Just kidding. I’m really not.
But I was in the gym today, trying not to be a complete load of blubbery, and I had a bright idea. A post idea brewed in my tiny, not-so-muscular noggin.
For those of you who don’t know, I was an athlete in high school. To an extent, I still am, but my sportiness is limited to pumping the occasional iron, utilizing some sort of cardio equipment, and playing racquetball with my compadres. I try to stay active so I don’t get pudgy around the arse.
I purchased a two month membership at the local YMCA so I could work off the barrels of Christmas cookies that I’ve been dumping down my gullet. Despite the fee, it was a good idea. I got to see some old friends on their way to workout, and I got to do a little exercise myself.
I was in the weight room for a lift this morning. As soon as I walked in, I spotted about six or seven gents who resembled a herd of testosterone-engulfed oxen. They were enormous. Massive. Hugemongous. Packed with muscles that would make the Arnold say…
I was a guppy in a pool full of great whites. A mouse in a room full of elephants. A kitten in a box full of leopards.
I was small. They were ridonkulously big.
Needless to say, with all of these overly-muscular eyeballs around, I felt like I needed to do more than my little body could. I felt like I needed to hang with the big dogs. I couldn’t be the pip-squeak who wasn’t able to lift fifty times his body weight. I couldn’t look like a weakling in front of these macho bros. I couldn’t. My pride just wouldn’t allow it.
So, I tried to overdo it. I tried to be macho. I tried to be stronger than I actually was.
I tried my hardest to lift heavy…
…and made faces like this…
Why did I make this feeble attempt ? Because I’m an idiot. A cretin. A dunce. I thought I had to prove something. My pride got the best of me.
Lucky for you, my muscle-motivated musings were not for nothing. I pulled a lesson from all this tom-foolery.
That lesson is this; strength is relative.
It doesn’t matter what the other massive muscular goons can put up in the weight room. It doesn’t matter that those gym-juggernauts can bench press the planet earth and squat a dump truck. When strength is concerned, the only person that matters is you.
Are you getting stronger? Are you working hard? Are you doing things that are difficult for you? That’s what matters. That you’re challenging yourself in a way that makes you improve. That you’re working in a way that makes you stronger.
This doesn’t just apply to working in the gym. It applies to everything in life. If you spend your time comparing yourself to everyone else, you’re never going to maximize your improvement. You’re never going to be as strong as you can be.
Different people push themselves differently. Different people get stronger differently. There’s no hard and fast plan that will lead you to be the best. You have to do what’s right for you, what will allow you to get big and huge. Like the Arnold.
So work at your pace. Focus on yourself, not everyone else. If you do, not only will you get stronger, but you won’t end up with back muscles that feel like they were clubbed repeatedly with a mace.
Don’t end up with a back that feels like it’s been clubbed with a mace.
Stick to what works for you.