Its been a long time since one of my “thoughts” blogs.
Why is that? I’m a strength coach/trainer, not a philosopher. I have no say in telling you what’s cool, how to live or to enforce my mental will on you… that is until you hire me to be your coach, then your ass is mine.
My domain lies solely in the confines of the gym within this blog. I am not the strongest, not the biggest, but when I am in the gym I bust my ass to get to my goals.
Outside of it I have struggles like you, I have family issues like you, I work a “normal” job as well and there are days when getting my ass to the gym is about as hard as waking up at 5AM.
But I do it.
Here are some reasons why, at 38 and feeling broken down at times, I keep going and will never stop.
1. Willpower and perseverance.
Anybody who has played a sport at a high level, competed or has made tremendous gains in the gym can relate to this. We have an inner drive that pushes through to our goals regardless of the pain we feel inside or out.
I will tell you that some of my best workouts have come in times of massive internal turmoil. No, not that stupid inner demon shit that wanna-be badasses talk about to make themselves look tough, but times when stress is weighing me down so heavily that I go into the gym with a single goal of destroying myself physically to build the mental.
2. The feeling that I am never good enough for my own worst critic.
I am not stupid. I know I look decent. I know by most peoples’ standards I look good, but I don’t give a shit what they think, they aren’t in my skin. I am in my skin and I always want to be better.
Leaner, bigger arms, bigger legs, more definition, in better shape.
I see people who never change year after year and I wonder why they waste their time staying the same. I can look at pics of myself from a few months ago and see dramatic improvements from then until now. It is what drives me to keep going because those improvements add up to a better overall package.
Sure, I get compliments, but they are just words that go in and out of my ear for the most part. If you aren’t happy with how you look, no amount of selfie-posting validation and attention-whoring is going to give you that deep satisfaction you get from looking in the mirror and being happy. Achieve that, work for it and the path is a lot more enjoyable than flighty compliments from yes-men.
3. I make the gym fun.
Training should be fun. I joke around, I wear stupid shit to the gym to keep it light-hearted. My friends bust my balls, I rip on them. I have been known to say “all you bro” and I have been known to sing along to my MP3 player.
I hate the ones that are there who are nothing but surly dicks.
Above all, I have fun while lifting. I lift fucking hard, my volume gets nuts at times and if laughing and having a good time alleviates some of that discomfort, so be it. If you don’t like it.. I don’t give a fuck.
I am dealing with a screwy left knee. It makes free squatting very painful right now and I have to work around it by modifying how I do squats and leg presses. So I modify. I still work hard, I still do volume; I just tweak a little bit to ensure I am able to lift pain-free and still progress.
When I tore my bicep I worked around the surgery to keep myself moving along physically.
That’s what I do.
When I broke my ankle playing rugby I had the trainer on staff tape me up like a cast so I could continue playing. Stupid, probably, but that’s what I do.
You find a way to adapt, which goes back to the first item.
Progress doesn’t happen without some pain and sacrifice, period. I don’t care what part of life you progress in, it all takes some internal and/or external struggle to get there.
5. Because I want to.
Its a choice. Nobody has to do this. Some people in my personal life think I am nuts. I have co-workers who will never grasp the concept of lifting weights at all, much less 5 days a week.
I have friends who don’t get it, which is fine.
This is my choice. I need zero acceptance from anyone as to my choice. Its my path alone and just because someone doesn’t agree with it, doesn’t make them wrong. It just means this is my chosen path.
It means nothing to me what others think. The internet world, and the world, is filled with millions of critics who think their single fucking voice really matters.
Guess what, they don’t matter a little bit. Not a one. No matter what they say, how they write, what they pour out to you, how they look and feel; it doesn’t matter because they are not you. They will never be you and if you allow someone else’s words to affect your decision, you are a weak bitch.
What matters is what you want to do. It matters what you want to look like. It matters what you want to train like.
If people criticize your choice, give them a mental middle finger and say fuck it. They made their choice, you made yours. Be satisfied that your choice is the best one for you.
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