I used to be a skinny kid. I still am, but slightly less so now. I was on the varsity cross country team for my high school, running 12 miles a day just to stay in shape. By the time I finished up with cross-country, I was exactly 100 pounds and stick-thin. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being skinnier than most (all body types are great, body positivity y’all!), I had aspirations of being absolutely yoked. I always dreamt of being ripped and massive like the movie stars and athletes I watched on T.V. With no more commitments to being a part of my high school running team, I got a membership to 24-hour fitness and it was the most terrifying experience of my life.
Entering a gym for the first time, you’re immediately greeted by an array of equipment you have no idea how to use and a brigade of bodybuilders that are shredded to the gills. To tiny small boy Jason, I was scared out of my mind and wanted my momma to pick me up. While the physical aspects of working out is obviously important, the mental aspect of it is completely understated. How are you supposed to get a good workout in when you feel like you don’t belong? How am I supposed to get the body that I want when I’m so far behind everybody else? The struggle I had in my mind was so much stronger than the struggle I had against any of the weights in the gym.
What helped me to get out of that mindset was realizing that every single person in the gym is there because they don’t have the body that they want. People go to the gym so they can self-improve, it’s not like people buy a gym membership just to throw peanuts at you for not being buff enough. Nobody is in the gym to judge you, no matter how big or small they are. In fact, I found out that most shredded dudes in the gym are usually the kindest and happiest to help you out and give you advice (they’re like big, jacked teddy bears). While I still have a long way to go on my personal fitness journey, I’m just glad I can walk into the gym confidently even as a puny little man. I hope more people in Circle K are willing to take that leap to start their own fitness journey and get big and buff too.