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April 4, 2014 / Jett

Off-Topic: Do You Even Lift Bro?

Despite an active involvement in sports for most of my life, I’ve been allergic to exercise. I’ve never liked the act of physical activity without some sort of inherent objective to work towards. I’ll run up and down a basketball court all day in pursuit of a win, but running on a treadmill usually wears out its welcome very quickly.

For the few times that I was disciplined enough to stick with it, I had to find a goal beyond the immediate activity at hand.

The first time I put in an honest effort towards exercise occurred during my high school days. Sparked by a dream and fueled by information on the internet, I began a mission that would end with me someday dunking a basketball on a 10-foot net. Calf raises became a nightly ritual for me, as I’d repeatedly raise my body with my toes while being weighed down with a backpack full of textbooks. I even went as far as to wear ankle weights all day at school just to maximize my exercise time. Unfortunately, a car accident that took place while I was in the passenger seat took me out of physical activity for a time and I lost the drive to play above the rim. For the record, I got high enough on my vertical to dunk on a 9.5-foot net, which isn’t too shabby for a 5’7” guy.

During college, something in me snapped. After years of embarrassment stemming from my twiggy physique, I decided to bulk up. I no longer wanted girls to laugh at me when I played shirts vs. skins basketball, or feel insecure whenever I wore a basketball jersey. It was the desire to not be so skinny that propelled me through months of workouts and many litres of protein shakes. Once again, physical injury stopped me from exercising for a prolonged period of time, and by the time I was able, I lost the drive. My time lifting those weights in my bedroom really worked. I gained 20 lbs of muscle and a few inches on my biceps. I was in the best physical shape of my life and I loved it.

1554622_10152686546763294_87812485_nThose days of being in shape have long since passed. On top of that muscle now is just fat. I’m not obese, but I hate what I’ve become. I see the results of neglect in my face every time I look in the mirror and see that it’s chubbier than it used to be. I hate looking down to tie my shoes to see my bulging gut sticking out. I hate how I can’t fasten the top button on some of my shirts anymore because my neck is now too thick. My current physique is one that I’m painfully aware of and one that others are quick to point out.

I’m hoping to turn this negative energy into a positive. After years of inactivity, I finally hit the gym again. This time, the goal is to slim down to a weight that I’m more comfortable with. I’ll start with a heavy emphasis on cardio and move into building muscle again if I slim down. There’s no shortage of excess baggage to lose, but I have firsthand experience of what exercise can do when you have a goal worth working towards. I know I want to improve my condition, but now’s the time to put my money where my mouth is and exercise.

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