In the last 5 years or so, working out and lifting weights has been a massive proponent of my life as an undergraduate rebel, as a 9 to 5 slave and currently as an research extraordinaire. It allows me to channel my energy and adrenaline into doing something productive and develop a stronger body and mind.
Let me take this opportunity to share a rather amusing and somewhat humiliating story with you; embarrassing as it may be, I think there’s a gem of a lesson to be learnt from it. So my first day at the gym; I was 20 years old, had about as much bearing and awareness as …well a 20 year old undergrad XD. Running around like a headless chicken looking to make my uber expensive gym membership worthwhile, at the corner of my eye I saw that the bench press was as unoccupied as a public toilet, so I dashed straight there. I mean that’s what your typical meathead gym goer starts off their workout with right? Why should I be the one to stray away from the norm?
So there I stood in front of the bench press; the barbell was majestically resting on it much like a king reclining on his throne. I put on a pair of 15kg weights on either side of the bar and laid underneath the loaded piece of artillery as I imagined my sovereignty over it. Little did I know that this ‘king’ was far from being dethroned. I stretched out my stick figure arms out and reached out to clutch onto the bar and drew in what could’ve possibly been my last breath as I un-racked the bar from the safety clips with all my shaggy-like might. As I uncontrollably lowered my arms, the weighted bar plunged into my flatter than a still-ocean horizon excuse for a chest what was far from a pretty sight. At this point, I was chanting my prayers hoping that this 7 foot weightlifting pole didn’t bury me 6 feet under because I was struggling immensely to lift it back up….yikes. Fortunately, I managed to gather every iota of strength my timid body possessed, took another deep breath in, pressed the bar off my chest and slowly but surely it was ascending ungracefully. From afar, I saw a relatively older and seemingly more experienced meathead being entertained by the farce that transpired on my front as he glared at me and shook his head with disgrace.
Now that I can lift the same weight that almost decapitated me half a decade ago with relative ease, I’m waging war against twice the amount of weight on the bench press! Moral of the story; challenge yourself but know your limits. If and when the time is right, with practice, patience, prayer and persistence, you will defy the very limitations that were holding you at bay and endeavour in even greater challenges which you deemed to be impossible at the beginning.