I was prompted to write my “story” after a phone call from a mother of 2 High School/College aged kids that might start training with me. She was explaining to me that one of her sons was intimidated by the weight room because he was naturally really thin. This of course has kept him thin and self-conscious (whether you are small or larger, body issues can effect everyone and their motivation to get into the gym). As someone who struggled with the same feelings when I was younger, I thought about telling my story many other times throughout the years I've been in business. Sometimes it helps for people to know where you come from to know where you are going and why you are doing what you are.
So here's my story, and it's the same story many, many, really skinny kids/teenagers have.
Ever since I could remember I was the “skinny, scrawny, weak” one on my sports team, and in my grade. This was amplified even more because I was one of the older kids in my grade due to my late birthday. I played all the major sports back when I was growing up (except football, for obvious reasons). I always had good athletic potential on all my teams, but one thing was holding back from being a better athlete was my size and lack of natural strength. I wasn’t gifted with the best genes for size and strength (thanks to my parents haha).
Not one day would go by without one of my teammates making fun of me for being really weak and scrawny. At times it got to me, yet I often brushed it off as “what can I do about it”. Many times I was down, mad and angry about it. I remember before going to baseball practice during Middle School days, I would go on the small portable rowing machine we had at the house to try to get my muscles bigger and “working”. Looking back, I think I was trying to pump up my muscles so I didn’t feel so scrawny. During that same time, I often went down and used some of my Dad’s plastic weight set to do some lifting because I was fed up being made fun of.
It was here that I really began my weight lifting journey. My Dad showed me some basics and then I was hooked. I can remember being angry while lifting and trying not to give up at my tiny muscles. Just like a heavier person not seeing the results they think they should be, it is easy to give up and “accept” the fact your body is just not going to be how you want it. Although I did not get “jacked” down in the basement, it started a lifelong love for lifting weights. While it started more as a reaction to being made fun of, it eventually grew into a consistent practice and lifestyle.
Even with the little lifting now and then down in the basement, and all the sports I played throughout my middle school and HS days, I still left HS about 135lbs soaking wet. With little self confidence, I entered college and took my lifting a little more seriously each and every year. I learned from some of the older guys I lifted with (baseball and basketball team players and 1 jacked volleyball teammate haha) and also through research of whatever I could get my hands on. Through hard work and consistency, I left college feeling pretty comfortable lifting, training people (that’s another story for another blog soon), and really cementing my passion of working out and also helping people to workout. It all started in my basement with my Dad’s old York weight set and turned into my calling. Another reason to eternally be thankful for my Dad and all he gave to me and taught me.
Though I’m usually a steady 178-186 lbs of decently muscular frame, I tend to revert back to my old lack of self confidence days once in a while. Sometimes we forget to see where we’ve come from and all the progress we have made along the way. Don’t look back too long, but revel in your small and large accomplishments with your health and nutrition (better choices as you age hopefully)! I am currently rehabbing from a nasty injury to my arm setting me back months, but I know that just like I did all those years ago, I will once again overcome life’s struggles and HULK SMASH roadblocks!