A blog covering all things fitness...


I’m writing this while listening to the music of Prince…so sad. A true artist that will be missed.  Just to tie this in with the subject, it is okay to play the air drums, dance a little bit, or mouth the words to a song while you’re lifting. I do it all the time. Just don’t sing out loud, that falls under “bad gym etiquette”.

singing while lifting

Okay, where were we? Last time we covered sweat, re-racking weights, and equipment sharing. So, let’s start today with smells. Obviously, horrendous body odor goes without saying, they make soap and deodorant and toothpaste for that, so if this applies to you, please stop at the store today and get some. Also, if last night’s jalapeno poppers seem to be an issue this morning, let’s try not to gas the room and make us all regret coming to the gym today. On the other end of the spectrum is one that seems to take some by surprise, although I don’t know why, and that’s the abundant use of perfume/cologne. The gym, quite simply, is no place for those. Imagine this. You’re on the elliptical doing your HIIT training, running some fierce ‘I’m being chased by a bear” sprints and then desperately sucking wind in between them (that’s the worst part of cardio, although I hate all parts of cardio, trying to catch my breath is the WORST, but I digress….) and some guy gets on the elliptical next to you in FULL COLOGNE. Now, perhaps at the bar at midnight picking up babes smelling like the Macy’s perfume counter works for you, but not at the gym, my friend, not at the gym! Suddenly the clean air that I’m attempting to intake becomes clogged with the musky and artificial scent of Axe and I begin to choke and cough as the oxygen is ripped from my body. (Okay, slightly dramatic but you get the idea). This makes me want to grab Mr. Jersey Shore by the unmentionables and drag him from the gym and possibly throw him in a large body of water thereby ridding the world of that smell. I’m not typically a violent person, mind you, but strong cologne and perfume at the gym makes me very untypically angry. Hey, we all have our breaking points. Ladies, you aren’t exempt from this. And no, perfume doesn’t mask body odor, so do us all a favor and if the gym is on your agenda, please, PLEASE, don’t reach for the perfume that day!!!!
Okay, moving on, that one brought out some feelings of unresolved anger for some reason…whew.
So, I’d me remiss if I didn’t talk briefly about gym creepers. Every gym has at least one. You know who I’m talking about. He’s the guy that does his whole workout in front of the adductor/abductor machine. Or the one that follows you around and every time you look up he or she is leering at you. (Yes ladies, you can be considered a creeper, too.)

gym creeper

Because I’m not a psychiatrist I won’t go into all of the psychological ramifications of your issues. And yes, for some it’s a serious issue and you should consider some counseling. For the rest of you, I believe you are confusing the gym with Mr. Jersey Shore’s favorite late night hangout, the club. See, at the gym, we go to exercise our muscles, our heart and our lungs. Most of us have not entered the building just hoping and praying we see some action and get picked up that day. Because getting ogled by some drooling nutcase is everyone’s dream, right? If you did go to the gym that day, hoping and praying to hear an awesome pick up line, might I suggest leaving with Mr. Jersey Shore, thereby taking yourself and the pungent aroma of Axe Dark Temptation with you.
It’s been mentioned that there seems to be a lot of naked people in the locker room. (Gasp!) I don’t spend much time in the locker rooms as I don’t shower there or have a need to change clothes at the gym very often nor do I regularly visit the men’s locker room, but I have HEARD stories, strange stories, many of which I won’t repeat due to this being a PG blog. Now, let it be understood that I do realize that it’s pretty hard to shower while fully clothed. However, there are quite a few people that are SO unencumbered by society’s views of public nudity (and I make no judgment regarding the pros and cons of that subject, to each his/her own) that just perhaps they take it a BIT farther than necessary when in a public environment. Some respect might be considered when choosing to bend over to put your socks on while directly in front of the line of sight of another individual thereby leaving them with a visual image which is disturbing and possibly quite difficult to recover from. I think you understand what I’m saying without having to draw a diagram. Eeek. Enough said.
Lastly for today, we’re going talk about equipment hogging. This is the person that decides that they need to do a giant set involving 6 different machines, strategically positioning their towel, water bottle, hat, sock, and left shoe on the seat of each station not currently in use. This practice is very similar to a dog marking their territory by lifting his leg and peeing on what he perceives as his. I suppose we should all be thankful the gym hog isn’t a dog. Or how about that focused individual doing dumbbell drop sets with 5 different weight variances and they have them piled up around them for about 45 minutes?

equipment hog

Or perhaps the person that does a set on the chest press, then during their rest period, decides to write the sequel to War And Peace on their phone? (Now, I have to be honest, I have been known to text in between sets from time to time. I know, I know, but my music is on my phone and it’s right there so if a text comes in I hear it, sue me. That being said, it does NOT lengthen the amount of time I have already planned to rest between sets. This is quite different from the NOVELIST that I am referring to.) The more subtle form of gym hoggery is the dude doing BICEP CURLS IN THE SQUAT RACK. The initial perception isn’t of a typical equipment hog, however he IS successfully commandeering two different pieces of equipment, one of which has a use that is CLEARLY not necessary for performing a bicep curl. This individual is, quite frankly, just too LAZY to be bothered picking up the bar from the floor.

squatting in the curl rack

I’m certain we could probably put our heads together and come up with multitudes of other scenarios representing the equipment hog, but I think you get the idea. We all know this particular species of gym-goer and if you are one of them, just be aware that your shoe on a piece of equipment you haven’t used in 25 minutes has a good possibility of ending up in the men’s locker room shower and based on our previous discussion of what happens in there, retrieving it might not be pretty and perhaps even leave you psychologically scarred.
Alright, that’s enough for Part Two…stay tuned for Part Three, and possibly Part Four, based on my inquiry into things people consider poor Gym Etiquette. Apparently, there is a LOT of material to cover! Until next time, be respectful of others, share what doesn’t belong to you, and keep your clothes on. If you can’t do those things might I suggest Zumba home video workouts and Insanity in your garage?


If you’ve been in the gym for longer than 10 minutes you’ve probably experienced some form of bad gym etiquette. Whether it be heading to a bench only to find the remnants of a sweaty head left behind, or arriving at the leg press and in dismay, realizing that you apparently missed a Conan the Barbarian sighting based on the amount of 45’s piled on the machine. Clearly Conan was too fatigued from his presses to be bothered with putting everything back. Poor guy, sure hope he’s okay. Lack of gym etiquette is everywhere. But I’m going to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume that in all of their time spent in the gym, no one ever bothered to teach them proper etiquette. And if you’re new to the gym scene, I’m going to share some basics on how things should be done. This blog is going to be in several parts because there are simply too many things to cover in one post and you’d get bored and we can’t have that….


Let’s start with an easy one…sweat. We all do it, some more than others. Personally, I sweat A LOT. My gym provides towels, which is an awesome service by the way, so I don’t have to worry about forgetting one. However, if your gym does not, then you need to bring one. The towel is to put down on the bench, machine, whatever, to absorb your sweat and also to protect you from gym cooties if that’s a concern of yours. Any residual sweat should be cleaned up with the paper towels and the spray that the gyms provide. And please take the extra 5 seconds necessary to throw your paper towel away and not just leave it by the machine. Okay, easy one and that pretty much covers that subject in it’s entirety.
Next let’s discuss re-racking weights. It may come as a shock to you, but not everyone is planning on using the exact weight that you have on the equipment. I may want to use less, use more, or use none. I would like the option of starting with a blank slate, unless requested otherwise by me as you are abandoning the equipment. This often means that an additional amount of caloric expenditure may be required in order to return the weights you used to their proper place. Perhaps this needs to be worked in as part of your exercise program. If you were to figure out the calories burned while re-racking and multiply that times every exercise done throughout the year, I’ll bet it would add up to a fair amount and might possibly buy you some room for a couple of cheeseburgers during the year…just a thought.

messy gym

Now, let’s take that one step further and add that re-racked weights should be returned to their proper place. That means that the 120 lb. dumbbells shouldn’t be racked in the 5 lb. space. If those weights are too heavy to walk them back where they belong, then you probably aren’t worthy of them anyway. And if you’re simply not racking them correctly because you’re lazy and arrogant, then you need a home gym where your bad attitude needn’t affect others. You’re probably that person that is always posting about all their haters at the gym. (By the way, if you have that many “haters” it’s probably you…but that’s a subject for another blog.) Stacking the plates against the wall is not putting them away. Rolling the dumbbells under the rack is not putting them away. And perching a 45 lb. plate on that teeny tiny bit of space at the end of the storage bar is a bad and also a sign of laziness. Have you ever had a weight plate fall off onto the top of your foot?? I have. NOT FUN.

weighted leg press

Lastly, let’s talk about equipment sharing. This is one that requires you to be a little bit outgoing, which for some is a challenge. Some people prefer to stomp around the gym sighing loudly and throwing nasty glares at people on the equipment they want to use. (I’ll share a little story about this in a bit) Some hover….awkwardly. Some just take your weights when you leave to get a quick drink of water from the fountain, that’s always fun. It needs to be made clear that unless your name is on the door, it’s not YOUR gym. You are not special and just because you’re training for something doesn’t make your workout more important than anyone else’s. That being said, if you want to use a piece of equipment you have a few options.
1) Keep your eye on it and do other things until it opens up.
2) Do a different exercise. Sometimes I’ve discovered cool new things because I couldn’t get to a piece of equipment I usually use.
3) Ask if you can work in. Now, if some dude has 57 plates on the press and you want to load up a 10 on each side, that’s clearly not an option, I’ll refer you back to option 1 or 2, and hope he has read this blog and is mindful of the first 2 paragraphs above regarding re-racking. But if you see someone using a machine and they are doing sets with a couple minutes of rest/texting/newspaper reading in between, don’t be afraid to ask if you can work in.

hogging equipment

Here’s the clincher though…if they say yes, MEMORIZE their settings and if you change things for your set, return everything back to their settings before you get up. Why?  Because it’s the classy thing to do and the world can definitely use more classy people.  Wow, things just got more complicated right? (If they say no, then my only advice is to walk away and go back to option 1 or 2. They don’t play well with others and that’s their issue. No need to mess up your gym zen because of someone else.) So, if all of that is too much for you, then once again, refer back to 1 or 2. But, DO NOT be that person that asks to work-in, changes the settings and weights, sweats all over the equipment, then takes off. You want haters? You’re on the fast track for some new ones with that move.
We all have our moments, but most gym people are great, especially the ones that have been around a few years. And for a few of us, it’s almost a home away from home. I love my gym family and I also have respect for the equipment that is there and strive to do my part to make sure I take care of my own space. It’s like an eco-system all it’s own with a bunch of individual species trying to cohabitate in one small space. If we’re all respectful of the equipment, the other people, and our attitudes, then it becomes a haven. It’s one of the few places where you can go and it’s 100% okay to focus on yourself and leave the outside world and it’s stresses behind. Any kind of exercise can have that ability. But just because you’re in that place mentally, doesn’t mean that you don’t need to have respect for everyone else trying to enjoy the space, too.
Alright, enough for today, stay tuned for Part Deux of Gym Etiquette……


You know what’s frustrating? When someone tells me they want to start competing and ask my advice about how to get started and I tell them that there’s a lot of diet misinformation out there and I STRONGLY warn them before they ever start to NEVER fall for the pitfalls of old school prep (no carbs and hours and hours of cardio). I tell them that it’s a great sport and can be an awesome experience but if they do prep that way then they’ll most certainly regret it and it’s not worth the plastic trophy to watch your body blow up post show because it’s been STARVED for months on end! And you know what? They DO IT ANYWAY because some ridiculous “prep coach” told them that’s what they need to do to get on stage. No, it’s NOT what you need to do to get on stage. It’s wrong, it’s harmful, and it is devastating to your existing muscle as well as squashing any hope of muscle gains. Prep isn’t easy on your body anyway but if that’s what it’s going to take for you to get stage ready then you’re not PREP ready! This happened to me and it’s no joke. And just so we’re clear, I’m not a special case, this has literally happened to SCORES of competitors. A lot of competitors don’t even like to talk about it because they think it’s embarrassing. We’re supposed to be specimens of fitness all the time, right? I’m not being overly dramatic and I’m not exaggerating. I’m being REAL and trying to save you from a whole boatload of awful stuff. My only excuse for participating in this ridiculous prep diet trend was because it’s what everyone was doing when I started competing and NO one told me the downside. In fact, no one ever so much as hinted that there would be a negative impact on my body! On the contrary, I was told by my supposed “professional” coaches at the time that it was normal when, 2 days after a show, I was literally SLOSHING when I walked, my ripped legs turned into tree trunks with no visible knees or ankles and I had fingers that wouldn’t bend because they were so swollen. NORMAL???? No, that is in no way normal. I remember girls laughing about how they gained 25 pounds in the first 5 days post show, like it was some badge of honor or something.

before and after cartoon

They were all STUPID. I was naïve and stupid and I’m a trainer! I know better! But this is for a competition so normal nutritional rules don’t apply, right? That’s what got me. Prep dieting was new to me so I was learning, thinking I was learning from people that knew what the heck they were talking about because they were well known prep coaches and they put a lot of people on stage that looked great. And I thought I was learning from people that actually gave a crap about me in the long run. I was wrong. I’ve lived it and I learned and I’ve finally come out on the other side. And now I’m trying to help you to not ever have to go down that road like I did. It’s unnecessary and in fact it can be downright dangerous. We’re smarter now. SCIENCE is smarter now. We know more. So why on earth are there still coaches out there immediately yanking all but a smidgen of carbs out of your diet, for MONTHS? So yes, I’m frustrated that there are still “coaches” out there selling people a line of goods. Please pay attention! When someone who has been around the block a few times tells you vehemently to proceed with caution, LISTEN! Don’t just believe a prep coach because they have a lot of clients. This is your life, your body, and your health, not theirs. And there are coaches out there doing it RIGHT! There are real coaches that actually care about your health. And if you’re hell bent on competing then you need to find one of those. And if you find a coach and their plan for you ends the day of the show, if there’s no post show protocols laid out in detail, then walk away. Trust me, not all prep coaches are created equal. I can’t tell you how many people I have warned about all of this only to see them a few months later and find out that they’ve signed on with some idiotic coach and they are doing ALL the things I warned them about. And doing it with a big smile on their face like it’s the coolest thing ever to be starving their bodies and making these grand nutritional sacrifices like it’s so great to be a part of some crazy club. Quite frankly, it makes me wonder why I even try. It doesn’t really seem like it ever makes a difference. Maybe I shouldn’t waste my time and just keep it to myself. And yet, I adhere to a kind of ‘trainer’s Hippocratic oath’ to do no harm. And in my opinion, not warning someone would be doing harm. It’s like telling someone not to walk off a cliff and they go and do it anyway. All I can do is stand back and shake my head. After it’s all said and done, it’s their choice and I’ve done my part….


Is that a question that you’re asking yourself? The pretty obvious answer to that is that you ate too many pizzas and plates of lasagna and then followed it up with cookies dipped in tubs of ice cream, right? But wait…you didn’t do that? You don’t eat bread and pasta because THOSE things obviously, are what make you fat! And you eat little snippets of food a few times a day, and certainly you NEVER eat dessert because everyone knows dessert is EVIL. How could you possibly get fat from so little food? And why do some people eat GOOD stuff and still manage to stay pretty lean? Must be some pretty crappy genetics that were handed to you, right? You even do enough cardio each day to burn off literally everything you ate that day plus some!


So you ask again…why am I so FAT???

My guess is that you’ve spent a fair amount of time bouncing from one diet to another. Trying this and that, having a bit of success but never keeping it off for that long because, well quite frankly, dieting sucks and there are times when you just want a slice of pizza. But you can’t eat “bad” food or “bad” carbs because that’s the real culprit! Sinister carbohydrates! Or maybe you got caught up in the hype of a diet trend at one time or another. Someone told you that you should try the diet they’ve been on for 2 weeks because they feel FANTASTIC and they’ve lost weight and they have all this energy that they haven’t had in years! Or you saw the “transformation” photos and when they said you don’t even have to exercise and that you get to eat all your favorite foods that really struck a chord with you and they reeled you in like a trout on a line. But each time you dieted, you suddenly found yourself eating less and less food and yet the fat stubbornly remains.

Why am I so fat???

Were you aware that you will get fatter by not eating ENOUGH food? What? Calories in calories out, right? Cut calories, burn them off and the fat should go away! Nope, not how it works. Let’s not forget that food is fuel for your body.   Your entire system runs on food and water. Without it, you die. Period. Food is where we get nutrients and energy, those important things necessary to be active, have a sharp mind, and that keep our engine humming along. And everyone knows about metabolism and in rather simple terms, how it regulates whether you are one of those lucky people that can eat pizza and still stay lean. So you inherited a terrible metabolism? Thanks Mom and Dad! Well, it’s time to stop blaming the family tree for your fat. More likely is that you CREATED a slow metabolism by under eating.


Here’s what happened to you. Somewhere along the way you put on a bit of body fat and you wanted it gone. So, naturally you cut your calories and added some exercise. Maybe you started running because that’s what everyone does. You had some success and you lost some body fat. Yay. Fast forward a few weeks and you keep weighing but that scale isn’t changing. Must be time to cut some more calories. Bingo, a few more pounds drop. Then another plateau. This time you add more running. Works for a bit then ANOTHER PLATEAU!! WHY??? So you cut even more calories. Now you’re barely eating enough to keep a squirrel alive and you pound away at the pavement for what seems like hours and hours every week but the cellulite remains, and nothing seems to be changing for the better, in fact, you feel SOFTER. Congratulations, you just told your body that you are heading into a famine and that it better store some fat in case your squirrel food disappears altogether because something needs to keep your systems functioning! Your body, meanwhile, has been raiding your muscle for energy, further damaging your metabolism. When you finally get so sick and tired of running and eating lettuce and tilapia, then at some point you go off the deep end and actually eat some bread. And you bloat. Must be the glutens! No! Your body actually got fed with something it can work with! Finally, fuel!! And since you’ve been starving it of nutrients for so long it is left with no choice but to store that up for later when you get another crazy idea to head back to Famineville. (which is probably the next day because guilt and remorse are always just a slice of pizza away) And worse than the obvious repercussions to your physique is what it has done to your self-esteem. You feel like a failure, you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and you lament over the obvious fact that you have been dealt a pretty crappy hand in life.

It’s time to stop the madness. Stop starving yourself. Food is fuel and food is your ally, absolutely NOT your enemy! Carbohydrates are NOT your enemy. They are what drives the machine. It’s time to stop focusing on the fat and start focusing on your health. Gradually start adding food (proteins, fats, and yes, carbs!) back into your diet and stop running it all off on the treadmill. Do not go from no food to thinking that you can suddenly eat what you want. Your body has been trained to get you by on barely anything, so it’s going to take time for it to adapt to being fed again so add those calories back in slowly. Lift some weights to get some muscle back on your body that you have decimated with all of your diet shenanigans. It’s a long, slow process that requires patience and focus and determination. Rome wasn’t built in a day as the old adage states. And it’s often quite scary. Somewhere in your head it’s been ingrained in you that to stay slim you have to eat less. LET. THAT. GO. If this is your situation then you need to change your plan and you need to eat to lose. Find someone to help you through this process if it feels scary to try it alone. Trust me, you may need someone who sees the big picture to talk you down off the ledge on occasion. And that’s okay, we’ve all been there and there are days when you’ll swear it’s not working. Or you may be tempted yet again by someone trying to sell you an easier way. It’s during those times when you just need to remember that food and exercise is not optional on the path to getting and staying healthy and fit. Keep your eyes focused forward on creating a strong and healthy body and mind and stop focusing on the fat. Listen to that ONE VOICE that cares about how you feel and think about yourself throughout your whole life and not just for the short term. And if the only sane voice around you is your own, then so be it. You are the one that needs to live with YOU and you need to treat your body like the treasure it is. I recently read something that carried so much truth in it’s simplicity and sums all of this up in one phrase and it said this……


Motivation without a goal…


There’s a bit of a fitness epidemic going on these days. It’s running rampant through our gyms, but even more so, it’s running rampant through social media. We’re literally inundated with it. Pictures plastered all over our phones and computer screens of someone that went from horribly obese to standing on stage in a little bikini. Or crossing a finish line covered in mud or standing tall with a barbell of stacked weights overhead. Some have abs and glutes and pecs preordained to make everyone jealous, others just look like average people doing amazing things. All kinds of people from all walks of life with all different levels of fitness acumen have decided that in order to be truly “fit” one must stand and be judged on a stage in a skimpy swimsuit or run miles in a race, beat themselves to a pulp on a course or in the gym, or lift as much weight as they can in the shortest amount of time possible. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against healthy competition. I do compete in bodybuilding shows and I have run a Spartan Race and crossed the finish line by jumping over fire into a watery pit covered head to toe in mud.  (and yes, that’s me and my brother in my picture!)


I think those experiences are fantastic, for the most part, and I will do them again. But it’s not my motivation, at least it didn’t use to be. There was a time in my life before I ever started competing when I worked out just because I enjoyed it. Period. Granted, I still enjoy it, but my motivation shifted once I hit the stage and it became all about being more muscular and defined for the next show. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that. But the problem lies in once again finding my motivation sans competition. Will I always have to compete from now on to give myself that extra push in the gym? Because honestly, I don’t want to compete forever. Some do, and that’s just great, I do not. I want to get back to that place where I just love to workout. So, what I’m looking for is to rediscover my motivation without a goal. When the time is right, I’ll find it. I know this because for over 20 years that’s how I lived my life. But for the past 12 it’s been all about improving for the stage. That’s a long time for something to consume my focus in the gym but I know I can get back to that place before I competed. Well, sort of. I’ll probably always think my quads need to be bigger and my delts need to pop more. That’s kind of ingrained in me now, the search for symmetry. But I need to be okay with not dieting down to single digit body fat to see how far I’ve come.

The problem is that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing people getting ready for something, a race, a show, a competition, whatever it may be, that for some it almost seems that in order to validate the credibility of your workouts, that you HAVE to compete in some form or another. If you don’t, then you’re just adrift in the fitness world, destined to flounder around mindlessly with no direction. Right? WRONG! Here’s the truth, you CAN just workout without a publicly recognized goal ahead of you. It’s okay to workout just cause you want to be able to breathe when you get to the top of the stairs, or just because you want to be able to rearrange your living room without asking for help. It’s okay to want to run or ride your bike just because you enjoy the scenery, or lift just because you love how you feel when you leave the gym. Believe it or not, that’s enough. But too often, I see people that have literally JUST started working out and have never set foot in a gym before. And you know what they say? “I’m going do a competition! I want to be in the best shape of my life!” Okaaay, how about you workout in the gym for longer than 2 weeks before you plan on stripping down into your skivvies and asking a bunch of people you don’t even know to judge all your bits and pieces in fine detail and then point out all of your shortcomings? And if you’re competing in bodybuilding because you have low self esteem, then you’re more than likely in for some troubled waters ahead because once you’ve seen yourself at a low body fat, a non-sustainable low body fat level might I add, then “normal” will now look like “fat” when you look in the mirror. You will NEVER look at yourself the same way again. True story. Some people handle that transition just fine, but for others it leads them down a dark and rather unhealthy slippery slope.  And that’s assuming they actually ever see the stage and don’t throw in the towel way before they get there because they didn’t realize it was so going to be so HARD!  (contest prep, done correctly, is no joke!)

I’m a lifer when it comes to the gym. I’ve been working out for so many years that it’s just a part of my existence. But even I went through a down time, I think we all do at some point, some more serious than others. But mine came when I thought I wanted to be done competing but my body hadn’t been properly prepped for a return to my old “normal”. I found myself incredibly unhappy with how I looked and how I felt during those 3 years that I was pretending to be ‘retired’. Oh, I worked out the whole time, but my body just didn’t respond the way it used to. So here I go again, back on stage but this time doing it right, with food, with cardio, and with a renewed reason as to why I’m on that stage. I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone. I’ve done well in my competition career in the past, earning my Pro card at the age of 41.  I’m not famous or in the natural bodybuilding hall of fame or gracing the cover of magazines, but I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished. But my reasons were different this time. My plan was to just make this about dieting down and then reversing out of my diet post-show.   I was going to “reset” my body by building my metabolism up slowly so that I could enjoy just LIVING again without feeling like I needed to constantly count my macros. This wasn’t about winning a show, this was about prepping me for a return to my old normal. I hired a great coach, yes, even trainers need trainers, and I worked hard, followed the plan and with the help of my coach, I competed again. First time back on stage after 3 years, a work in progress mind you but still looking pretty good!  But guess what happens? I don’t do that great in either show. Ouch. I wasn’t pleased. I felt a bit bad about myself. I got caught up in the competition with others and forgot that this was supposed to just be a competition with ME. It’s tough to not get caught up in the hype, but I know better! So my point here is that when you start competing in bodybuilding, or in just about anything, you’re opening up a whole can of worms you didn’t know about. And if it’s just your desire to feel good, be healthy, breathe better and put on your jeans without checking your butt in the mirror, then DON’T think that you need to compete to have that. On the contrary, it would be best to NOT go down that road because you’ll be introducing so much more into your life that you may or may not be prepared or have a desire to manage. Seriously, it’s okay to have motivation without a goal. At least without a goal to publicly prove it to the world, or in this day and age, prove it to all your Facebook and Instagram friends, most, might I add, you wouldn’t even know if you passed them on the street! But, if you want to compete in bodybuilding, run a marathon or do a triathlon, then go for it! Don’t just put your toe in the water, DIVE IN! Because that’s what a true competitor does, they go all in. But don’t think for a second that’s the next logical step when you step into the gym for the first time or get on that new bike. Maybe you just need to do this for you. Not for Facebook, but just for you. I do understand the notion of “I just want to do it once to say I’ve done it”. But just be darn sure you’re REALLY doing it for yourself. Ask yourself some serious questions and give yourself HONEST answers. Do I still want to compete if I’m not allowed to EVER post a selfie of my progress, or ‘check-in’ at the gym or the track? If you’re not allowed to tell ANYONE what you’re doing, or what you’re training for, do you still want to do it? Do you still want to spend 1-3 hours in the gym every day working out if no one knows you’re there? Do you still want to weigh all of your food at every meal if no one knows about your sacrifices? Do you still want to stand on that stage if no one is there to tell you that you look amazing? Would you still want to take the whole journey, ALONE? (Because once the dust settles, it’s still just you standing in front of your own mirror once again searching for your self esteem.) But if the answer is yes to my questions, then by all means, do your thing because you’re probably going to be just fine. You’re doing it for YOU, and that’s all that matters. But if you can’t make it without the accolades and the attaboys, then it really doesn’t matter how many people you tell that you’re just doing it for yourself, that’s clearly not the case.

Our entire life should be led with the desire to be fit. Fit enough to go through life being able to do exciting things and see amazing sights because our bodies are strong and fit enough to take us where we want to go, that’s living! That’s a worthy goal in itself. There’s no way to take a selfie of that kind of goal because it’s not specific, it’s just LIFE. And life gives us it’s own challenges along the way. And quite frankly, the rewards of overcoming life’s challenges are far more precious than a trophy or a medal. And besides, you can always post pictures of your pets on Facebook instead.



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