One Significant Experience – Lifting Weights, Becoming a Man, Changing Who I Am
Hello guys. This is an essay I wrote about one significant experience I had after my father passed away. I turned to lifting weights and found out that weightlifting changed my life. I hope this story is both entertaining and inspirational. Enjoy!
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Many fathers give their children a pat on the back when they graduate high school, but nothing like this will ever happen for me. Like many children, I live in a single-parent household – my father passed away from lung cancer two years ago. He will never be able to teach me to become a man, carry myself as a man, or shoulder the responsibilities of a man. Instead, I’m gradually teaching myself.
I started this process by taking up weightlifting. My naivety in my very first workout was evident – I attempted to press 95 pounds by myself as I felt great shame and reluctance to ask someone else to spot me. This was a bad idea, as evidenced by the barbell soon pinned on my chest on the bench press. Luckily, a kind woman nearby helped me lift the weight off my chest. From this, I learned to suppress my ego and acknowledge my limits by asking for help when I needed it. After several more workouts, I noticed an enormous bodybuilder and his group of friends. Although the bodybuilder lifted weights twice as heavy as his friends did, they never hesitated to help and support one another. Nearly everyone else at the gym was just as supportive, teaching me that although I may not always be the best, I can accept that fact and strive to better. As I made new friends and, hence, workout partners, I learned the importance of reliability. One partner constantly failed to be punctual for the agreed training times, frustrating me and showing me the consequences of irresponsibility. Other partners kept me on track – I could easily deceive myself by being undependable, but forsaking others was much harder. These same friends inspired me; when I was unwilling to force myself to crank out another grueling repetition, they would motivate me by shouting encouragement and reminding me of my goal of gaining thirty pounds.
Thus, my body and mind grew stronger as I learned to push through fatigue by relying on my carnal hunger to improve. In three months, I gained 53 pounds and priceless wisdom. I perceived the payoff of hard work and raw dedication. This carried over to my life outside of the gym – I devoted myself to picking up my grades and carrying my family through these tough times by shouldering the responsibilities of a man in my father’s place. At school, I pushed through my mental roadblocks of thinking AP courses were too tough, ultimately lifting my GPA back to a 4.0+. At home, my efforts allowed me mother sufficient time to recover and regain her vitality.
Although it may seem strange, I am actually very lucky. My father has not left me much in the way of possessions, but he has left me with the richest inheritance. His passing has taught me to teach myself. While he was alive, my father always believed in me. Now, I can confidently prove that his energy was not wasted.