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We throw around the word love quite a bit.  Some people “love” their new shoes or “love” a specific restaurant.  We also have sources of love that are relational and require some give and take.  We can “love” our spouse or “love” our children.  The former type of love with material things doesn’t have much to offer other than satisfying an immediate need.  They aren’t going to change who you are or make you much of a better person.  

The best types and forms of love will challenge you and can help mold who you are as an individual.

I have a specific type of love for my wife and for my sons that can’t be replaced by any materialistic thing.  To me there is another thing that I absolutely love, and personally I don’t believe it can be replaced either. This doesn’t mean it is my highest priority, but rather nothing can give me what it does.   I love training hard in my workouts day in and day out, week in and week out, and year in and year out.  I am not a seasonal exerciser.  This is part of my being and something I honestly would be lost without.  Some of you get this, some of you are starting to get this, and some of you will never have a clue.  Strength and conditioning training isn’t for everyone!

In high school, I was naturally strong.  I had great mentors and strength coaches at a young level and learned a lot from them. Give credit where it is due.  Jason Davidson and David Jackson pushed me to reach my potential and coached me to understand I could constantly get better. In all honesty, it started to become obsessive.  All I wanted to do was workout.  When I was in class I wanted to work out, when I was at home I wanted to work out, and when I was done working out I just wanted to work out again.   For me my relationship with training isn’t forced.  I have never needed to do this due to losing weight or changing my lifestyle so I could survive.  I choose to spend 1 to 1.5 hours multiple times a week where I test myself.  This is even more important to me now that my athletic career is over. In sports, you can go out and compete every week and see if you are improving and getting better. Once your athletic career is done many are never able to relive that.  I can still compete with myself every single time I touch a barbell, get on a rower, or run sprints though. I can get better. I can get stronger. I can get faster.  I can constantly be a better version of myself!

I like to be strong.

I think if compared to men from 50-60 years ago, they would walk all over us when it comes to the strength department. Getting winded moving furniture or having to carry a bag of dog food should be a pretty blatant sign that your strength is not where it is designed to be.  We should be strong and efficient.  It has nothing to do with masculinity or “being a man,” but more about being useful within our own bodies from day to day. I see too many individuals who can barely hold their own bodies up straight, and not because they don’t want to, but because they are WEAK! This is one thing that the barbell gives back to me.  

I like to be challenged.

Some people don’t.  I do.  When I lift 600 lbs. off the floor on a deadlift there is a huge sense of accomplishment in that because I have trained for it.  If everything was easy, there would never be the satisfaction of accomplishment for hard work.  This makes me mentally stronger as well.  A lot of life’s nuances just pass by because they aren’t that big of a deal when you have mentally prepared yourself to train.  I like to see my work pay off.  The harder you train the more you can handle if recovery and other things are in order.  This is another thing that the barbell gives back to me.  

I want to be a leader.

Too many kids look up to worthless athletes whose biggest concern is how many Instagram followers they have and if their voice is heard on social media.  Too many parents sit on the sideline of their kid’s lives and choose not to invest in them because they are too tired, too unmotivated, or too sick!  We have become a generation of self-seekers looking for instant gratification.  I may be addicted to lifting weights, and I can handle that criticism.  I am focusing on the end game by taking care of my body now, so it can take care of me when I am older.  Hopefully this trend will catch on.  This is another thing that the barbell gives me.  Hope for the future, especially our youth.  

Finally, I believe that with any relationship you only get what you put in to it.  

If you show up 1x a week and expect to see dramatic results in your training, it isn’t going to happen.  If you spend no time in a relationship investing in someone, it isn’t going to make it.  You choose how much you want to get out of this relationship by your commitment to it. Unfortunately, media, books, and self-proclaimed gurus will tell you differently.  Like 4 minute abs, or 5 minute abs, or any sort of pill that will magically get you results will all end the same; lots of early motivation with a lack of discipline and a lack of results.  I love that the barbell gives back to me what I give to it.  It doesn’t show me favoritism or hold my hand.  It expects me to work for it, and in return it will render some pretty nice results.   I do love my training sessions because I know what I am going to get out of them because I am invested in them.