Luke “The Jacked and Tan Hipster” Black
At the start of 2016, I was a pack-a-day smoker with a serious drinking problem. Most of my calories came from alcohol, and what I did eat was mostly fast food. I was always tired and felt awful. Over the past few years I had slowly and unwittingly worked myself into a cycle of addiction and depression, self-medicating with things that would eventually kill me.
I can’t really say what it was, but I decided that enough was enough and I was done letting my life be controlled by addictions. I knew from experience though, I couldn’t just quit. I needed something to fill in the gaps.
I started lifting in May. The picture on the left is after my first workout. I knew right then that this was my way out. I was sticking with it, so I figured I needed a before picture. Right is now, six months later. It’s a work in progress, but I’m getting there.
I feel better mentally and physically than I have in my entire life. I don’t really have the words to express it. I’ve gained 15 lbs between the two pictures, and I weigh 45 lbs more than I did my freshman year at UCO. I’m nowhere near perfect, but I’m trying every day to be better than I was before.
I wanted to say thank you to some of the people who have helped me get to where I am. Jeanelle and Sarah who convinced me to get in the gym. Valerie, for constantly repping Brewhouse Barbell and helping me find the most legit, top-of-the-line, inclusive gym in the state. Jay Ashman, for coaching a completely oblivious n00b, always pushing me to be my best, and keeping me from injuring myself again. Brian and Sherrie for being the best parents around and giving me the work ethic to stick with this.
Most of all I want to appreciate Kelly, the most amazing girl I’ve ever known. She has loved me and stuck it out with me through the good times and the bad. She has been supportive and encouraging throughout this process and I could never thank her enough. But I’ll start with this: Thanks, Kelly, for always touching my butt and telling me I’m pretty.
The best is yet to come, y’all.