He was a big man. Not the kind of big that comes as the enviable outcome of choices made in the gym. More like his past decisions involved many foods that were probably in plastic wrap and were of colors not entirely natural. He wore these decisions as considerable extra weight. Some of his history was now unwanted aesthetic carriage.
And he become the reason I moved and celebrated movement this weekend. He was my lesson.
He was a true shining example of how training can infect our tribes as a tool of empowerment. I didn’t meet him. I simply overheard and witnessed a few choice words and actions and decided that he was my mentor right now.
He had a son, probably 3 years old. In our short time sharing space (I was behind them in a grocery store line) dad made it very clear that he was now creating a newer, different journey, one that was meant to include, educate and inspire, his son. His personal empowerment will be through his role in empowering this small tribe of family. And from within ear shot I picked up that at least part of it had to do with training, movement, and good food choices (I peaked in his cart, as I do everyone near me in line at the grocery store. Even as I try to reserve judgment, I’m usually disappointed. Not today.).
He had a goal. It was obvious and uplifting. I’m sure superficially it had to do with fat loss and wellness boosting, but those will actually be symptoms of his journey. The actual transformation, the true success, will happen if the scale needle moves a little or a lot. Someone else is involved. Someone else will learn and improve. In his mission, at least two are loved (probably more).
Living for the gym, and using the gym to live are two incredibly different things. He personified how the physical begets the metaphysical. He was, in my definition of the word, strong.
The coveted physical changes of intense movement – strength, shape, performance – are simply adaptations to perpetuate more of it. Movement is the tactile exploration of space. It is knowing where you are, and who you are, through participation.
Or at least that was the purpose for our organic machines. Sure, free will dictates you can do with it as you please, but remember that better choices now mean more choices later. Why not use it for what it was intended?