Kintsukuroi or Kintsugi is a Japanese artform involving repaired ceramics. The cracks in the pottery are filled with a gold-infused resin to highlight, rather than hide the repairs. Stories vary as to how this art form first came about, but however it started, people realized that the piece was more beautiful for having been broken.
We’re all broken in some way and what we use to fill in the repairs defines us. Some are repaired by friends and loved ones. Some turn to self-destructive habits to try to fill in the cracks. In the end, you’re finished off with either gold or mud respectively. Your cracks reflect the methods in which they were filled and infuse your whole being.
In CrossFit we have found another option: we repair those cracks with iron. It’s the least flashy of metals, but it has a beauty of its own because iron heals. When you walk into a gym and give yourself over to The Iron, it can heal you mind, body and soul. It tears you down and builds you right back up again, every time you touch it.
If you’ve had a horrible day, The Iron is waiting to absorb your aggression and frustration. If you’ve had a great day, The Iron is waiting to show you there is still room to grow. It will fill in the voids as it makes and backfills its own set of cracks in you. Each line making you stronger and more beautiful.
Henry Rollins wrote an inspired tribute to The Iron that is quoted in some form by most who have ever grabbed a barbell. If they don’t, it’s only because they haven’t read it yet.
Think about what The Iron has been doing for you already. How many things you thought you couldn’t do, how many things you never imagined you’d do, how many things are still floating out there to be done. Take a step back and admire the cracks as they glisten in the light. Then step forward and put your hands on the bar.