Last weekend I observed a powerlifting meet here in Clackamas.
I appreciate hard work and achievement. I appreciate seeing demonstrations of the tactical virtues — Strength, Courage, Mastery and Honor. Generally, though, I’m not pulled in my the drama of sporting events.
But I know Chris Duffin, and I’ve watched him train. I know how hard he works and how relentless he is. He once told me that his tattoo of an eagle chained to his ankle is a reminder that, usually, you are the one who holds yourself down.
I was invested in this one, and the whole thing was gripping.
This artful min-documentary, made by Andrei Miclea, captured the moment.
Here is Andrei’s personal introduction to it, posted here with his permission:
I started training at EPC [Elite Performance Center] in sunny Portland, Oregon about almost years ago now. I’ve always been the type of person who becomes borderline obsessed with everything he gets himself into…this is both a blessing and a curse. One day I had one of those moments where people decide that enough is enough. I needed to do something about my lack of discipline and my general sloth-like demeanor.
So I took up the fairest sport of them all…powerlifting. See, unlike other sports, this one is a pure discipline. Your competition is you, yesterday. Forget about glory and world records, every day I step foot around the iron I’m put into a place where I can either fight to be better than my past self, or I can give up and accept failure with all of its internal consequences. In that sense its the harshest of the sports, because self-failure hits deeper in the heart of man than any failure that is contingent on other people. The weight doesn’t lie, it has no emotions, it will always be fair to you.
And it drives men to great lengths. This is what I see in Chris Duffin…restlessness. They say that very few people have what it takes to push the rest of us Joes forward, he certainty is one of those people. I’ve seen the man fall victim to the pain of an 800 pound loaded barbell mercilessly crushing him, only to bounce back stronger than ever…as if it had never happened. He chases victory as if his life depended on it. And the thing of it is…you can see it. Maybe it sounds crazy…but watch the video and just look in his eyes.
So I wanted to make this mini-documentary because its one of the few contributions I can make to this great sport, if not by ink in the record books…then by recording great feats of strengths such as these with the cinematography and production quality they deserve.
Read this interview I did with Chris here:
For more about manliness and the tactical virtues of Strength, Courage, Mastery and Honor, check out my book, The Way of Men.