ENTRY XX: February xx, 2014
I’ve never been the type to consciously not tell people things. If I felt a certain way about something, good or bad, I’d share it. But over the years, and some of people I’ve experienced, and the things they’ve said and done have made me think twice.
Looking back, I remember when I first started getting into lifting, mid-late teens. I remember catching derogatory comments from my “friends.” Unbeknown to them, I’d brush it off, no matter how much it bothered me, and would avoid speaking about fitness stuff so it wouldn’t come up. That’s a pretty sad thing if you think about it, I was unable to be my own person around people that were my friends. But, whatever. I continued to do as I do. I also suppose this is why I keep things to myself, and don’t disclose as much.
Back when my body started to really take form, maybe early-mid 20s, people treated me differently. I can remember one distinct experience where a couple people were laughing at me, and it was actually because how muscular I was. For a while I never liked going to the beach with my shirt off. It was as I was a freak show. Talk about the complete opposite of being insecure about being out of shape.
Then there were other groups of people that always wanted to go out and party. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly done my fair share of drinking, but there were periods of time when I was on a serious clean streak and really was determined to get my body to an incredible place. Again, I can specifically remember people saying, “oh it’s one beer, oh it’s one piece of pizza.” Sure, I get that. But to me I thought, ‘you put that in your body. I’m on a mission and I’ll make my own decisions.’
Now in my late 20s, I’ve reflected quite a bit on my career (and fight) in fitness, and some of the people who have been around me throughout it. There’s been many kinks and holes in the support system. Areas to where negativity have been able to flow in, influence my decisions, toy with my thought process, and bang up my confidence. More than ever, I now truly understand what I support system actually is, and what it entails. Even though it may sound jaded and negative, I knew that if I openly announced my injury that I would get a slew of questions. And I knew the mental battle within myself was going to be hard enough. I didn’t need these outside contributors:
“Oh man, how are you going to workout?”
“What are you going to do if you get fat?”
“Oh, it’s a several month recovery period, wow, that’s a long time”
“Oh, you won’t be able to surf, huh?”
“Oh, this must have been from all that lifting you did, see it’s not that good for you.”
Those are just examples of statements and questions I knew I would get because I’ve gotten similar crap before.
The road I chose was to go quietly. I carefully chose my surgery date to fall on a Friday, and would do it the week of Christmas and take that time off until the new year. That plan gave me enough time to get cut, go through the hellish first week, and recover for another before heading back into the office. I was hoping to get back into the office without a sling, but that wasn’t entirely possible.
People underestimate the power of words, and the power of influence of the people around them. And it took me a long time to figure that out. It sucks that my inner circle continues to grow tighter and tighter. But the less outside influence, the less comments from the peanut gallery, the more I could focus on the positive, stay laser focused on my aspirations, and get myself back into peak conditioning.