Level Up: It’s not all about vanity


First, allow me to start off by apologizing for the last couple of weeks.  You see, I was in the midst of moving.  Not across country, but across town.  To make matters worse, all we had to do it with was a couple of pick-up trucks, so I’ve been quite busy over those couple of weeks.

Of course, that whole situation reminded me of one very important fact about my weight loss journey, and that is how it’s not all about how I look.

Over those two weeks, I did a lot of lifting.  I did a lot of walking.  I did a lot of moving stuff.

Each night, I shower not out of habit, or out of an understanding of hygiene that states we get dirty whether we actually do anything or not, but out of the simple factor that I sweated my rear off for hours on end every day.  My lifestyle shifted from a fairly sedentary one, to an active one.

It’s a short term shift.  As I gather the last few things at the old place, I wrap up that brief era of activity.  However, it became clear that my time at the gym isn’t just about trying to look good.  It’s about doing things that I couldn’t do before.

For example, let me tell you about moving my freezer.

It’s a stand up freezer.  It still had food in it.  We got it loaded into the truck.  It wasn’t easy, but we did it.  However, getting it up into the new place was a different matter.  While we have a one story home, there are a number of steps to negotiate first.  About seven of them.

I had help in the form of my 14 year old son (who is taller than me and isn’t small in his own right) and a friend who freely admits that he spends no time in the gym (and there are medical reasons partially responsible for that) who were beneath the freezer pushing up.

We had a small hand truck, but not one meant for appliances.  That meant I had to pull the freezer up with the other two pushed it.

Now, my son’s military press ain’t impressive right now.  He just started working out, so he’ll get there, but for right now he was maybe pushing 30 lbs.  Our other friend wasn’t pushing a whole lot more.

That left the balance of the weight on me.  So, in short, I did a combination of a shrug and an upright row.  With a freezer.

Each step took every thing I had.  I was forced to push myself with every ounce of my being.  Eventually, we got the freezer in place.  I was wiped out.

However, thinking about it the next morning as my traps screamed at me for what I’d done, I had to be honest.  You see, I’m not telling you this story to brag.  The truth is, I know a lot of folks who could have handled it far, far easier than me.

No, I tell you this to bring up a point.

You see, up until that point, the gym was a place I went to try and get buff.  It was where I went to hone my body so that I looked good…and get a little healthy too.  At that point, I realized it was really about something more.

That time in the gym?  Yeah, you may be motivated by vanity, but that’s not all that’s going on there.

Lifting in the gym isn’t just about looks, but about life.  It’s about making sure you can deal with the challenges life hands you and being able to meet them.  Reading, studying, those things exercise your mind and are vital.  They’re the reason the “Becoming the Character” series we do at The Badass Forge doesn’t just focus on the physical attributes of the characters, but their mental aspects as well.

However, life doesn’t just throw you mental challenges.  It throws you physical ones as well.  You know, things like freezers needing to go up steps.  That time at the gym helps you build the tools needed to tackle those.  Hopefully, you’ll be even better prepared than I was and you won’t be ready to crawl into the shower and stay there for about a week like I was.

2 comments on “Level Up: It’s not all about vanity

  1. Main reason why I started working out again last spring. I had a couple of experiences of “I can do that – oh crap… I used to be able to do that” and I didn’t like them at all.

    I used to work out when I was young, including lifting, and back then it was because I wanted to lose weight and get better looking. I drifted away from it because I never achieved much in the looks department. I managed to keep a lot of that strength for a long time because even if I no longer worked out in a gym I was, for years, otherwise active enough to maintain it. But then came a few years of almost completely inactivity, and I finally lost it. And that turned out to be a rather aggravating experience, not being able to do things I had once upon a time taken for granted.

    And I very much want to get back to where I was. At least there. Getting beyond that would, of course, be even better. 🙂


    • And really, that’s probably a better reason. I’m seeing far more gains so far as strength is concerned than looks. Seeing weight shoot up has managed to keep me excited about the gym for the past few months. 🙂


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