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“How lifting made me a better man”

As a youth, I equated weightlifting with the douchebaggery that came with being a redneck in the small town I grew up in. I steered clear of the weight rooms that housed the jocks that made fun of us punks, and as a result never touched a weight until my late 20s.

I don’t know what ignited the spark but I’ve used the iron to beat up on my demons and pressure my body into submission. When I was a child I would beat up on myself in other ways like tossing myself down stairs on a skateboard, or drinking until I passed out. I’ve been sickly skinny, I’ve been morbidly obese, and I’ve been nearly dead more times then I should be able to count. As an adult I no longer want to be out of control, I want to control my path, my destiny, my body and my mind.

When I found the iron, everything changed. It helped me take control of myself, it challenged my own mind, and taught me the discipline that I still had not learned. I was taught by the weights, and unlearned much of what I thought I knew about weightlifting and more importantly the person I was capable of becoming.

It’s important as we age, to test ourselves. To make sure we are still living, breathing, and not giving up without a fight… The weight doesn’t change, it doesn’t care if you are tired, or upset. It’s just as heavy as it ever was, begging for you to conquer it, or you be conquered.

Weightlifting has allowed me to escape in a much more positive way that I ever had before. It’s changed my life. It’s saved my life. It’s a high that surpasses many, if not all of the highs I have ever experienced. It’s taught me to be calm, collected, yet forced me to explode at just the right times.

I never thought I’d be tossing around weights and clanging iron in my garage…waiting for the next session, waiting for the therapy, waiting to destroy myself and build back stronger, but here I am. I don’t know if I lift to conquer the weight, or the demons. I don’t know if I lift to find a balance, or just keep myself from losing control. I do know this; the iron changed me, so when I say that I #nevermissamonday, it’s because I can’t put a price on the therapy of the iron.

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