Bear with me, this post is a bit of random storytelling introspection inspired by a little sunshine, some gallivanting in a hipster neighborhood, a peaceful morning, coffee and a damn good breakfast, consider with caution.
I first stepped into a weight room at 15, hoping to cure myself of my moobs (man boobs for those not in the know) that served as limitless ammunition for ridicule. They were also the main opposition which stood in the way (if not physically than definitely mentally) of any self respecting boys #1 ambition at this age, getting laid.
I can’t say I was an inactive kid, I played every sport under the sun for hours on end. I did have the compulsion though to eat everything that was tasty under said sun, frequently, and with shameless gluttony. It was delicious.
I can’t say exactly what happened but one day the game changed. A combination of being tired of staring at myself in horror upon removing my shirt and no longer wanting to be friendzoned by every girl I knew fueled an intense year of transformation.
The physical change came much faster than I thought it would. My eating habits were still pretty shitty but teenage testosterone, along with tireless work ethic and fanaticism transformed me into a not so super superhero at a lightning pace. By the beginning of grade 10 I was a new man(or boy? big boy? we’ll stick with man), a man to be reckoned with. Something else happened to me over this span though, something I didn’t expect; the weight room didn’t only change me physically. It taught me lessons, lessons communicated in a way I was willing to listen to. It taught me about goal setting, control, patience, resilience, the importance of work ethic, tolerance, ambition, and much more. It also let me channel my emotions into something positive, when you’re a raging teenager this is clutch.
After this everytime I was going through something taxing in life, I’d find myself in the gym. Schoolwork overload, family stress, teenage angst, relationship stress, bad breakups all meant one thing; I needed to get more jacked(i was already tanned, thank you nature .. and mom .. for liking chocolate…). The iron temple is where I prayed, it spoke back to me with wisdom, patience, clarity and of course … gains.
Time went by and then somewhere in my early twenties I stumbled and fell. I began trying to find the same solace in alcohol rather than training. For many reasons I allowed my decisions to be negatively influenced. And one day I found myself in a position where I’d lost the reigns on myself and my relationships. I slipped down a dark hole and fell for what seemed like forever till one day I hit bottom …really hard.
I picked it all up though, retracing my steps back to the weight room but with new found inspiration. It was no longer about the moobs (though they had to go).
It was about being a strong fully functional man, someone I could be proud to be, someone my mom would be proud to say was her son, someone who could one day lead, protect and love someone enough to produce an even stronger family. Through my devotion I was once again blessed with encouragement, lessons and yes … dem gains.
I sit here today and consider my circumstances, where I could be rather than where I am. All I can say is I’m thankful.
At risk of sounding like a somewhat peacocked dating profile I’m 29 and but thankfully don’t show the same signs of decay as the majority of my peers, I’m healthy, strong, independent, emotionally stable, ambitious, intelligent (atleast not stupid, stupid is as stupid does…) and have been endowed with enough courage to still be willing to take risks in life. I have an amazing entourage of loved ones and my new found freelance life allows me to devote time to projects that are meaningful to me (like this site).
Much to the dismay of the modern world I am happy. I’m happy even though I really don’t have any of the social qualifiers for what most would consider successful; I’m not rich, nor particularly gifted in any respect (see diary of an unextraordinary powerlifter), I don’t have a socially envied title, I don’t own a house nor a car for that matter, and nobody really cares who i am except for the few people that know me unless I owe them money.
I thank the iron game for preparing and bolstering my life. Allowing me to find strength in all facets, to be patient and resilient. I thank it for giving me courage and ambition; not allowing for me to simply settle. I thank it for always being there to let me exorcise my demons, and frustration. I’m thankful of all the addictions in the world I could have ended up with this one continues to hold me up, and push me forward rather than tear me down. I’m thankful for this life I’ve been given and the opportunities it continues to offer.
That’s it for my Sunday introspection, have an awesome week people.
If you dug the post, frantically mash a social media button below…well maybe calmy would be better in the long run.