Will you go the extra mile towards achieving greatness this New Year?
For many guys, including myself, physical fitness isn’t just a hobby, it’s a way of life. It all starts when someone realizes they can do better and become better. Therefore, the goal of the gym is self-improvement, and that is a hallmark of greatness.
My personal journey with weights began in late July of 2015 when I bought a used vinyl weight set and a bench press that I didn’t really trust. Back in the beginning, I wasn’t super serious. But, as the days progressed, I became more dedicated. I’ve been lifting with the best gym partner a guy could ever ask for, and we’ve gained a lot more than just muscle mass!
What are your thoughts on achieving greatness? Here are 7 reasons to hit the gym beyond reaching physical goals:
1. Fitness is life changing.
From where I was when I started to where I am now, I’m a different person! I look like one, too. It isn’t life changing for shallow reasons like the ladies finally recognize you on the beach. No, it’s life changing because of what it teaches. You learn how to push yourself through pain, you learn how to endure, and you learn that achieving greatness is possible. Not to mention, that added thickness can improve your self esteem and confidence. Clothes fit better, too.
2. Fitness can become a healthy addiction.
Living in a world surrounded by drugs, sex and alcohol (not to mention porn), it’s one of the greatest feelings when you can find someone healthy to get hooked on! There’s no devastating results, unless you injure yourself (and hey, lifting with heavy weight that becomes a big possibility), and it doesn’t make you look like you’ve aged three times the age you actually are. All those good feelings you get from addictions that hurt you, you can get from lifting. And the only thing you’ll suffer from is that o-so-sweet muscle burn, and maybe muscle soreness. The bottom line is, you get addicted, and you don’t need to stop!
3. Fitness proves that hard work brings rewards.
Perhaps the best point on this list is this one. While lifting those heavy weights, you’re accomplishing something that is by no means easy—it’s really hard. And lots of things in life are like that. Lots of things in life are just down right difficult. Pursuing someone, obtaining a higher education, making switches in your life, and working at a job—all hard things. But while you’re in the gym, you’re doing something that’s physically difficult, and your body grows because of it. You literally see the rewards of your hard work. Achieving greatness isn’t far away, and the gym helps you see it.
4. We should be physically strong for others.
I can’t count the exact number I’ve mentioned that a great man, humble man, successful man, or a man with a warrior’s heart is “strong.” Sure, he’s strong in other ways than just physical strength, but you never know when you’ll find yourself in a moment when being strong is the only way you have to protect those you love.
Being strong for others is as simple as being able to help lift a heavy cardboard box. We should be strong, and lifting weights will get you there. And hey, that special girl of yours will feel really safe when you’re built like a brick wall.
5. Your body deserves better.
I once saw a quote from Socrates that reads,
…it is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of man you may become by developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest limit.”
I’ve seen some seriously inspiring videos on Instagram that demonstrate the body’s potential. One guy does chin ups off of a swing set with a wheelchair strapped to him. Another was doing squats without any arms. A bodybuilder with cerebral palsy and a woman who cleaned weight without lower legs and lower arms are just two other examples.
People are amazing. When you think you can’t get up and do something better for yourself, remember there are people every single day telling those who said they can’t, “Watch me,” and they get it done. If they can do it without limbs and yet have complete control over their muscles, then you can get the hard stuff done, too. Your body doesn’t deserve to be underused and abused. You were created to do incredible things. The gym provides you the opportunity to really do something amazing.
6. It teaches physical discipline.
“Oh no, I can’t do that. That’s too hard.” Ever use that one before? Yeah, we all have at some point or another. When you’re at the gym, you’re literally telling your body, “You can, and you will.” And there are so many places you can apply that in real life. Physical discipline teaches you that you’re in control over your body. You have the ability to accomplish greatness with your body, and the gym helps develope that gift. It’s the starting point. Having another guy yell at you, “TWO MORE!” when you feel like your arms are going to fall off is really helpful.
7. It teaches mental discipline.
Where would we be without our minds? We’d be no where fast and no where at all. If anything, you need control over your body in difficulty, but you also need the control over your mind. It doesn’t seem like you learn mental discipline at the gym at first glance, but after you’ve experienced it, you’ll know. Before you can go apply that hard work that brings forth rewards, you have to put your mind to it. You have to mentally see yourself performing those tasks, and at the gym, you have to see yourself performing those next lifts. It’s ridiculous how much of a difference there is when you think you can lift that heavy weight verses when you think you can’t. Same applies in the outside world. If you’ve obtained the mental discipline, you’ve got control of mind over matter, and that is what it takes to truly be great.
Sure, there are great men that haven’t spent a day of their life inside of a gym, but with what I just told you, why wouldn’t you go there? True, you don’t have to lift to be a great man, but it really does help. You’re capable of greatness, and the gym shows you what you’re really capable of doing with hard work, determination and dedication.
Did I mention that it provides stress relief? Sometimes terrible things happen in life and you just want to hurt. Well, muscles can hurt, and it’s a good hurt opposed to the other option of self harm, which is another terrible addiction. And there’s this thing called a pump that everybody builder loves. It’s this tight feeling the muscle gets after lifting weights. It’s all the blood rushing into the muscle and it makes it bigger. It feels great.
I believe there’s a direct correlation between physical fitness and greatness. A great man is also a strong man. Perhaps not necessarily physically strong, but he is strong. And physically strength never did anyone any harm (unless you take illegal drugs to aid in muscle growth, which can lead to a quicker death).
You won’t regret hitting the gym; in fact, I’m confident that you’ll absolutely love it. You’ll find a second home there. Heck, my room is my gym—talk about talking a metaphor! It truly can become one of the greatest things in your life, and it really can bring you one step closer to greatness.