During my time in recovery and working at i360, I’ve come to realize the importance of giving attention to the different facets of health. One area of my life that anyone could see was deficient was my physical health. My potential seemed poor at best after several fractures in my back at the age of eighteen and my prior lack of physical activity. Yet here I was with a newfound interest and motivation to experience new things in life. So I set out on a course to explore the world of fitness.
After a few years of being the lone wolf at a local corporate gym, trying my best to emulate what other people were doing around me, I started to really enjoy myself. Exercise offered me a mental oasis. It was a time for me to just “do” and not “think.” It was an opportunity for me to continue to push myself and grow in a new and exciting way. Yes, I was sore; and yes, doing the same old thing gets boring after a while. But I was sleeping better than I had in years. I was gaining confidence both inside and outside of the gym. And most of all I felt good! I know it sounds backwards, but experiencing these brief periods of discomfort, which most people refer to as “workouts,” seemed to give me a little more joy in my life; and then life took a turn as it often does.
One September night after leaving work, the front wheel of my motorcycle got wedged in a trolley track while I was traveling 30 miles an hour and I went face first over the handlebars, effectively totaling my bike and leaving me with injuries which would keep me from returning to weightlifting for well over a year. I truly believe that these types of events hold such purpose in our lives. My “therapy” had been taken from me, and yet again I learned to live without something that I loved, and found joy in other places in my life. This was, as painful as it may have been, a Godsend.
As I regained mobility and enough strength to return to my hobby of picking up heavy things, I met a guy named Kevin. Now this was no normal introduction as I walked up to my bearded, tattooed, across-the-street neighbor while he was throwing around large cement stones, and running down his driveway with what looked like a thousand pounds on his back. Needless to say I was intrigued… Kevin and I became fast friends and he shared his passion for the sport of Strongman with me, offering me instruction, a training program and free use of his equipment, day or night. After training for the last 10 months, I recently took second place in North Texas Strongest Man, and I plan on continuing to train and compete in the years to come as I have much to learn about the sport and myself.
I know that this will likely never become more than a hobby for me. When I look at this sport, it would be easy for me to get discouraged by comparing myself to the many out there who are bigger, stronger, or faster than I. But then that’s not what this is all about. For me, competing Strongman is about pushing myself to new limits. It is a tangible way for me to enjoy making progress and sharing my passion for fitness and fun with others around me. It is a place to enjoy community. It has taught me discipline, and respect. And it has given me the opportunity to dream… More than all of that is has taught me that with hard work one can do what they never thought possible. This is hope. And this hard work can be applied to my marriage, my recovery, my work, my friendships, my spiritual life; the list goes on.
I want to challenge all of you to get out there and try something new. Get out of your comfort zone and enjoy some being active in a new way. Do it alone or do it with someone you care about. You just might find open a new and exciting chapter in your life that you never would have imagined.
– David Mullins, Life Development