(Audio version of this Blog post)
Ever notice the Sypher at your Turf? It may be tucked away on a side-board or located above the day’s workout. Sometimes the Sypher will be written in long-form, explaining our “code of conduct” in detail, in some Turfs the Sypher is boiled down to one phrase: Tap In – Tame It – Let It Out.
Remember these three principles and the heart of the Sypher remains intact. Let us dissect:
Tap In – Competition is in your DNA. It is what allowed our ancestors to rise to the top of the evolutionary food chain. Do or die. Fight-or-flight. Call it what you will, but I believe that you have the ability to Tap In to these primal instincts at will – through intense exercise.
Science says that your sympathetic nervous system triggers because of an external source of stress. You’ve felt this before. A near car accident. A roller coaster free-fall. Possibly a traumatic injury. Any such instances kicked your system into hyper-drive survival mode. Syphus is no different, it creates the same effect, albeit in a controlled and safe environment. Elevated heart rates, peer competition, strenuous (self-inflicted) situations all contribute to the ability for you to unleash this animalistic reaction to such stimuli.
When you feel it creep up; notice it and Tap In.
Tame It – Tapping into your primal self is great, but you’ve evolved into a sentient being. You’re aware that while you’re on the Turf that you’re not in any actual danger. And this is precisely when you need to use your higher self to harness your fight-or–flight response and Tame It.
This is in fact Form First. It means not allowing your emotions hijack your natural response to cut corners in attempts to get ahead of your turf-mates. This takes a great deal of practice. In your peripheral, you may notice someone shaving reps on a grueling task, or rushing a movement for the sake of a higher score rather than the benefit of the exercise. Now, that’s okay. Pause for a moment to think: Maybe this person has yet to reach the ability to grasp how to “Tame It”. From this perspective, you’re a more evolved Syphus-er and as you carry on your way, continuing to Tame It, your turf-mates will eventually follow suit. And through your example, you’re leading the pack to help them actualize their higher selves.
Let It Out – Once your inner animal has met your emotional leash, you are now able to Let It Out. You’ve harnessed the power of your primal self and you’ve mastered the ability to control this beast. Now it’s game time. Let it run free – for an hour. Allow the entire experience of the moment envelope you. This is Syphus. Use the music. Notice each bead of sweat. Be aware of your breath. Cry, scream, curse. This moment is real; and you have this opportunity to Let It Out, use it and be thankful for it.