Monday, March 10, 2014

I Have Accepted That I Can't Be Ronnie Coleman


   It was circa 2000ish, Empire Fitness was still a thriving gym in southwest Brooklyn, NY. It was still socially acceptable to listen to Matchbox 20 and Creed, we had let our fears go as Y2k ended up being total bullshit. Myself and the Captain Power were in our early twenties or late teens, and I probably hadn't even benched 315 yet... And Ronnie Coleman was winning yet another Olympia. I saw him pose unofficially at the Night of Champions in NYC at some point around then. He was guest posing, it was the only time as a heterosexual that I recall cheering for another heterosexual man to take his shirt off. It was at that point that I realized at 19 years old my sole purpose in life was to be the next Ronnie Coleman!!! Cut to 2014...

    I'm 6'0, 207 pounds now... Nowhere near Ronnie's pre-competition physique of around 297lbs. I don't have anywhere near his bench, his dead lift, or his squat. I'm pretty confident to say he probably can still do double than me on each of those lifts, and he's 49 vs me at 32. That being said, somewhere between my teens and my 20's I accepted that I was likely not going to be the next Ronnie Coleman. But you know what? Who gives a shit!? A friend of mine that doesn't work out, doesn't train, doesn't eat good, and notably never has, recently had a conversation with me and my friends that do train... He said, "Well lets face it, you guys aren't that big, you're not gonna be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, so what's the point in working out?" I don't know! You're not going to be the next Einstein so why go to school? You're not gonna be the next Jordan so why play basketball? You're not gonna be the next Led Zeppelin so why play guitar? This was by far one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.


     It's not about being the best in the world, as Ronnie and Arnold both were respectively, it's about being the best that YOU can be, and enjoying it every step of the way. Digging the deepest into what you got and bringing it out at full force. I was told when I start lifting that the most I would ever bench was 225 for 1 rep. One rep!!! I regularly now press it for more than 20 with perfect form. I know now that 365 is in my grasp. I've already hit that on dead lift, and will hit it on both bench press and squat unless I die in a burning blaze at work. And if for some reason I don't, I still love the gym, and the benefits of that are not even measurable by Ronnie's 8 Olympia titles. None of these guys below had a chance at Ronnie's 800 lb squat, did they give up?



     Would I love to be Ronnie, of course! Who wouldn't!? But in those teenage years of striving to be the next Ronnie Coleman and failing at it, the gym brought me things I would have never dreamed of. Some point in my training one of my training partners who knew I was just bartending looking for another gig, talked me into taking the EMT course, this spiraled into a job in the police department (note Ronnie was a cop too), becoming a firefighter, becoming a personal trainer and eventually starting my own personal training business, this blog, and training around the whole damn world with other lifting enthusiasts, none of us being Ronnie Coleman, but all looking up to what he represented to us.

     I'm never going to squat 800 pounds, but each time I load an additional plate on the squat rack I have no problem saying to myself... "YEAH BUDDY LIGHT WEIGHT!" It's pretty likely that if you are reading this you will not be the next Arnold or the next Ronnie, but if you can be the damn best inside of you, Ronnie and Arnold I'm sure would both be proud!
    


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This article is solely opinion of the author and written for entertainment purposes only.
Consult a doctor or medical professional before beginning any fitness, diet, or weight training program.

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