” Learning about what you’re made of is always time well spent and I have found no better teacher. The iron taught me how to live” – Henry Rollins
The “man cave” traditionally is a place of comfort. Often the man cave is filled with the most comfortable of items. A plush leather couch, giving its user the ability to sink into relaxation. A large high definition television, the picture of such high quality you feel as if you are right there. The walls are often lined with sports memorabilia and logos, representing favorite sports teams. A wall adorned with other men’s accomplishments. It’s a room off the beaten path and secured from rug rats and wives. It’s atmosphere controlled to ensure a complete disconnect from the outside world.
I, like you, have been to many “man caves” and they tend to fit the same mold. Now, my man cave looks a bit different. The sofa has been replaced with a stiff bench directly under a steel rack surrounded by weights. Bars designed to hold large amounts of weight are pilled up in the corner. Bags, dumbbells and kettlebells are tucked against the wall. The garage door opens to the place I call home, giving me a direct view into my world. The temperature is controlled by that very door. Cold air blows in the winter and sweltering heat in mid summer. The walls are filled with scribblings on a dry erase board, highlighting my personal records. They highlight the work completed that day and goals yet to be reached.
My man cave is not an escape from daily life, but a reminder of it. We are fortunate to live in a time which requires us to move heavy weights just to be exposed to some kind of struggle. We aren’t hunting mammoths with a large boulder anymore. Things are pretty damn good; however, there is danger in comfort. Without struggle we begin to fall into the mundane repetition of domesticated life. The repetition of moving iron is a simple way to disrupt the mundane. An efficient tool to stay sane.
My man cave is a place of progress and of building strength. Not only is strength built here, but discipline, will, humility, and knowledge. It’s dusty and often spider ridden; but this cave, like many others, is crucial to my daily life. The walls here hold the memories of little challenges conquered. The action taken here has applied directly to action taken in life. I build my will within these walls and apply it to everything else I do.
So think about your man cave. Is it a place of comfort or escape. Or is it a place of progress? Is it a place where you find out what it is you are made of? A place where you dig deep inside yourself to become better than the day before? A place which reminds you that you are alive, you are strong, and you can give more to your endeavors than you once thought? Great men do not hold such titles because they sought comfort. They hold such titles because they sought the hard work. Now move!