As the category might suggest, I did start working out. I eventually found reason to overlook what concerns I had and have since been actively trying to improve my fitness.
I don’t think there was an exact moment when I decided I wanted to get fit. I know it wasn’t until the later half of senior year of high school that I really got going, but I had planned to exercise and work out before then. What gave me the push to finally overcome my apprehension over working out though was a feeling of helplessness. I’ve come to realize that one of the few joys I get out of life is being able to help others, and that was true even back then.
I remember always feeling so useless when it came to anything physical. Teachers always asked for help to move desks or carry boxes and while several students ran up to help out, I always just slumped down into my chair because I knew I wouldn’t have the strength to do anything. Every now and then statements like, “I need a couple of strong guys to help me with something” would come up and again I would just sit back. I’ll admit sometimes it just felt embarrassing, being so weak. You can probably imagine just how much fun I had during my P.E. class. But that didn’t really matter to me. As someone who was always weaker than his sister, who was only a year older, I stopped caring about those kinds of things a long time ago. What really killed me was just not being able to help.
So that’s what I used to drive and motivate me. If my reasoning for not wanting to get stronger were wheel locks then my desire to help was my fuel.
I was on and off for a while, but I can now proudly say that I’ve been consistently exercising for three years straight. I’m not exactly the poster child for fitness, but I feel like I’ve come a long way from before I started working out. And boy was it a rough journey.
What I’m really proud of though is the fact that I only started working out when I decided that the reason would be to help others. It wasn’t out of frustration, so that I would no longer have to bite my tongue. I can’t even count the number of times I would have taken a swing at someone growing up if I knew it would actually hurt them. It wasn’t because of ego, so that I was more able to fit in or to look good. And it definitely wasn’t because I was told to, despite many years of my parents and even extended family’s nagging – who all did so mainly because they wanted me to look better. I made sure I had full control of my temper and then held out until I had something of actual meaning and value to work for.
So that’s why I wanted to write this before documenting my fitness progress from here on out; I don’t want to lose sight of why I started working out. My exercising should simply be about fitness; a healthier life so that I can live long, and strong, so that I can continue to serve.