Why Training Is So Important To Me
My Personal Journey Through Fitness and Strength
When we start out things are simple. Specifically, life is simple. We eat, we play, we sleep. And for what seems like a long time this cycle continues. That time eventually comes to a close for everyone. We grow up and reality sets in. It all starts to get more and more complicated. As the darker parts of life start to creep through the cracks in our lives we begin to bare the scars it so generously bestows upon on us. This is part of growing up, it’s an integral part of growing up. These moments of darkness help to shape the people we become. While going through struggle and turmoil is part of the process it doesn’t necessarily make it any less painful. We need ways of constructively combating these events that bring us pain. A way to help pick up the pieces in the wake of some traumatic event like a death of a loved one, getting fired, or going bankrupt. Even for things less traumatic like a fight with a friend or any combination of the daily struggles that we experience. For me, training is one of those outlets. It’s the thing that keeps me grounded and allows for decompression. Training and the continuing push to get better is what brought me into the coaching industry; even more importantly it’s why I’m here in the first place.
I have often told clients and athletes that lifting saved my life. I know that sounds hyperbolic and a little melodramatic, but it’s true. Early on in life I experienced a bout of depression. Not so different from what most people go through at one point or another in their life. It was high school; the typical age where most of us experience what seems like an early rendition of a midlife crisis. I hated school, hated being home, hated much of my non existent social life (even though that was self imposed.) All I cared about were sports and getting myself out of the area that I was forced to call home. Along with sports came the subsequent training. I lived for it, it was my escape from my own personal hell I had help create for myself. I had to train in order to compete and I had to compete in order to book my ticket out of hell.
Looking back one can realize how immature one is, especially in high school. Things are almost never as bad as they seem. Fortunately, I was able to find that home away from home I was so desperate to find. That place was Ithaca and Ithaca College. After two previous stops during my undergrad journey I found a home, made lifelong friends, and was able to compete in a sport. Life couldn’t get much better, I finally had everything I wanted. What I wasn’t ready for, however, was for it all to end.
To make a long story short after a disappointing end to my collegiate and ultimately my organized sporting career I gave up on training. There was nothing left to train for. Being an athlete defined much of who I was and now that was gone and I had to come to grips with that. And that’s when I felt the void begin to widen. Turns out the demons we carry never truly let go of us. They morph in order to strike again, sometimes harder than the first time they revealed themselves to us. Just in time, training came back to save the day. To help clear the skies darkened by the clouds of my past and present.
Why Am I Telling You This?
I tell you this not to convince you that training and physical exercise will cure all the things life will throw at you. I certainly hope that this doesn’t come off as some sort of cheesy melodrama either. The reason I tell you this is in hopes that perhaps you can find that thing that helps pull you out of the muck. We all must tread through the sludge that life flings in our direction in hopes to one day burry us. But like I said before, knowing this doesn’t make it any less difficult. For me, training and competing is that sturdy rope that helps pull me out. So, I tell you this to encourage you to find that rope, to find that outlet that helps you let go, if only for a second, life’s hardships. Training saved my life in more ways than one. Find that saving grace, make the rest of your life the best of your life.
Written by Tyler Curtis
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at G-Strength
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist