Years ago, I was the skinny boy from Haiti that always carried an asthma inhaler around. I can’t say I was ever ‘cool’ or that I fit in. If I stood out, maybe it was for the fact that I held leadership roles in the Marching Band, but definitely not because of how manly I looked, how strong I was, or for my athletic abilities. Most boys think that muscles and athletic ability makes you more of a man–neither of those were part of my past. Like most Ectomorphs, I had trouble keeping weight on my body–this has always been the case since Haiti and it continues to be true today.
In October of 2010, I walked in to a gym near my house and talked to the guy behind the counter about the possibility of joining the gym. My birthday was approaching in December and I wanted to “gift myself the body I always wanted.” He handed me a pass and told me to try it out for a week. I came back the next day, played around on one of the bench press machines for a while and then went home. I went back two days later and did the same exact thing.
On my birthday (and still skinny), I drove up to Jacksonville to visit family–so for New Year’s I resolved to get in the gym and start putting in work towards the body I wanted. By the time I got back home, I had already forgotten about that resolution. However, on January 19, 2011, I was on my way home from getting a haircut and as I passed by the same gym I went into months before, the resolution came back to me but with this voice–“If you’re gonna do it, do it now!” Without hesitation, I went into the gym and signed up for a membership. I went home, changed my clothes and drove back to the gym for what became my first “real” workout, which set me on path of self-discovery and ALL KINDS OF GAINS.
I will admit that for at least the first six months, I had no idea what I was doing in the gym. In fact, I didn’t really start to notice any progress until I started reading and watching videos about weightlifting and applying what I learned into my workouts. I started setting goals for myself and kept working hard every single day to reach them.
My first goal was to get from ~165 lbs. to 175 lbs.
I worked really hard, for a long time and finally got there. But when I did get there, I realized there was no fanfare. There was no big applause, nothing. I remember thinking, “Is this it?” So then I moved the goal post to 185 lbs. Did that. Okay–195 lbs. Did that too.
And this is where I am now; I’m at 197lbs and on my way to the next goal post.
It hasn’t been easy, but it has changed so much more about me than my physical appearance. I’m so glad I decided to do this and I refuse to stop.