8 years ago I posted this pic as my motivation. I printed it out and hung it in my house. I tried to create it using what I always thought “working out” meant. None of it worked. I stayed skinny, sometimes toned up my already super thin core but other than that, nothing really changed. I still felt weak and sick most of the time then too.

4 years ago I found myself in constant pain and with zero strength. So I turned to yoga. Using yoga I was able to build a solid core and some lean muscle but more importantly, a mindset around taking control of my body. With the help of the guys at our local S2 I started learning more about being a hard gainer and ways I could combat that. It helped but still, this physique in the photo was no where in sight.

I felt better but still not healthy. Then I found Brent, my personal trainer. October 2016 I started training 4 days a week. He introduced me to the foundation of weight lifting and how to use the tried and true lifts to build everything I wanted. Mental strength, gains everywhere, and overall I felt better than I ever had before.

It remained a struggle to get in the calories I needed to not rapidly lose weight, the sleep, the water, and fight the nausea on the daily but I did it. And I had a team to help me.

After 2 years of consistently picking up heavy shit I looked exactly like this photo… honestly I liked what I had created better, actually.

At my best I had put on 3 inches of size on my glutes and thighs, 2 inches on my arms, and my waist was still the same. I gained 12 lbs and I was proud of that body.

I am proud of that body.

Today I don’t look just like that anymore. The size still remains in a few places and after getting down to 119 at one point last spring I can proudly say I’m back up to 125 and that in itself is a massive victory.

I miss my muscles. I miss the love of the gym. And sometimes it’s hard to do anything but tear myself down for going backwards but the truth is, my body is challenged every day by things that are bigger than me and very far out of my control and most of the time it wins. It’s extremely difficult to accept that but I’ve been working hard to be proud of how it performs, despite the silent hurdles that no one can see.

I’m building. It’s getting there. I’ve been knocked back down more these past 10 weeks physically than I can count but I keep getting back up. I keep listening to my body. And now more than ever I’m taking massive steps to get answers.

And that feels empowering.

Hell, I got a blood draw last week without fainting for the first time in my entire life. That was encouraging.

So this image from 8 years ago… it helped me, it motivated me. And now I motivate myself. I know what I’m capable of building and I’m about to be more equipped with knowledge to get there than I was before.

Fingers crossed for some answers soon but the truth is, even if they come back again this time with “nothings wrong” that doesn’t change my desire to build. So I’ll create it again either way, even if it takes longer. I’ll win. And that’s what matters.

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