Disclaimer: here is the video if that is your preferred form of delivery

The question I got from another forum was: “Maik, how does it feel to look awesome?”

Well, thanks, I guess. But it got me thinking: when I looked my best and trained the hardest I felt the worst. Why? For one, there is the physical exhaustion, the social isolation, the joint pain etc. But there is a certain emptiness that comes with the sport since you are doing it on your own. To be honest, I had mostly negative thoughts when pursuing the perfect physique: “I am too old, too tall, this muscle won’t grow, this guy should not have beaten me, I should be in the magazine, etc.”
At my peak I was about 240 lbs, 5% body fat, and I hated it. I was miserable, angry  achy with a lot of negative thought patterns.
As I thought more about the issue, I noticed a trend. Regardless which sport I pursued, swimming or bodybuilding, it was never enough.
Win nationals? “Ok, done, but…”
Make a certain magazine? “I only have two pages.”
Mostly I did it because I thought that is what is expected of me by the industry, my peers, whoever you can imagine.
When did it change? When I took my daughter to the candy store for her birthday party and she yelled at me with unbridled enthusiasm in here face: “Papi, there is even candy on the stairs!”
And then it struck me: that is how you have to see the gym. Ohh… a leg press!! Cool!!
Once I stopped taking myself so seriously (I even went days without a selfie), both my mindset and physique improved.
If you do not have that kind enthusiasm for what you are doing, I urge you to find it. Otherwise, chances are you will burn out, hate the sport and never set foot into a gym again. Remember, for most of us, it is a hobby. The joy for said hobby should not be dependent on Instagram likes or placings but on what it gives us.