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Rewards That Last a Lifetime

7309-pubSummer. How did it get here so fast, and why is it leaving so soon? We raced through June in anticipation of the longest daylight of the year, and all of a sudden the days are getting shorter—imperceptibly at first, but it is happening none the less. We don’t notice it because it goes slowly, and we are reveling in the wonderfulness of summer.

Still, it’s not really about the seasons—or the weather—but about what we do with the time. The seasons provide a constant reminder that things change, and time moves forward—no matter what.

A friend of mine was telling me about his brother, who always wanted to be a doctor but got caught up in life and never went to med school. His brother still wanted to be a doctor but now believed he was “too old.” He was in his 30s and was lamenting that he would be 40 before he became a doctor. My friend said something very profound to his brother: “When you are 40, you will or will not be a doctor, but you will still be 40.”

We choose how to spend, or invest, our time. The readers of IRON MAN have created a space in their 24-hour day for the workout. It is usually at the same time of day, every workout day. It is a habit created by repetition, a positive addiction. As one reader told me, “The workout holds my day together. It is when I feel the most alive.”

As we all learn, the workout is far more than just muscle and strength. People who don’t get the “why we do this” of training are the ones who have never experienced that feeling of being alive that it creates. Arnold would always talk about the “want” preceding the will to do it. The want is the cue that keeps us going back to the gym for that feeling.

The best thing about the feeling is that it is truly priceless—you can only earn it.

The workout shaped my life long before I became the publisher of IRON MAN magazine. My quest for muscle and strength saved me from many distractions, like smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, that ensnared many of my high school friends. It also helped me to choose friends who shared my quest. Most of my gym friends are still here, and most of my high school friends are gone.

The workout saved me from destructive habits and steered me to lifelong friendships. The barbell is a pretty amazing thing! The workout is not just a workout but a ritual that brings many rewards as time passes.  IM

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