The iron ore feels its self needlessly tortured as it goes through the furnace. The tempered blade looks back and knows better.-Japanese Proverb

As an instructor, I feel very proud when a student has breakthough. It could be finally getting a particular technique that has been challenging them, dropping body fat, just about anything that takes them in the direction of fullfilling their potential.

At times the courage and toughness of my students amazes me.

Jen Bryan is such a student. I have put her through some of the toughest workouts that I have ever constructed. I have pushed beyond the edge of what she thought she was capable of and she continues to emerge more and more tempered.

On her blog she reveals things about herself that most peopple would hide away from their own eyes, never mind the public.

This makes me proud:

“There have been quite a few posts lately on the AOS forum from people who I frankly just don’t think have the mettle to workout with kettlebells–or much of anything that might cause discomfort from the sound of it. Anyone who can actually, seriously, post “callouses, gross!” on a kettlebell forum just needs to go the f^@% home.

Yes, some people are limited by circumstances and may need to or want to workout inside. Injuries might make some moves difficult or impossible. But… kettlebells are what they are. Don’t try to make them into something easy or soft.

Kettlebells are not for the faint of heart.

They are not for those who whine about the heat or the cold or dirt or sweat–or any other thing for that matter.

Kettlebells are best battled outside in the rain or sleet or sun or wind where you can beat them or they can beat you, and the story is told only by the pock marks in the grass and the dirt on your hands.

Though they will do so, they are not meant to make prettier muscles but better muscles.

They are meant to temper from the inside out, testing your mettle, strengthening muscle, ligament, tendon, and even a little skin.

Those who fear such a challenge from a small metal ball and do not wish to bear its mark are not worthy of its gifts. And they should go home.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I don’t even think I’m worthy. But I’m working on it.”

Jen, you totally kick ass!