What's Your Why?

When I failed...it was because ambition outstripped ability. I narrowed that lack of ability to physical issues often enough that I decided to do something about it.
— Mark Twight


Mark Twight is mostly known for his career as an extreme alpinist. He founded Gym Jones in 2003 and has trained MMA fighters, Hollywood actors (ever wonder how the soldiers in the movie 300 trained?), even Navy Seals. To say his list of achievements is impressive would be an understatement. I found the above sentiment by chance in the foreword of a book entitled, Training for the New Alpinism - A Manual for the Climber as an Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnston. Now I don’t know about you but I’ve always seen the foreword of a book as somewhat optional. It’s probably interesting but I want to get to the point of what I’m reading as quickly as possible. By chance I gave the foreword a glance and toward the bottom of the first page Twight very simply summarized how and why I chose my current path. I no longer wanted my life experiences to be dictated by what I thought I could and could not do from a physical standpoint. I’ve dedicated the last four years of my life to this pursuit of strength. However, I have discovered that you can hardly pursue physical strength in the absence of emotional and mental strength. After I graduated from the University of Michigan, when faced with a decision, I made it a point to always choose the option that made me more uncomfortable. I pushed myself to accept fear, discomfort, to push the boundaries of what I thought I was capable of - mentally, physically, emotionally. I learned that there is a way to shut down the voice in the back of your mind that is constantly telling you no or that you’re incapable of doing something. Let me clarify something here - it’s possible, but it’s not easy. Self doubt has a way of creeping up on you, winding it’s way through your every thought. The gym has taught me many things but above all it’s taught me that there is no room for self doubt. If you don’t believe in yourself you will never be able to push past your limits. But being confident isn’t easy. Whitney Thore (famous for her TLC show, My Big Fat Fabulous Life) said it best (can you tell I’m a big fan of quotes?):

[People] think that being confident… should be as easy as putting on a light switch…. Living authentically… is more like stumbling toward a motion sensor light in the dark. You have to advance forward to a target you can’t see, but trust that you’ll ultimately get to. The only thing that will turn that light on is your movement, your action.
— Whitney Thore

I’ve learned to own my actions, my choices. I’ve surrounded myself with people that believe in me when my own confidence falters. I am open about my struggles and setbacks because I want others to be open with me. I share my passions with others in hopes they will share theirs with me. More than anything, I never stop moving forward. My journey may have started years ago, but I know there is no finish line. I am in constant pursuit of physical and mental strength and on a journey of self discovery but it is not a journey I intend to take alone. Nathan and I opened this space to cultivate a community of positive-thinking, strength-pursuing, and like-minded souls dedicated to their health and longevity. A space to pursue strength of the body as well as the mind, a space to cultivate relationships with others as well as with yourself.

Welcome to Kin. Welcome home.

  • JB