I remember when I was 13 years old my parents were getting divorced, I was getting abused mentally as well physically at school, and I was short and fat. This was the perfect storm of circumstances that started me on the path of self-discovery and led to where I am today. Behind a computer in a New Orleans Airport watching the Super Bowl until I board my flight back to Miami.
I remember how no matter what clothes I wore, Edwins, Z Cavaricci, or Skids I never felt good about myself. If you never heard of those brands it’s because you are probably under 40, but trust me they were HOT!!!! I took a look at myself in the mirror ( literally and figuratively) and decided it was time to make a change.
That’s when I decided to get strong! Little did I know that making myself physically strong would translate into so much more than just physical strength. Increased strength would allow me to defend myself better. It made my body look better in clothes. I developed mental strength by constantly having to push outside of my comfort zone. I got more confident in myself, I improved my grades, and now people thought twice about taking me on. I was no longer the weak easy prey, I was becoming. Becoming stronger, becoming more powerful, becoming the man I am today.
You may think that strength is not that important in today’s society of comfort and ease but you would be wrong. Being strong is never a disadvantage. Though we now live in a comfortable time of peace, that hasn’t changed the fact that men and women alike (even the most progressive of them) find people of the opposite sex who appear physically strong and fit more respectable, authoritative, and attractive than people who aren’t.
Building strength boosts your physical and mental health. Obesity is growing at an alarming rate and is one of the leading causes of death today. Exercising keeps your body healthy and combats depression. Becoming stronger is the best anti-anxiety medication in existence, with side effects only enhancing the quality of your life. Your significant other will look at you differently. Your children will learn from your example. Your friends and co-workers will look up to you, and your sex life will improve.
Too often we think of strength-building as something for shallow people and dumb bros. We too often think of people as being either smart and weak or strong and dumb. Yet many great men in history, including philosophers, statesmen, and writers, rejected this phony divide and emphasized the importance of developing body, mind, and soul. They understood that without a strong body, a person will never be able to develop their other virtues to their highest potential.
In addition to offering us literal energy to tackle our pursuits, strength-building also imparts many metaphorical lessons as well. The pain and dedication required to work out regularly teach you about discipline, resilience, and humility, among other things.
Getting stronger teaches you that nothing good comes without hard work and sacrifice. To get strong you have to sacrifice the temptation of instant gratification and put in consistent work toiling under the bar day after day. Not only does strength-building develop one’s character and virtue, it provides the necessary backbone – the proper framework – on which to build our moral values. Being strong makes you a better person. You no longer compete with the herd by stepping on others to get ahead, being strong gives you the ability to pull others up by giving them a hand.
It’s important to have principles, but being strong gives you the ability to fight for your principles. To be here today our ancestors had to overcome disease, famine, and wars to give us the strongest genes possible. We are all descended from the strongest, fastest, smartest, bravest people of the past. It is no stretch to conclude that the blood of greatness runs through your veins.
When we train to be physically strong, we show reverence and honor for the people who came before us that had to be physically strong so that we might exist and enjoy the comforts we have today.
Doing what your body is meant for, what it evolved for, is an incredible feeling. And to go your whole life without experiencing this feeling, at its peak, is a great shame. This is a truth that even Socrates preached way back in ancient Greece. When the philosopher said: “It is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of person you may become by developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest limit.”
You don’t have to be ripped and jacked to experience the benefits of getting stronger. Find something that works for you, and get started. Be consistent and watch how your life changes. If your life isn’t what you want it to then make some changes. Go to bed earlier, watch less TV, get off of social media, start eating more greens, read more books, and for god’s sake do yourself a favor and start getting stronger!!!