“Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands, like a sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a figure. But it’s the same with that type of artistic activity as with all others: We are merely born with the capability to do it. The skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated.” — JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
For me, that quote holds a lot of truth. Over the past five years I dedicated a major part of my life to the gym. From bodybuilding, to powerlifting, to body-weight training and even a Spartan race, I tried it all. But last week I decided to close that door and open a new one.
I gave up the gym. I said goodbye to the everyday normality that followed my day job: workout, eat and sleep. But beyond the periphery, I said goodbye to hours on Youtube watching powerlifting videos. I bid farewell to the feeling of anguish that came from choosing the gym over dinner with a friend.
To master anything involves time – lot’s of it. And if you’re not careful, you might just miss out on a meaningful life.
I remember Deadlift day was a big deal. I’d look forward to it all week, but inevitably I’d always find a flaw in my form. It was demotivating. I obsessed over my squat technique, consulting every book, Youtube video, and professional coach I could reach. I even worked out with Larry Wheels (Google him).
Then I got injured. It was in January of this year and I was a week away from a 225lb(100kg) squat. This was a goal I set out in 2015. It was life. I endured two previous injuries and months of setbacks to make it this far. But this injury finally took the steam out of me. I had 205lbs on the barbell and was on my 5th deadlift rep. I felt a pop in my lower back, which turned out to be a minor sprain. But I took the sign and decided to quit barbell training for the foreseeable future. I was devastated to know I failed my goal, but at the same time I felt a sense of relief. My identity was no longer tied to moving four 45lb plates on a barbell.
For the next few months I changed up my style of training. I focused on pull-ups and conditioning. This was fun, but deep down I didn’t feel the same sense of excitement I once did. I needed something new.
It’s been a week since I froze my gym membership. So far I’ve replaced it with two sessions at the swimming pool (where I discovered my freestyle is in dire need of improvement) and a Saturday morning run in Central Park – a pleasant change of scenery.
The next few months will be a true test for me. Who knows where I’ll end up – Pilates? Barre? Yoga, Spinning? Whatever I choose, I know I won’t let it consume my life. Some things just aren’t that important.
As always, pushing for health.
OVER THE YEARS
Started out with baby weights on the trap bar, but little did I know the crime I was committing in wearing those lifting gloves.
My progress pics just happened to coincide with the birth of selfies… and can you tell I like the color pink?
2015 – 2016
This was the peak of my powerlifting stage. I even trained at CT Fletchers gym in Las Vegas whilst on vacation #dedication !
2017 – 2018
The end of the squat and hello pull-ups