Isometric holds. If I’ve understood it correctly, an isometric hold is how you build strength purely through resistance. There is no range of motion, there is no aerobic activity. You just hold. An example of an isometric hold: make a fist with a hand, and bend your arm to an L shape (think of mimicking a robot). Now put your fist against a wall and push. You are now strengthening the muscle in your shoulder by resisting the wall with your hand. A bridge pose is an isometric hold. Everything has to stay in place for you to get stronger.
You know where this is going. Yes, another metaphor.
Lately I have found myself in what might be a permanent isometric hold. I do not know if I will ever get use in the particular muscles holding the wall, but I am holding all the same. I have an urge to create in voices that have equal and opposite nonsense for meaning. I have the least confidence in the crafts I so desperately need to express. Thus representing oppositional tension. I say a lot, but I hold myself in cached language. All this silence trains but one single function in my brain muscle: fantasy. My fantasies are the sole beneficiary of the isometric hold. There is no movement, but strength only in the imagination of what happens when I explode.
Biting my tongue is an isometric hold. Clenching my jaw is an isometric hold. Holding my breath, sitting on my hands, staring. This metaphor is proving to be a manifestation. Many of these small gestures of resistance are physical evidence of my mind racing.
Biting my tongue may be an isometric hold but biting my lip is not. Biting my lip is a bracing activity, and trains for a slightly different reason. Bracing is a means to achieve balance, not strength. You brace yourself when you’re waiting for impact. It is a form of an isometric hold but in this case, the wall moves at your fist.
“Strike while the iron is hot.” What a dumb metaphor—to strike while the iron is hot. This means on the one hand that things can only change when they’re dangerously malleable. When I was approaching the end of my pregnancy, my joints were all tremendously distended. This is a phenomenon of pregnancy. Believe it or not, the hormone responsible for this dis-tension, or relaxation of the joints, is called: Relaxin. I’m not making this up. The baby can only slip out of you if your whole body is ready to disarticulate thanks to Relaxin. Well, about 38 weeks into the pregnancy, I tripped over my giant belly and fell on my shoulder, nearly dislocating it. Because the joint was so loose, I was in a lot of pain and that’s when I learned the isometric hold I described above. My joints are back to normal and I’ve retained expertise on how to keep them healthy.
The hot iron metaphor is idiotic because the iron can always get hot. The iron can be kept hot. The iron may want to stay hot. The point is not that one must strike while the iron is hot. The point is that one must strike, at all. Strike the iron. The iron can be brought back to fever at any time. I am braced and ready.