on certain compound lifts, and how unwilling they all seem to be to talk about the steroid problem in their sport.
Why? Because that is what it takes to be the best.
I readily admit that I simply do not see the point of bodybuilding. I do, however, understand why the guys in that movie push themselves so hard. They do it for the same reason that elite powerlifters damn nearly kill themselves doing workouts that could potentially cripple them for life. It's not about the fame, it's not about the money, and at some level it certainly isn't about the women; after all, if you're really into bodybuilding, you'll be putting stuff into your body that will simply kill your sex drive.
It's about proving to the entire world, beyond any shadow of doubt, that you are the best at what you do. And if you look at the competitors in the movie, you'll see this theme pop up over and over again.
Whether you agree with bodybuilding as a sport or not- and I don't- there is no question that it redefines the nature of masculine competition. And as with any sport, the winners are the ones with a combination of almost freakish genetic talents and incredible work ethics.
When you get done watching this movie, you'll be asking yourself two simple questions:
- What is it that I truly want?
- Am I willing to do whatever it takes to get it?
What matters is what's inside of you. It's your pride, it's your heart. If you don't have any of that for this sport, you're never going to be the best. Because I can tell you there is a common trait amongst the great lifters that I have ever met, is that they all have an undying desire to be the best- or the best that they can be.
-- Brandon Lilly, elite powerlifter