By Paul Winter
Most of you have probably seen the 1982 John Milius film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Conan the Barbarian.”
If you haven’t, I suggest the following course of action: whatever it is you’re doing right now, which I can assume is reading this article on a computer or smartphone, stop.
Throw your smartphone or laptop out the window. Run to a Blockbuster and rent Conan on the new VHS technology, and immediately watch it on your color television set.
Shit, sorry – even the thought of Conan takes me back to an 80’s state of mind.
Go grab your phone or laptop, and watch Conan on whatever streaming service you use, I guess.
Anyhow, now that you’ve done that, or if you’ve already seen it, you know that at the beginning, there’s a great scene where Conan’s dad is forging a badass sword, and is telling Conan the basic facts of life:
“Fire and wind come from the sky, from the gods of the sky.
But Crom is your god, Crom and he lives in the earth.
Once, giants lived in the Earth, Conan. And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of steel.
Crom was angered. And the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men.
Not gods. Not giants. Just men.
The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery.
You must learn its riddle, Conan.
You must learn its discipline.
For no one – no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.
[Points to sword]
This you can trust.”
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been getting bombarded the last while by the current events around the world, and likewise for the last couple years we’ve been involved in this “global pandemic.”
Without getting political here, I’d just like to say – it seems like the media is always just trading one crisis for another, and it’s almost like they make money on stuff that drives people into an emotional turmoil. Weird.
The point I’m making is:
If you’re training at Iron Legion, or anywhere else in the world right now, no matter what else is happening on planet earth, you can trust the steel.
The “riddle of steel” that Conan’s father is talking about, for me, has always been the act of physical training for both strength and combat.
Physical strength and the ability to handle oneself in a dangerous situation does not go out of style. Its stock does not rise and fall like the latest meme-coin. It doesn’t become obsolete like the new iPhone in a few months.
The discipline that it builds within the individual who understands the riddle of steel is priceless – it can only be bought with more of itself. Time put in, equity gained through sweat and blood and tears.
When things get confusing, or produce anxiety or uncertainty – that is exactly when we should be prioritizing our training.
It calms us down, hits us with endorphins, gives us focus, clarity, keeps us within the community.
More importantly, it gives us something real we can hold onto.
In a time where it seems like everything is a potential lie, a marketing scam, some kind of “deep-fake” or government psy-op…
This, you can trust.
Learn its riddle. Learn its discipline.
Stay on the steel, y’all.