Why we do this to ourselves?

There are those who exercise and those who train.

I train.

When I started my time with the iron it was my mom who gave me the boost. Yes, my mom. I was a kid in high school and my mom was an aerobics instructor. I was about to graduate and I was 5’11” and 170. I was lanky, skinny and weak.

My mom joined me up at her gym and said “you should workout and put on some size”. Now, how many moms say that stuff? Not too many, and especially not in 1992.

I didn’t know shit about weight training then so I followed the bench and arms routine religiously. Sure I put on size, but it wasn’t balanced.

As the years went on I discovered that the weights weren’t a choice, they are a lifestyle. I grew, I got taller… the weight crept up; 200, 220, 250, 270, 290… I was eating like a man possessed. I distinctly remember one day calling a friend up on the phone saying “dude I CAN’T STOP EATING!!!” right after I ate 2 large pizzas.

I tore hamstrings, herniated disks, competed in Highland Games, Strongman contests, push/pull meets, played rugby and now as I get older I will compete as an average powerlifter. I don’t expect to break records, except my own. I expect to lift the best I can and let the chips fall where they may.

When a large percentage of the population is content with sitting on their ass watching the 6:00 news, I am in the gym. When I go to the gym, a small percentage of them mean business, the rest of them are going through the motions looking the same year after year and wondering why the hell they don’t improve.

People like us are always trying to find ways to improve, instead of making excuses about why we look a certain way or why a lift is lagging; we attack it, we tweak it, we ask others for advice, we read about how to fix it, we spend money traveling to train with others so they can help. People like us are our own worst critics. Others look at us and say “dude, you look great” or “you are strong” but deep down inside we pick ourselves apart knowing we could be so much better and our training sessions are designed to get that so much better, faster.

Its not that we are better than everyone else. Not at all. We are just different. We have an unrelenting drive to achieve our own ideal of physical perfection and it takes a lot of sacrifice.

When the bars are full on the weekends, we are usually not there. When people are in the drive through at the fast food place, we are eating better. When people are at the gym doing another set of cable crossovers or walking on the treadmill while reading a book, we are at the altar of the power rack, sweating, straining and pushing another set of squats.

We are nothing special, we just have a drive to be the best we can physically be.

Through the aches, pains, sacrifices, progress, regress, injuries, celebrations and defeats… we continue to train.

Why do we do it? Its for ourselves and we call it our own.


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