How Fitness Can Change Your Life

My Cousin Johnny and I back when i was in High School
My cousin Johnny and I back when I was in high school

When I was a freshman in high school, I went through what you would call a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. I went through a phase where I was afraid to talk to people because of how I might be judge. This might’ve been due to a result of my body changing throughout the year, but who knows.

One day, a couple of my friends and I snuck into the school’s weight room and we all tried the bench press. At that time, my knowledge of lifting was ZERO. I weighted about 120 lbs and was skinny as bones. I attempted to bench 95 lbs and I failed miserably. There was a chart indicating what you should be able to bench at a certain age in order to be in the “healthy” zone and I was nowhere near it. At that point, I knew I had to make changes in my life.

I had a cousin by the name of Johnny who was a heavy lifter and lifted daily at the Princeton Club. When I asked him if I could borrow his leftover equipment, he gave me all that he had. I was a nooby, so what did I do? I did plenty of research and asked him what I should do to get bigger. You know what he told me?

“If you want to get big and be healthy, stay focus and stay hungry.”

A Random Bench on Mount Bukhansan
A random bench on Mount Bukhansan

This motivated me. I was hungry. I wanted to become someone different, but still be me. Over the course of the next 3 months during my summer break as a freshman, I put in 1 hour every night in my room doing basic workouts. Dumbbell curls, tricep dips, and lunges were all part of my everyday routine. I had no fancy machine to bench press, dead lift, or squat. It was me, my dumbbells, and my room.

When I returned for my sophomore year, I was bench pressing 115 lbs and squatting 135 lbs. I stayed after school EVERY DAY to lift from 3:30 pm to 5 pm and then took the bus home. My mind was on one thing only and that was to stay fit and be a role model for younger people who were in my position. By the time I was a senior, I was bench pressing 240 lbs and squatting 225 lbs. My body had grown 5 times the size of when I was a freshman. As a result of that, I had become a more focused, confident, and determined person.

Polar Plunge 2010
Freezing my butt off at Polar Plunge 2010

Fitness was a big contributor in my life and it really pushed me to stay disciplined. If you put in 30 or 50 minutes every or every other day whether your lifting, running, or doing some some form of exercise, you will begin to develop a high self-esteem and perhaps feel more confident about yourself. All it takes is time in the gym. Trust me, you can do it.

Everyone will have a different take on fitness, but at the end of the day, remember to stay disciplined and motivated and you will definitely be at the top one day.


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