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A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

This past weekend my son Justin graduated from high school. I heard many parents, faculty and graduates describe the event as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.” That phrase stuck in my head like the cliché that it is. We graduate from high school only once in our lives, but I started to think that every day every experience is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Most situations aren’t absolutes the way graduations and births are, but the reality is that every experience happens only once in exactly the same way. Anyone who has more than one child realizes that while they were all born, each birth was a different experience for us.

I’ve always been an early riser—I enjoy experiencing the sunrise every time. I find that the rising sun feeds my enthusiasm for the day and a sense of wonder at the magic of life. After witnessing thousands of sunrises and sunsets, I understand that the emotional content and experience are always different. “We see
the world not as it is but as we are”—I don’t know who originally said that, but it works for me. My dad was one who always relished the early-morning hours. He’d say, “Even if you don’t have anything to do, get an early start.” He always had something to do.

It’s all really a corollary to Arnold’s saying, “Everywhere I go I have a good time.” You have a good time by living in the moment, enjoying the uniqueness of the situation. Have you noticed that every workout is different? In the gym I’ve heard people say that it was a “great workout,” “bad workout” and so on. How do you measure it? Who’s responsible for the good and the bad? I never heard Arnold say negative things about his workout because he understood that he made it what it was and that every workout is different.

Starting a workout is “good”; missing a workout is “bad.” Your workout has the potential to transform your day, and if you appreciate it for what it is, you’ll be rewarded with not only strength and muscle but also a sense of what an amazing machine the human body is.

IRON MAN’s founder, Peary Rader, was fond of saying that those of us who work out with weights are different. The difference was far more than just greater strength and muscle—it included the way we experience life. No study of anatomy or kinesiology can convey the feeling of your muscles at work. Only a workout can. That’s part of the magic. Every workout is a once-in-a-lifetime event; enjoy it. IM

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