I was the skinny kid that got picked on in the schoolyard and was last picked for playground games. Regularly, my feelings were hurt because I was lighter than the other boys.
Being tall and thin, I was an easy target for bullies. I was pushed, punched, insulted and ridiculed because I was too weak and scared to fight my own battles.
I deliberately avoided conflict because of my size. Sometimes, others fought my battles for me. That didn’t make me feel better, just inadequate.
Not much had changed when I started college. I was skinny and out of shape. A turning point occurred around twenty-six years ago while I was hanging out with a good friend.
We were goofing off and giving each other shit when he demanded.
“Lift up your shirt.”
“Why” I said.
The look he gave me suggested I do it or else, so I did.
“Mate, you really need to hit the gym.”
He was right. I was six foot one and 145 pounds soaking wet. I had a concave chest, poor posture and no muscle tone. I was weak and unhealthy. I knew this deep down, but for someone else to point it out was all the incentive I needed to act.
After being exposed by my friend, I joined a gym within a week and began my quest to be bigger, stronger and healthier.
Being a weightlifting newbie with no idea how to lift, I screwed up a lot. Bicep curls were at the start, in the middle and at the end of many of those workouts. In fact, from exercise selection, form and diet I had it all wrong.
But you know what? I still made gains because I acted and decided I wasn’t going to be a pushed around anymore. Lifting not only changed my body, it changed my life.
My confidence improved. Friends and family noticed that strangers didn’t take me lightly anymore. I even got more attention from the opposite sex, which isn’t saying much because my action meter was at less than zero.
The best thing about it was that, I was no longer getting sand kicked in my face. I wasn’t looking over my shoulder and living my life in a state of fear.
These results were enough for working out at the gym to become a habit. Through hell or high water, I was in the gym two to three times a week, giving it my all. Lifting weights was my anchor while life’s storms raged around me. No matter how out of control things were, I could always control my effort and intensity in the gym.
For the past eight years working as a personal trainer, I’ve helped hundreds of clients become better versions of themselves. It’s been a long journey from being a lifting newbie, to teaching clients to crush deadlifts, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
If none this had happened, I wouldn’t be in the position to help people change their lives for the better and for that I’m truly grateful. And biceps. I’m happy to flex them too.
Was there a painful moment or memory as a kid that prompted you to act? Please share it with the world. Come on, I know you can do it.