Edit – in 2021 – sometimes we “go back in time” – or “forward in time” as the case might be, heh.
This is being edited “in the future” – three years hence!
And I sent it to my list, thought about reposting as a new post here, but nah – I figured I’d edit THIS one for some reason, hehe. Always good to inject new life into “evergreen posts”!
Remember that bit about the injured forearm?
Well, I didnt tell you HOW that happened.
Basically putting together a crappy clothes rack with all the hammering and banging going on, and of course, me pressing rods into crevices (Glyn, NO pun intended! – hehe) …
It was such a crappy product I told my wife right off the bat “return this shit”.
“If we order another, it will be this bad too!”
Maybe she has a point, but the thing is, this damn thing looked like the rods were picked off the roadside.
Not to mention, nothing would fit etc where it should (Glyn Bozo, again, ah, but this isn’t public, so he isnt reading this, hehe).
I told my wife again, before I proceeded with the heavy duty stuff.
Believe me, for a guy thats been everywhere almost, like I wrot about John in the last email a split second is all I need to make a decision about people – or products for that matter.
Return it, I asked her …
And we put it together, as one of the wheels broke.
She tried it out.
And today she came to me and said “lets return this”.
Of course, I couldn’t resist telling her “I told you so right off the bat”, and explained what I’m going to tell you below – (of course, she wasn’t in the least bit interested) …
… but thats the split second thing I keep talking about!
(and that I spoke about in the email I just shared HERE).
… it’s also real world knowledge.
Of course, arguing with women, as John Walker once said, that brick wall would likely make more sense. Hehe.
“What price my forearm”, I quipped.
She glared at me.
“I didnt ruin your forearm!”
She’s right, she didnt. I should have put my whole body into it, but hey, us grip guys!
Anyway, that aside – another one of these lovely flashbacks I so love sharing.
Ya’ll will love this.
So, it was around 6:30 P.M. or so in Southern China in 2004, and I was returning home from work.
I hopped into a taxi – a taxi which I paid for with cash, by the way.
Those were the pre Uber (or if you’re in China, “Didi”) days – – and those were the “happy” days in China where it was perfectly possible to jump in a cab and negotiate with the cab driver over fares – not because I couldn’t afford it, but because it gave the foreign devil a chance to practice his Chinese – and as for the cabbie – it gave him a few laughs for the day!
That still happens in China, of course. Walk into any mid level market and you’ll see negotiations and “bartering” going on at full blast, but anyway, so like I was saying …
… So I got into the cab, but I didn’t head home for my bodyweight workout straight after work (which was unusual for me).
No – – I headed to a store – – of all things – – to … yes … hold your breath – pick up a pair of 50 kg dumbells!
For some reason I hadn’t been making progress with my bodyweight workouts back then (no wonder considering what I was doing) – and as I stopped by the store, I saw two problems.
One, the store didn’t seem to have any dumbells at all. It was those fancy looking machines etc … and two, the staff didn’t speak a word of English.
OK, so was this a trip in a vain?
Not really – as I turned around, preparing to leave, I saw a woman looking at me – another smartly dressed office worker.
She came up to me with a huge smile, and asked me – can I help you?
And being she was a local, she happily translated what I needed, and after many a “thank you” (which she refused to accept, hehe) – I finally got that pair of dumbbells.
Now, at this point you might be asking why I wanted them?
Well – because of this – I was looking to build my grip – and for some odd reason, although I was doing bodyweight stuff back THEN as well – – I had this idea that hoisting weights was a “natural” process, and would beef up my forearms and grip in general.
So although I got a grip workout from lugging those suckers up to the 4th floor where I lived at the time – and then a few other workouts with them – I STILL wasn’t satisfied with the results.
Not to mention the fact that every time I’d grip people’s hands (in general) they’d end up crushing my hand – and in many cases, these were people that didn’t even workout in the first place.
Yes, as I said before – I was born with shitty genetics in that regard – if there is someone who knows all about how it’s PERFECTLY POSSIBLE to surpass shitty genetics – it’s me!
Anyway, after a lot of Internet searching etc, I found the ONE exercise that has been instrumental in me building a grip that most folks envy – and I’ve never looked back since then.
That was the pull-up, as you might imagine.
(N.B. – And if you’re at all interested in doing pull-ups and getting on the ROYAL road to mastery at pull-ups, then THIS course is a must grab – – https://0excusesfitness.com/pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks/ )
But hold on. There are MORE twists to the tale here!
I headed down to the same exercise store to find a chinning bar immediately after my research – but no dice.
“We don’t stock those! No-one in China does pull-ups at home!”
Ok, so off to Walmart – and then Carrefour – and then I believe “Jusco” (or some such place”).
Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
It seems incredulous, doesn’t it? I was literally in the world’s factory floor – – but they didn’t have a SINGLE store where they sold chinning bars – – despite there being tons of factories MANUFACTURING them!
So one day, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I called my landlord at the time up – a friendly enough guy, and asked him where I could find a chinning bar.
“Nowhere! If you’re in China, you’ll have to make your own chinning bar!” was the friendly response.
“Ok, well if I make it, can I install it” (I asked him this due to the drilling etc involved if I “made one” myself).
“Yes, you can install it” was the response.
And though I searched high and low for someone to supply the “material” I needed to make the chinning bar – I couldn’t find anyone. Until …
… Until one fine day, I was visiting a (rather questionable in hindsight) massage joint to get a kink in my shoulders worked out, and I saw something lying in the ditch.
What did I see?
Well – a huge RUSTY iron pipe – perhaps about 8 inches or so in diameter. The ends were jagged, and it looked like it hadn’t been used in a while.
It was the sort of pipe that you’d expect in an industrial setting – perhaps a hot water pipe or something, but whatever it was, the idea struck me right there and then.
Why not simply use THAT as my chinning bar?
I lugged into a cab, and despite the looks the cabbie gave me, he dropped me off.
Now it was time to find someone to install it, and no-one would.
“You can’t install those type of pipes at home! The walls won’t support it!”
And finally, my management office helped me out after a few “persuasive” calls. Kevin, a reedy young guy that spoke English at the time there said he’d get it done.
Guy showed up with a massive drill, and took several chunks out of the wall before he managed to install that rusty pipe – and then locked it in place with a ton of cement – and voila.
And though I did NOT know it at the time, that was my first step in terms of building that rock solid grip that has served me so well over the years – and that is the first thing that people notice about me when they meet me.
Believe me, there is ALWAYS an upside to everything!
As Napoleon Hill correctly said, every adversity brings with it a seed of advantage – and those workouts on the THICK rusty iron bar brought me PLENTY of advantages in terms of learning.
Of course, it took me time – and effort, but would I go back in time and prefer to have bought a chinning bar right off the bat?
Hell no. The lessons I learnt were nigh invaluable, and they serve me well today as well – and get this – if you’re looking to build a rock solid grip (as most folks want to) – then you owe it to yourself to read – and implement those lessons as well.
It’s all there – my years of blood, sweat and toil – all condensed into a “grip format” – so you don’t have to spend years “in the trenches” as I did!
Go ahead and grab these now – and as you do so – remember – if you encouter adversity, doff your hat at it, and say thank you with SPIRIT and meaning!
You never know – what you learn from the experience could well define you for the rest of your LIFE!
P.S. – That particular “chinning bar” I fashioned ended up breaking after a few months of rigorous use – – and I ended up going to HK after all for a regular chinning bar – – which I installed (a far easier process this time!) in the frame of my bedroom doorway. I left it there when I vacated the apartment for the next tenant – no idea if it’s still there – I’ll check … ah, but thats another tale for another time!
P.S. #2 – If you enjoyed this tale, you’ll enjoy the tale of HOW I actually got to over a 100 pull-ups per workout, and am STILL going strong in that regard. Here is where you can read more – including my MINDSET while I was going for this goal – https://0excusesfitness.com/pull-ups-from-dud-to-stud-within-a-matter-of-weeks/