Exercise and fitness are a huge part of my life.  The health benefits are great, but the resulting quality time with my wife and friends is even more valuable.

I became serious about improving my physical health in 2014 and am now in the best shape of my life.  Working with a personal trainer has been a key to my success.  It was an incredible stroke of luck to find someone who has helped me grow in strength and ability beyond anything ever imagined possible.  Also, much more than strength and ability grew.  The guy who started off as my trainer has become one of my best friends.  Nothing could have been better – health and muscle gains all while hanging out with my buddy.

My workout routine became an obsession.  Just working out with a trainer was not enough.  At one point I was in the gym seven days a week, and if a workout was missed, it made me cranky.  Continuing at that level of demand on my body was not sustainable.  Still, I pushed forward until the inevitable happened.  A few minor injuries and setbacks occurred, and my body needed rest.

I began to fear all of my gains would be lost.  Backing off on the intensity of the routine would certainly mean a loss of what I had worked so hard to achieve.  Those feelings were channeled into this poem, and that seemed to be the end of the story.  But something deeper existed in the meaning.  It was not just the loss of muscle and physical strength I feared.

A priceless friendship had grown from what started as a trainer-client relationship, and although it sounds ridiculous to state it now, a threat to sustaining the insane gym routine translated into a threat to the friendship.  My narrow mind was equating one with the other.  I was selling my friend and the friendship short.

In no way was this conclusion reached on my own.  That was achieved by talking about what was in my head with my trainer friend – a continuing key to my personal success both in and out of the gym.

I have changed my workout routine, finding new ways to stay active, being smarter about time in the gym and resting.  Nothing has been lost and the truly important thing has continued to grow – the prized friendship is worth more than ever before.


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