When I show up at the gym, it is to work. I sweat. I struggle. I build. I overcome. I triumph.
While you are giggling, while you are primping your ponytail, while you are checking out your outfit in the mirror, I’ve already won.
I walked a dozen circles around you the minute you walked in. I ate you for breakfast. By the time you got here, I’ve already done at least one full workout today, if not two. By the time you finally decided to shut up and pretend to work (aka walking through the movements), I’ve already recognized your weaknesses. I ate them for my second breakfast.
In the first couple minutes of my entrance into the building, I’ve already assessed who is who, where everyone is, what they are doing and the lack thereof. I see you and your friends eyeing me. Whether or not the giggles are intended for me or not, I could care less. I am here for me. I am here to get better at what I came here to do.
The stresses of life, I turn into fuel, I amp up my music, I zone in, and I begin pushing the limits for my day.
I dare life to test me.
I challenge life to throw whatever it wants my way, for I gladly accept the opportunity to unleash the powerhouse within.
I look for these opportunities with eagerness, and when I step up to the line and enter the battle zone, I am humble, for I know there is so much more for me to learn.
As I work out, I pay attention to the details, I read between the lines. As I observe, I note who is truly busting their ass off. From the other few like myself, who live to be challenged and to rise above, to those who got so lost in life that they are desperate to change who they are and their bodies – they have to. For them there is no turning back, they have to change their lives or die trying.
And then there is the herd of sheep, the wannabes, the walkers, the talkers, the selfie takers, the yoga posers, the beefcakes. Not that lifting and yoga are not great for the mind and body, it’s the personas that often give these forms of exercise a bad reputation.
This lost and lazy tribe of sheep, think and believe they are working hard and doing great. They haven’t seen what hard work is. They don’t know what pushing limits are. And sadly, many instructors do not understand the concept of what is to work the mind and body either.
To be a beast, one must often work alone, doing so allows the eye to see what others are really up to, and whether those methods are getting them anywhere (they are not going anywhere). It is not lonely to be a beast. You are at the gym to work, not socialize. A lion can learn so much from doing their own thing while observing the sheep.
While I am sharpening my claws, planning strategy, and getting quicker, stronger, and more agile, you are still trying to be able to touch your toes and worrying about how you look. You will never get anywhere. In five years, I will be leading the pack, running the gym, making life happen. You will still be trying to touch your toes and worrying about how you look – if you’ve managed to become the one of the few sheep that has figured out how to stick it out.
For a lion to participate in a group fitness class, is done so only to put in the hours, perhaps in spinning, or to build training time to later instruct. The thing is, lions have a difficult time finding classes to join in which they too will actually be challenged. Lions often are in better shape than the instructors, and simply dropping into the class for the first time, can outperform the rest of the class with gentle ease.
It’s not about showing others up.
It’s about showing others that there is more to be done. That the level of expectation and excellence must be raised.
The thing about being a beast, we often train alone or with a selected few, but when we meet up, you hear our roar. We are the ones climbing mountains, running endurance events, soaring in the air doing triple flips on our snowboards, surfing the thirty foot waves and making the impossible possible. When we arrive to perform, it makes impact. Perfectly executed impact.
In becoming a beast you learn to love the empty roads, the quiet gym. For every day of opportunity the sheep decides to miss out on, you the lion are there, working hard. In time, the sheep know, you are not a wolf among them, you are a lion – you are the beast. The one to keep an eye, the one to learn from. The one to step aside for, the one who will walk through insecurities and fear and rise above.
I respect you. You do what you want to do. I go my way. You go yours. In the end, I know who I am, I know where I am going. Whether it is my first, second or third workout for the day, I know I am another big step closer to becoming the person that my dreams will require me to be.
Because I worked so damn hard today, I don’t think twice about what I eat. I eat wisely, daily proteins, carbs, and fruits and veggies. When I get to this time of day, I get to eat whatever I want, it won’t matter. Two hours from now my body will have burned it off and my stomach will growl. Because I’m a lion, a beast, I have to make it a point to eat more, to refuel and store up enough energy for tomorrow.
I’m soaked in sweat. My muscles are shaky. My gait is both staggered and sauntering. I walk out satisfied. Smacking my lips in sheer bliss, for I entered wise, strong, and capable, and I’ve left wiser, stronger, and ready for anything.
In case you are one of the sheep that randomly appears at the gym – today you missed me. Don’t worry, I’ll be there again tomorrow. And when you look at me and wonder, in awe, with a bit of a glare, wondering how, it’s because you are a sheep and I am a lion, I am a beast.
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