Your heart rate is redlined. You can't breathe. Every part of your body and your mind is telling you to stop. Telling you that you can't do one more rep. Telling you that you can't stand that weight up. Telling you to give up. We've all been there - and we've all made the decision to fight that feeling and pick that bar up. To fight that sticking point and stand the weight up.
This is how we must approach life. We all encounter loss. We all must deal with tragedy. We all get injured - physically, mentally or emotionally - if it hasn't happened to you, you are lucky - but it will. When you come upon these dark days - you aren't special. Many have been there before you. Some gave up, some fought back. I am here to tell you: fight back.
In the past I have dealt with emotional or mental blows by becoming extremely self-destructive. Drowning my sorrows in a bottle - masking my problems with copious amounts of drugs - or grasping at the momentary distraction that random partners can provide. None of these is a solution that works. None of these is the equivalent of picking the bar up and getting back to work.
Picking the bar up is refusing to let the universe beat you down. Refusing to walk away from the challenge placed in your path. Rise up and meet it - with everything you have. It is hard, I know. I have turned my back on challenges many times - but here's the thing - turning your back doesn't make it go away. It is still there - and must be dealt with at some point. Taking another sip of whiskey, another pill, another line, another partner - only makes this monster stronger. Meeting it head-on immediately - is the surest path to victory.
How do you do this when the wind has been taken out of your sails? When the sun doesn't shine as bright, when music you once loved sounds like shit or reminds you of the pain? When what once drove you - now weighs you down? You have to grind. It isn't easy - but you have to make the decisions that deep down you know are the best, despite what your damaged emotional state may be making you feel. You have to fight back.
My hope in writing this is not for people to feel sorry for me - it is to provide motivation to those who are out there dealing with their own problems. I know how hard it is to deal with these things alone. You need people in your life who understand exactly what it is you are going through. I have been lucky enough to have a small group of people like that who stood up and lent me their ear. Who called to check in on me, who shared their stories with me. You know who you are - and I will never forget what you did for me.
If this article hits home for you - I am sorry you are going through a tough time in your life, but I am here - with you - ready to scream in your ear to pick that fucking bar up and do one more rep. To stand toe-to-toe with that monster and fight back. I may know your name, I may have met you before, I may have no idea who you are - but I am here, next to you, pulling for you.
Go outside today. Talk to a friend. Reach out to someone you haven't spoken with in a while. Go to the gym. Share this article and let everyone know you refuse to back down.