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Why Do We Do This To Ourselves?

By Justin Sorbo

In 8th grade, a boy on the football team commented on my small arms. Everyone laughed. I was embarrassed; enraged. I’d show them.

And so it began out of insecurity and spite.

22 years of walking into a room and moving some iron. Lifting, running, sweating, eating, sleeping, analysis. Obsession.

At 33 years old, my priorities have changed, but I’m still going strong. I’m getting married in a few weeks, and my need for social approval is quite a bit lower than when I was 13.

What is it that keeps me going? Why do I keep showing up?

In order to live, man must feel in control of his own destiny. Gravitational pull toward death and stillness infects the mind as the years march on. Every squat, run, and stretch is a little middle finger to the feeling that we’re helpless - doomed to accept the fate of whatever life throws at us.

The internal locus of control is the reason to exercise. Bigger muscles, a lower resting heart rate, and a leaner body are just outputs. It’s the input that keeps us going: the act of moving our bodies despite everything else in our lives that could drag us into the abyss.

When the novice experiences those first endorphins, that first feeling of accomplishment, the floodgates open. This is one of my favorite parts of being a trainer.

If you’re struggling to get back into a routine, write down how you feel before and after you exercise. Put it on your refrigerator or somewhere you can see it. After a few days off, it’s easy to forget.

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