28 Years to Bulk

I just finished a few hours of journaling. I can officially say that every moment spent journaling is now considered an academic moment, so essentially I was studying for a few hours. Crazy to get to do exactly what you want to do at school, eh? But keep going and maybe one day you will join the ranks of academics who opted out of medical school because of the years and years of required education and take the other well traveled path to doctoral works of just as many years and years of required education. For me, it is thrilling!

I like sandwiches. My dad used to make them every morning for my brother, mother, and I. He would label which one was whose. We all had tailored sandwiches. Mine was void of black pepper, made with margarine instead of mayo, and came with a note that said “Shemine”. My brothers I believe included black pepper and mayo but I do not know the exact details of his or my mothers. I was always sure to pick up my sandwich, usually cause it was the last one to get picked up. Anyways, maybe my liking of sandwiches has guided the structure of my day. I sleep, get out of bed, brush my teeth, do some form of physical activity, sit, study, eat, sit, study, eat, study, sit, do some for of physical activity (usually stretching my sore body from siting), brush my teeth, go to bed, and sleep. It is clock work. At least these days.

But today I am going to switch it up a little bit. As I sit I am going to write this post. A post I have been thinking about for a few days. It is a special post because I get to share some in the gym accomplishments with you. Over the past 28 years I have been bulking, albeit in an unhealthy fashion. I ate pretty much whatever I wanted and did whatever I desired. I never really thought about what was happening to my body but I relied and rely on my body for a lot. I engage with the world through my body and the first interaction/experience I typically have is a reaction in my body. It is the root of my being. So as I learn some of the lingo of those that typically frequent the gym, I have learned that in essence I have been bulking (adding mass) for 28 years. Some of it was healthy and a lot of it was not so healthy.

Over the past five months I have been working hard, harder then I think I even realized for myself at turning my bulk into hulk (hahaha – clever right?!). Each day I head to the gym I see some progress. This past week has shown me greater progress then days past. Maybe I am hitting some kind of peak. Whatever the case it has been exciting. Last week Friday I was able to bench press 95lbs. It was my personal record and seeing Storm (my personal trainer) just as excited if not more excited than I was, was the best. I think I shocked both of us! A couple days later as we did a couple exercises on the TRX system I caught myself looking at muscle definition on my forearms. I have never seen muscle definition there nor did I know we ever did anything that would bring out that definition. That same day I was benching 100lbs. I made the 100lb club!

And today, what Storm and I have decided will now become my “Challenge Friday” I managed my first attempt, and largely successful in my opinion, at a wall assisted handstand, some assisted pull-ups and a full minute plank with 20lbs resting on my back. It did not stop there. While I was stretching (I opted to stretch my tight hip flexors instead of cardio today) I watched various people use something called “the ropes”. I wanted to give them a go but my head was definitely wondering where all my energy was coming from. I got up, asked if I could try them out in between another individuals sets, and went about to the ends of the rope. I maybe managed five seconds and was like “wow, thats challenging”. The lady I had interrupted encouraged and politely challenged me to go for a full minute. I was challenged thus had to say yes. She then kindly said she would time it for me. When she said 45 second left to go I almost looked at her like she was crazy, I was killing myself over here and it had to have been longer than 15 seconds at that point. I powered through the minute and at the end I was beat. My heart rate was roaring. My arms were tingling and my legs wanted to fold in and collapse to the ground. I kept myself standing, engaging with the kind gym member who cheered me on, and smiled to myself for the days achievements.

Storm then looks at me, he joined the “fun” at about the 20 second mark, and says “lets make a 15 second video”. I simply laughed and said okay. I am not sure why but today this is what has me excited. Here it is if you have not caught it on any other form of social media. (Today’s Ropes Challenge)

More than anything, and something Storm has reminded me about this week, is that we often dwell on the negative. Our need to mull over the positive is much more challenging yet rewarding. Each day must come with some success. It is finding those achievements, big or small, that keep us, as human beings, going in a positive manner. So I share my accomplishments out of some pride, that I will not deny, but also to encourage you to find the moments in your day that bring a smile to your face, that highlight the achievements you have accomplished, and that can bring motivation to your next act no matter the acts size. Find your positive motivation. It just might be easier than you think, if you think a little harder.

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