I've been lifting now seriously for 10 years. It's hard to believe it's been that long, yet so much has happened along the way. I can easily say that lifting in the gym is one of my favorite passions. Easily. It's the one thing I do for myself. It's when I can get away and work on me. I love setting goals and working toward them. I also love seeing how over time my body has changed and continued to improve. It's by no means been a simple process. I didn't develop a ton of muscle overnight. There are a lucky few who do (it seems like), but not most. Developing muscle takes time, and staying relatively "lean" (for back of a better word) takes discipline.
We are all faced with obstacles. I've certainly had mine - many. But there's one in particular I was thinking back on the other day. It wasn't long into my journey when a trainer raised my attention to all my "muscle imbalances". Some of them being my shoulders being slightly over developed in the front pulling everything forward. Another imbalance being my legs and hips being overly tight from all the running I was doing at the time which resulted in underdeveloped glutes. Still to this day I struggle with both. But at the time I was still so new to bodybuilding and fitness in general that I really let it get to me. The truth hurt. I was already working so hard at the time that I felt like it was such a slap in the face. I felt discouraged. Meanwhile I had some friends who were newer to the sport and hadn't "over developed" anything, so they were in a way better off than I was. I remember thinking on how if I could only undo what I'd already done. Start from scratch. Start fresh. Focus on primarily working my mid and rear delts. Focus on more stretching. Run less. Whatever. So many what-ifs and should-haves went through my mind. I couldn't stop thinking about how I felt I'd ruined my own potential by doing too many things incorrectly at first. And even though I was healthy and fit, I was ashamed and embarrassed by my "imbalanced" body.
It was then that I wanted to give up. I was so frustrated with my own body. When I am passionate about something I tend to go after it full throttle. There's no halfway. I'm either in or I'm out. When I first started lifting I found I loved it so much that I was all in. Same with running actually. There was no turning back. I loved to lift, so I was consistent, lifted heavy, and pushed myself. When that trainer pointed out my "imbalances" I started to question if everything I'd done had been to my demise because I had basically brought the imbalances on myself.
I wanted to give up but didn't.
And I'm glad I didn't. It's now been 10 years, and I still love it just as much. I still lift just as heavy. I still train just as hard. I'm still just as committed as I ever have been.
And I still have the imbalances that I always have. They might not be as severe because boy have I worked at improving them, but I have them. Back then I was ashamed of them. And even though I was fit, I was in a way ashamed of my newer fit but imbalanced body. Now? I embrace them. My shoulders could still be rounder. My glutes could still be fuller. But they are me. They are where I'm at during my ever ongoing journey. And I'm not ashamed at all. I am proud of the body I have because I know how much time, effort, sweat, and at time tears it's taken me just to get where I am now. And I wouldn't give that up.
Bottom line? Do it for you. To an extent don't listen to others. Take what they say with a grain of salt. There's a lot of wisdom to be learned from those who know more, but don't let it ever stop you from your dreams, from your goals, and from what you love to do. It shouldn't. It's easy to get caught up in emotion. Sometime the truth hurts. Sometimes it's not even truth at all. But even if it is, there's no reason why it should keep you from doing what you love to do.