Physical Fitness: A Working Story

By Keegan Leery

My name is Keegan. I’m a junior at EGHS and I’m starting this Physical Fitness Column to pass on knowledge and stories to the Spectrum readers. I have four years of experience working out and have studied and perfected most exercises.

Working out has changed my life. On the surface, it changed me from a skinny freshman to a not as skinny junior. But on the inside, it did so much more. It made me feel good about myself, something that has been hard to come by my whole life. I had a newfound confidence that I was not expecting. For the first time I felt strong enough to be myself. I wouldn’t feel scared anymore, and that still applies today. Now I never have to be intimidated by my peers. Working out gave me, a nervous and shy person, the strength to come out of my shell and make my way in the world. I don’t have to duck and cover like Bert the turtle. I truly feel like lifting gave me an opportunity to be myself in all aspects of my life.

Beyond my confidence, working out gave me a constructive outlet. Nothing relieves stress like working out. I have been using working out as a form of therapy for around 2 years. Lifting provides an outlet for an anger or aggression I have, which is particularly helpful after football ends. Any frustrations I have I put towards my workouts, and if you do it right, you come out of your workouts feeling much better. The stress that builds up throughout a school day can be channeled into a great lift. Working out and generally staying active is something that really helped me cope with my sister leaving for college this year. I had been feeling really lonely and sad throughout the fall, and football and lifting helped me through it. Working out helps focus and control pain. It can change all the negative feelings that can bottle up inside anyone, into fuel for self improvement. Lifting clearly improves strength, but also provides an unique outlet.

There are a lot of different views on weightlifting. It’s definitely not for everyone, and that’s respectable. The thing about weightlifting is that a lot of people shy away from the work it entails. Anyone thinking about weightlifting will imagine themselves moving major weight. But the great lifters understand the gradual process that lifting demands. No one wants to be the skinny guy in the gym who is lifting sticks. A lot of people at the gym will judge that person. But many forget that at some point, they too were just like that. Debatably, the hardest part about getting strong are those first months, when you go into the gym and pick up sticks. Most won’t keep working to get to the same level as the strongest lifters. They get discouraged at how far there is to go to get where they want to be. But that is exactly what lifting is about. The journey. Weightlifting is a long and winding road. It has many hills, valleys, and different turns. But the road never ends. Your work is never done. Unless you love running down that road, you will never love or understand weightlifting.

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