Today’s newsletter is a rather somber one, so beware. It deals with the self-inflicted passing of a good friend of mine. He was an inspiring coach, possessed a fantastic physique, and was highly respected within the community (and not just by the muscle-head’s). So then why would someone, who seemingly was on top of the world, make such a drastic decision?
I am afraid there is no good answer, but here’s what I do know. Unfortunately, during my time in the fitness industry, I have met way too many athletes with great physiques who were deeply unhappy due to their inability to connect with life outside of the gym.
Let’s face it, most of us train to feel stronger, look better, and to improve our standing with that attractive person you’ve been sitting next to at work for the past two months. And that is certainly fine, as long as you don’t develop an obsession because the truth is you do need some form of strong motivation to achieve your goals and succeed in the gym. It’s all good until you start abusing the sport and your body as a protection for yourself, putting a band aid on some other deeper issue.
The problem arises when athletes lose touch with reality and start to think that a better physique and athletic success are the only solutions to all of the challenges life has to offer. Listen to me carefully when I say this: it is not the only answer. It never has been, and it never will be.
Don’t get me wrong; bodybuilding is extremely helpful in giving you structure, discipline, and the feeling of accomplishment. Success in the gym can be used in all areas of life, and this is something that I have taken very seriously with all of our clients. The important thing to realize, however, is that this requires a life outside of the gym. When I hear competitors talking about eating 11 meals and working out 4 hours a day, I can’t help but wonder: “What else are these guys doing?”
Don’t isolate yourself, actively participate in other people’s (non-bodybuilders) lives, and develop some hobbies and interests outside of the gym. Bodybuilding is a part of life, but looking like Superman is not all there is to life.