The idea of Sweat Power (or Sweatpower, the phrases are interchangeable) has roiled around my head for years and years ever since I started playing shows. I've tried here and there to explain it but I'm always unsure if I do all that great of a job. Now I'm writing this and I suppose we'll have to see if this does any better:
Maybe the one time I ran the 800 meter at a track meet (I came in last but that's not the point,) after which I felt that feeling so many know and love of runner's high, and fucking loved it. I grew up in a meditation community but this feeling far more direct and pure and unique than any I had felt practicing meditation or yoga. It felt like maybe what I was feeling was what everyone else was describing about meditation, yet this was the first time I had felt it with such ferocity.
* "runner's high"
*the BDSM "flow"
*petting a dog on haunch and feeling the pure power of its muscle.
At the end of high school my brother and I began playing shows in our band Porno Galactica which was pushing play on a laptop and dancing as hard as possible, those to whom "playing their own instruments" is a priority would be sorely disappointed and our performances were more musically guided dance rituals than what you might expect from a buncha boys singing and playing guitar and having knowledge about effects pedals. (note: now I have a slightly more concrete idea of what pedals are and I'm all-a-fucking-bout them, not trying to make all y'all pedal boys out there feel bad for liking the things that you like!)
*Every expression in human history, a scramble to find something to represent, is it contained in this poem? this song? this painting? this sex? this streetlight we pass under while listening to music, in the summer or in the fall or in the winter or in the springtime?
*It's like everything we ever create or feel is some mad search for a way to put the feeling into tangibility, like searching every dark nook and cranny of your house for that thing you lost, but finally forgetting even the thing that you were looking for.
After we played our first Porno Galactica show, the runners high was there, oh so well, oh so powerfully, I felt it and didn't understand it but I just knew I needed it more than anything else in the world. I needed to feel it as intensely and as often as possible. It was a combination of the runners high, the zone, the ritual ecstasy, the trance of dance, with the intimacy of that loss of self with a room full of sweating and perfect people. It was like a the best runners high combined with a sacrifice where we all slit the throats of what made us afraid, it was like we were all martyrs all at once.
*It's like we cannot describe it truthfully because inherent it its truth is its non-truth, so to truly explain it is to betray it and therefore a failure of explanation.
Maybe I only think of this as being called SweatPower because I most often feel it while in a room of sweaty dancing bodies. I don't doubt this same experience is had all the time by people doing the thing that they are most passionate about.