Tuesday, April 17, 2012

North of Vag

"North of Vag—this is more than a style of lifting or training. It's a way of life. This has taken off and become a rallying cry for people frustrated with the emasculation of society. This emasculation has made its way into the lifting world, and I will fight like hell to get it out. There are now people writing, talking, teaching, instructing, and coaching strength that have none. There are people who have marginalized strength training, trivialized squatting and deadlifting, and somehow convinced others that strength isn't important. Why? Because they aren't strong. They don't have the desire to be strong. They don't have the discipline to put a heavy bar on their backs or the guts to pull something heavy. - Jim Wendler"

If you were to sum up my daily thoughts and label the direction my life was headed it would be quoted in the words "North of Vag".  I have recently adopted the saying as my motto and while I am not on the top of the N.O.V Hill by any means, actually far from it, I continually climb to new heights, day in, day out.  

So what does "North of Vag" or "N.O.V." even mean?  Well for starters you can read the above quote that was taken from Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 for Powerlifting book and come to a brilliant conclusion as to what it stands for.  (By the way, if you lift and don't know Jim Wendler or his work, Google is your friend.. Now. He also popularized the saying.)  But to me the meaning of what North of Vag stands for is much more then the above paragraph.  Yes it involves lifting, yes it involves life.. but what truly is an image of "North of Vag"?

If I were to write out a list of my values, values that really meant a lot to me, values that I swear by and forever will stand by, the top of the list would look like this:

North of Vag:

1. Blah Blah.. etc...

What that shows, in my opinion, is that North of Vag is a term that defines my core values, defines my beliefs, and sums up every aspect of my life that makes me the man I am today.  It is the header to my life's letter. Sure lifting 800 pounds off the ground is known to be "N.O.V." just like how dedicating 4 days to a program with 2 or more of those including conditioning has also been called "being N.O.V.", but it goes a lot further than that.  

"North of Vag" extends way beyond the limits of the strength and fitness world's walls.  North of Vag can't be North of Vag unless every aspect of your life abides by the meaning.  You can kick ass with motivation and dedication inside the gym that makes you reek of the N.O.V label, but if your home life is sour and that same motivation and dedication causes problems or neglect, or compromise.. how can you say you're N.O.V.?  If you "tuck your tail" and go against your values to make something easier, less dramatic, or to simply avoid it- how is that N.O.V.? If you fail to vote and then bitch about the elected candidate, you are not in holy land, you're far from it.  

A person who is absolutely North of Vag has patience, discipline, motivation, knowledge (and continues to increase it), power, desire, commitment, real fucking values, and their head is constantly steered straight.  They know where they are going and a map is not needed. When I first heard the term I figured it was just about lifting weights in the 5/3/1 fashion and being consistent with it.  I quickly understood it went further than that and now means a hell of a lot more to me.

"Rely on your own strength of body and soul. Take for your star self-reliance, faith, honesty and industry. Don't take too much advice — keep at the helm and steer your own ship, and remember that the great art of commanding is to take a fair share of the work. Fire above the mark you intend to hit. Energy, invincible determination with the right motive, are the levers that move the world.
Noah Porter"

Leadership is an unwritten quality of a man or woman holding their head high above Vag.  To be North of Vag you need to be a leader.  A leader of your life, your pursuit, your dreams and goals and do so with the confidence of becoming great and achieving any goal the mind decides to set out for.  Without leadership leaves a person weak and in seek of guidance, always hiding South with failure after failure of climbing North.  Leaders understand how to chip away at the ever forming obstacles and understand things take time- this is patience.  

Many younger lifters who have embraced the work of Mr. Wendler feel being North of Vag is just about lifting heavy weights.  "With great "power" comes great responsibility" and when the lifts get heavier the responsibilities broaden and those who seek the land of the North know that more is not always better and proper planning is required to continue on the path.  Aches and pains occur and in the words of my mother "Put your purse down" and do it right, with patience. "Measure twice and cut once", never be afraid to take two steps back and more importantly understand there is more to life than just lifting.  North of Vag lifters do not let their jobs or relationships become affected with their lifting.  They don't set alarm clocks on when to eat or "major in the minors".  Things just are and they go smoothly, because they stick to the basics and their values.

Gone are the days I let any of the world's problems affect my moods or beliefs.  Gone are the days where I bitch and moan about work, both professionally and personally.  My house needs maintenance and I'll do it.  My wife needs me, my attention, my affection, and that she'll have.  My work needs my knowledge and I give it.  I do not care about current events creating problems because those problems do not affect me- I won't let it.  I do not sit and bitch about money.  I create more ways to invite money to come to me.  No more "I wish" "I can't" "What if" "How come".. etc.. now, it's just "I will".. why?  Because I live the values defined as "North of Vag".

For more information of Jim Wendler and his 5/3/1 books go to www.jimwendler.com

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