Lifting weights is a way of life. Whether you are lifting weights now to accomplish your goals within your fitness based lifestyle or you're a competitive athlete using the iron as another tool in your arsenal to beat everybody else, picking things up and putting things down has become engrained into your soul. The question then remains; how did you get to this point? Why did you start lifting weights in the first place? You don't just grow into wanting to do it because there's millions of people who don't lift and have no interest in starting to do so whatsoever. So why did we start this daily ritual? Prior to your current goals, what compelled you to load that first barbell? Was it something you were always destined to do or did something happen that triggered an immediate need? We all have our reasons for getting into this game and the following scenarios may have played out for you as well.
There are many of us out there who were inspired by the physiques we saw growing up on television. The Incredible Hulk, He-Man, GI Joe, Rocky, Hulk Hogan and of course Conan the Barbarian. These figures represented strength and courage and gave us a feeling of superiority that we probably didn't even recognize at that point. Regardless, it made us want to be like and look like the heroes we were watching on the screen and the answer to, "How do they look like that" was of course by lifting weights. I got my first weight set when I was ten years old and haven't stopped since.
This reason may be stronger than any other reason you'll read about in this article and it's actually a travesty that leads to something great. Fear, inflicted by one onto another by way of bullying or any other representation of intimidation, has sent legions of scared individuals to the bench press in search of new found strength and confidence. I absolutely HATE bullies and I have no problem saying that this also played a strong role in my wanting to be as big and as strong as I could possibly get. A bad thing turned good sounds like a great story but the lasting effects of severe bullying may never be healed by the iron but you're here now and that' what's most important.
A Sense of Belonging
Fitting in and feeling like you are a part of something greater than yourself, is a powerful sense of being. The gym has become a safe haven and place of belonging for those looking to find their identity and fit in somewhere. You might not have been the most popular growing up, maybe you weren't great at sports, maybe you dressed different from the 'cool' kids and maybe you felt like you were always on the outside looking in. Then you walked into your first gym and things just felt right. You realized you had an affinity for getting strong quick, you liked how you felt while training, you built up a camaraderie with other likeminded people also trying to find their way and relationships began to grow. You finally felt like you belonged and that was truly appreciated.
Regardless of how you got here, you're here now and that's all that matters. If the iron has brought solace to your life or it just added to your innate desire to be great, then continue to thrive in your environment and then pay that forward to those you meet who need something special like this in their lives. We want everyone to live their Heyday in their Heydays and the best way to do that is to introduce the world of lifting weights to those who need it most.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.