On Personal Growth, The Gym, and Taking Orders

I’ve mentioned before that I believe a man, and especially a boy, must continually work to improve himself and grow. Over the last couple of years, my two key areas of growth have been in my submission (however slow that process), and fitness. For the former, I might have more updates in the new year, but I won’t get ahead of myself now. But for the latter, I’m happy to report my ass is now being handed to me on a regular basis.

I made a lot of progress toward my fitness goals over the last couple of years, especially in 2012. But no man is an island, and to reach our goals we almost always need a guide, a master or a mentor. I could only get so far on my own. I finally had to bite the bullet and submit to a personal trainer’s sadism.

We have a training gym here in Denver that emphasizes accountability and includes nutritionists with their fees. So I get a crazy personal trainer and a sage nutritionist on this journey, and every day I have to submit a report of what I’ve eaten/exercised that day. If I don’t, they start harassing me.

And then of course there are the actual sessions – 3 times a week I go in for a 7am, vomit-inducing, gut-wrenching, downright evil workout. I’ve lived through two now–I just started this last week–and am dreading going back tomorrow morning. I’m sore, I’m tired, I’m still a little scared.

But I’m going to go back in the morning. Because it’s good for me. And there is definitely something about being ordered about in the gym that, aside from being a slight turn-on, is also highly effective for me. I do what I’m told when someone else is in charge, and my personal trainer is like my Dom, he says jump, and then he says jump higher, and I do. I do because I respond to that, it feels natural. When I’m in the gym, suffering, and my Dom/Trainer says to work harder, I do my best because my brain is wired to respond to orders. It’s a weird phenomenon.

That’s my news. I strive to serve, to learn, to grow; and I’ve embarked on a new phase of the journey that will take me, hopefully, to the next level. Next year will be about the next level, about working hard to find the people and resources that will make me a better man and a better boy. And I’ll probably be walking funny for a while …

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