I like building things. I didn’t initially see the parallels between music and training, but I derive creative joy from both endeavors. Playing music links both hemispheres of the brain. There is the mathematical blueprint of the written music, which then requires expression from the instrumentalist to bring it to life. When I am practicing something written by a composer, I have a plethora of options that I can explore. There are rules, but there is also room for interpretation. The same structure applies to training. There are basic exercises, but there are also ways to configure an exercise to draw out specific movement patterns or expose a weakness and, in doing so, transform it.

Training in the gym, to me, is like playing in a sandbox with a ton of toys. This is why I keep my gym stocked with every conceivable tool I can lay my hands on. If I can’t find it, I make it. I love strolling through the aisles of hardware stores looking for anything that inspires me. Things I can clip to other things. Casters I can attach to different platforms. I have drawers of wheels and carabiners and D-rings and pulleys.

There are many ways to progress or regress an exercise, and one of my favorite ways to do that is to make it trickier, which isn’t the same thing as heavier. Working out should be as mentally stimulating as it is physically challenging.