Inside it seems to be the size of a janitors closet, but the passion and intensity flashes before your eyes. You see glimpses of the blood, sweat and tears that has come from the past workouts inside. Chalk residue is seen on the concrete floor between the cracks of the Tractor Supply Horse Mats. A small box fan tries it hardest to push some of the heat out the door or at least a slight breeze to wipe some sweat from the forehead.
On a piece of sheet rock on a wall half finished is "1/16/2012 1st Workout" and below that the letters- N.O.V.. A Harbinger belt hangs from a rusty nail next to another nail with numerous sheets of paper pushed through it. Workouts of the past, weights corresponding to lifts that were planned for the day.
The Garage Gym seems to be a place where the manliest of men would only dare train, but why? Why would someone want to lift in stale air approaching 100 in the midst of summer and in the dead of winter lift with a bar so cold it sticks to the hands filled with sweat? No water fountains, no towels, and no fancy equipment. But when you blink again you see some dedicated and determined women, women with kids and careers, women who love the thrill of strength training and conditioning. Women who are not afraid to lift and condition in the heat of the sun, on the driveway or in the garage.
Chains and Steel piping from Lowe's make up some homemade Strongman Equipment. Farmers walk bars made from 1 inch steel pipes that leave your hands as black as coal. Passersby honk their horns as salutes of recognizing the dedication and desire that is brought to the Garage Gym when it's time to get it on. Bikers and walkers turn their heads and stare for a few seconds until the sweaty eyes of the lifters meet theirs, only to turn away really quick- and turn back to catch the motivation and inspiration radiating from the efforts left in the driveway as if they try to adsorb some of the passion to help them continue their feats.
Circuits with Bodyweight Exercises and Sandbags lasting 20 minutes with a few breaks here and there can be found on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sometimes when you look inside the garage with the door half way perched open you might see a high school football player squatting nearly 300 pounds for 20 reps. Screams and howls of pain and intensity travel the stale air across the corn field into oblivion. Bear tracks can be seen crossing the road and foxes dancing across the corn fields. Obie Trice flowing on the stereo and Kettle Bells being swung.
Mediocre being left far away from the garage and determination clouding the eyes of the beholder. A purpose being fulfilled and straight to the point. No useless gimmicks or fancy fads. Fitness lies are buried in the mulch and the truth is preached on a normal occurrence. Heart and Soul put into workouts with game faces locked and loaded as soon as the feet step out of the cars. Persistence with effort, pain with pleasure, comes power upon completion.
This is the style of the Garage Gym. The weak too afraid to try and the sissified too weak to last. A community of the Dedicated, Demanding, and Determined. Lifting at the Garage does something to a person. Just as Jim Wendler once said "It's hard to get mad at the guy who cuts you off in traffic after you've left your lunch on top of the hill after bear crawling up it.", it's just as hard to think like the normal average person after you've left gallons of sweat on the driveway of Activate Fitness's Garage Gym on a day where the meters read 100 but feel like 115.
I want to give special thanks to the community of my Garage Gym. The people who make up these stories and experience the awesome design of effort and desire, battling Death day in and day out with their Heads held high and Shoulders firm. Tough indeed, powerful oh yes, amazing? More than they'll ever believe.