I am a very fortunate person. I have so much to be grateful for in life, and sometimes it is overwhelming how good life is. However since this is a fitness blog, and that is why most of you either follow me and/or read what I post I will try to keep my gratitude relevant.
Today during my workout I was filled with this intense joy and wonder I sometimes get when I think about what the sport and activity of bodybuilding gives to me. It makes me almost giddy (could be the endorphins) and I will laugh out loud during my workout listening to something that probably isn’t even that entertaining on my headphones- and people will look at me like I am crazy… But I just feel buoyant.
The number one thing that I lack that bodybuilding provides me with is balance. Those of you who know me in real life will probably agree that I am a kind of extreme person at times. I have an obsessive/addictive nature. I don’t just do anything a little. I have been that way as long as I can remember. I have always been competitive, driven to be the best, or the most. I am stubborn and persistent. These are good qualities to have as a bodybuilder, especially a vegan bodybuilder… but there is another side to the coin.
In bodybuilding you learn that you can’t be THE best, you can only be YOUR best. You can train everyday, with maximum intensity, and make it your main focus in life, and you will only see small returns. You have to accept that there is no instant success (beyond your newbie gains). You have to accept that it WILL take years, sometimes decades to reach your physique goals. This sport will destroy you, will crush you, will make you feel insignificant, weak, and fragile. It will also make you feel like a god, it will feed you, it will grow you, it will drive you. It will push you when you want to quit, and be there when no one and nothing else is. You will have injuries, and you will work through them. You will plateau and learn to overcome, and you will see weight or movements that you never thought to attempt, conquered.
It gives you community, but teaches you that you can be ok alone- just you and the iron day after day, good or bad. A constant in a sea of turbulence. It surely makes you stronger, but we all know how weak you can feel after a good leg day. As a trainer I have the joy of getting to see the change in a person (more often women) as they become more confident in the weight room and it translates into other areas of their life.
Bodybuilding teaches you the necessity of consistency for success in life, and the dedication needed if you want to exceed mediocrity. You learn about pride and humility, success and defeat. You learn that you will never be GOOD ENOUGH, but that YOU ARE GOOD and that is ENOUGH. There will always be more, and bigger, and better… but you will keep working, and growing, and that journey- the improvement, is really the purpose.
I want to be unreal, I want to be beyond human, and I get closer every time I dig in and do my workouts… every time I make the choice to stay on track with my food. There are no short cuts as a natural bodybuilder, it is going to take a long time and dedication, but every millimeter of growth and pound I add to the bar is my constant reward. My workout is time I give to myself, a gift; meditation, reflection, and antidepressant all rolled into one.
I have goals, dreams, faith, and a stronger character as a result of my time bodybuilding. I am so grateful. Thank you to my coaches, mentors, inspirations, and the gym. Ugh I love the pump.