I've been reading a fair bit of posts on this forum and many others regarding a decline in motivation and consistent workouts, essentially just getting burnt out. I thought I would write a bit of a post to let some people know what goes on inside my head to keep me in the gym.
About two years ago I was a small 150 lbs 5"10 dude trying to find my way around in life. I just transferred programs, moved 100 kms away from my friends and family and started a new life in a city full of racist, sexist and mainly those interested in getting drunk. I was an outcast. I didn't drink, I don't smoke, I don't go out, I mainly just hung around in my room. I transferred over to being vegan that year, eating mostly pasta and tomato sauce, knowing nothing about nutrition and putting on a fair bit of fat from the lack of knowledge on nutrition. My girlfriend at the time went vegan as well, and struggled more than myself. That relationship, lasting almost a year and a half ended abruptly in January. I fell apart. I slipped back into a deep state of depression, anxiety attacks and becoming a self loathing individual. I had no idea where to turn or what to do, so I just didn't do anything.
I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to exist anymore, and daily thoughts about my existence troubled my mind. One summer day after working a long shift landscaping I hated myself, the way I felt, the way I looked so much, I found my dad's rusty ass barbell and started curling. Started from the bar, worked my way up, only five pounds when I could make the jump. I liked the way I felt when I was working out. How I was putting myself through shit to get stronger. I knew mentally and physically I was growing. I threw in military press, squats, deadlifts, clean and jerks, snatches, anything I could think of to work myself harder. I didn't want to be as weak as I was to let someone else influence how I felt.
The bar saved my life. It molded me into a stronger person. Someone with discipline, a backbone and work ethic. Its the ultimate deal breaker. You think you're on top one day and ruling the world, and the next, the barbell tells you you're back at the bottom. Its a humbling experience.
I came from someone who wanted to end their life, to someone who still relies on the gym to get me through all the shit in my life. The relationship problems, the remaining self hate I have, everything that breaks down in my life. You need to use that. Every problem you have, every person that fucked you over, every person who said you weren't good enough, that's what fuels me at the gym. That's what gets me through the worst days of my life. Because I know I'm stronger because of them. You show them that they made you a better person, a stronger version of yourself. But don't give them all the credit. You got off your ass and went to the gym, or your basement, or your garage, and you made that commitment to be stronger. No one else gets that credit. No matter what, when you fall off that track, and I have, and I will again, and you may too. You get back up and show yourself you're not weak, and you do not falter underneath the weight of your world on your back. You pick it up, and fucking rack it.
I'd rather beat myself up at the gym, than wallow in how shitty my life is any day. Powerlifting has saved my life, it changed how I looked at challenges and it made me who I am today. Don't let your mind slip into where I was. There is always another option than looking at your life as meaningless. Use that hate, those emotions to drive yourself through the shittiest days, and come out stronger.