How many of you have ever looked at your current status in the gym or work or any other aspect of life and thought something like this?
“Why am I not where I want to be yet? I work hard, stay motivated, and yet I’m nowhere near where I want to be.”
I’m sure anyone who reads this has thought it at one point or another in your life. Some of you may be thinking it right now. It wasn’t that long ago I thought it myself. As much as I feel I’ve accomplished that thought will still creep into my mind occasionally. So how do you get back on track? I didn’t have to worry about finding a way because the way found me…at a birthday party.
“Wait. A birthday party? You lost me, dude.”
Stay with me. I promise you will understand. I was looking over posts, articles, and checking out Facebook and Twitter. There were so many people being recognized and praised for various things. Many of my fitness friends were posting comments from their fans and others were given awards for contributions. It bothered me that I hadn’t reached that level I was hoping to reach yet in my work as a child advocate nor as a member of the bodybuilding and fitness industry. My stepson had been invited to a birthday party and it was at a local bowling alley so I logged off and just figured I would think about it later.
We get to the party and there is a bar next door. I look in and I saw a very familiar sight. There was a table and a chair at the entrance. No one was there so I walked in and just sat down for a minute. I knew that table and chair well because every Friday and Saturday night I would sit there as the bouncer for that bar.
I had actually worked at two bars over two years as a bouncer. Normally it was busy but on nights it wasn’t I would get deep in thoughts – thoughts about making it in the bodybuilding industry I was a big fan of. I thought about someday not having to work in that bar anymore and doing something that would make a difference to others. I missed working with my friends in the domestic violence movement and wanted to get back to doing something more meaningful to me. In those days the bouncer job was all I had. It didn’t make me much money, I drove a beat up car, and it was a horrible way to spend weekends to be honest. I was dealing with people who were drunk, wanting to fight, and pretending to be my friend so they can get without an ID or sneak out an extra drink. Then they would try to stay after last call. It is not something I recommend to anyone looking for a good time. Sometimes I wouldn’t get home until after 4 AM. It bothered me to the point that I got very stressed out and wasn’t a nice person by the end of the night – and sometimes long after that. The only things that kept me going were the fact I needed the money and the thought that someday things would be better.
After a minute or so of my journey down memory lane, I went back out to the bowling center and watched my stepson bowl with his buddies. Throughout the party I kept thinking about those days at the bar – and how motivated I was to do what I’m doing now. That was when it hit me. I’m doing everything that I set out to do when I would sit at that table for hours on end into the night wondering when or if I would be successful reaching my goals. Then I asked myself a question. If I was able to go to my old self sitting at the table and tell me that a few years from now that I would be doing everything I’m blessed to be doing now, would I be satisfied with it? That answer was a resounding yes.
After a couple of hours we left the party and came back home. I got back on the computer and started looking over Facebook and Twitter again. This time I felt differently than before I left my computer chair because I remembered another chair I used to sit on.
“Thanks for story time, Roger, now how is this supposed to help me?”
Good question. Here is the answer. If you get frustrated at where you are with your goals then try this experiment. Think back to the very first day you ever walked into a gym or touched a weight. Don’t just give it a passing thought. Close your eyes and visualize yourself back then. Now imagine that the present-day you gets to go back in time and tell the old you everything you’ve accomplished since that day. Think about how far you have come since you were that person you’re thinking about. Would you be glad or upset to hear it? If you would be glad then take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come and let that serve as inspiration to keep going forward.
If you would be upset then make today the day it changes. Make this moment “the moment” that you go forward and work to do everything you want to do. No one reaches their goals by waiting so start now and begin your journey to becoming a person or athlete you want to be.
About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.
Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.