Ode to the gym
From the looks of it, I’m not exactly an intimidating specimen. When you see me, you don’t think of the Incredible Hulk or big-name bodybuilders. I’m not exactly the most intimidating person in these streets. As most of you know by now, I’m a vegetarian. I get a lot of shit for it sometimes but it’s not too bad. If anything, people’s ignorance is the most difficult part to deal with rather than the whole not eating meat part. I’ve had a pretty shitty week at work so far. I made some mistakes and there will be consequences. I didn’t mean to do it but my intentions don’t matter. I needed an outlet, something to take my mind off of the bullshit and my incompetence. Most people here seem to turn to alcohol in times of despair. I, too, have been known to do that on occasion. But I stopped because I realized it wasn’t doing much for me. Don’t get me wrong, I drink occasionally but I realized it was doing more damage than good. The best outlet other than reading, for me, has been the gym. It started in college when I started working out with my roommates. I was very weak back then. I could not even bench 95 pounds and it always seemed like the Incredible Hulk was working out next to me. This was discouraging at first but my friends taught me that you have to be persistent. You have to keep in mind that the biggest guy out there didn’t start out big. He too had doubts and felt weak at times. He kept going, so with that in mind, I kept pushing myself. Eventually I was able to bench 225 pounds. Not a major feat by any stretch, but I was proud considering I couldn’t even bench 95 pounds when I started. I’ve always been an anxious person and dealt with some level of depression. However, in those gym sessions with my friends, I took back some of the power and it felt good. My mood stabilized and I just felt better overall. It was a much healthier outlet than drinking and that endorphin rush was a good high rather than the detrimental one I had become accustomed to. In those moments, I saw the confident and ambitious man I could be rather than the insecure and anxious person I usually am. The euphoria would wear off as it always does; however, I always went back for more. It motivated me when people would think I was weak simply because I’m a vegetarian. I used to love the moments when we would lift and they would be shocked that I could out-lift them. It wasn’t the fact that they were impressed; it was the fact that my persistence had paid off and I had stuck to it. That drive is something that is lacking in other areas of my life. I need to figure out how to maintain that inspiration and transfer it to other more mundane aspects of my life. I’ve started lifting again; even though my diet needs to improve. I’m getting that feeling back again, that itch, so to speak. That urge to want to work out and feel that endorphin rush wash over me as I forgot about all the bullshit. It feels good.