Henry Rollins on The Iron

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs.

Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.”

Henry Rollins


I continue to come back to this article and the idea that the things which are hard for us are teaching us — like a sensei.

I’ve experienced this most with lifting weights, so I’ll stick to that illustration, but I’ve also sensed it with growing a business, raising a son and staying married.

When I approach the weight asking, “what lessons do you have for me today?” my whole mental posture changes. It’s no longer a contest, no longer about my ego, a thing for me to win or lose. It’s a relationship between a master and an apprentice.

When I’m in that posture the workout is better, it works out more of me. Also, I do less stupid shit.

In business it helps me not be crushed by a piece of bad news, gets me in the posture where my reaction is more, “ok, what do we learn from this and what’s the right thing to do?” and less, “fuck, my ideas are shit, the world is shit, i’m going to die alone and I have a small penis.”

If you haven’t read this full article from Henry Rollins, I highly recommend it: The Iron & The Soul by Henry Rollins.