It’s hard for me to talk about fitness without going right into spirituality. I was thinking about writing about the great work that I’ve done at the gym, or the fact that I feel healthier since I gave up alcohol, but when looking back at all the changes I’ve made it comes down to the mindset change. I decided that I wanted to be better, I wanted to strive for more in my life, and I wanted to do something that really mattered. That simply flip of the switch in my head led to the healthy person who is sitting behind his tablet typing away.
One of the most important things my friend Michael has ever told me was that what we see in the word is a reflection of ourselves. At the base level, I instantly understood what he meant. I had just been talking about someone I spent a long time disliking. I had dreams about confronting this person, and I would wake up completely fearful and angry because he’d imported himself into my dreams. When I described this person to Michael, he looked at me with sincerity in his eyes and asked. “What don’t you like about him?” I responded just as easily with, “He’s selfish. He’s self-centered. He’s abusive. He’s two-faced.” And without missing a beat, Michael said. “You’re selfish, self-centered, abusive, and two-faced.” He went on to explain that what you see in people is what you see reflecting backwards.
It wasn’t immediate that I began to fully understand that. I had to realize exactly what I was reflecting out in the world, both the positive and the negative. Now, I had already started a fitness journey at this time. I had started working out three to four times a week. My current friends group had already started to form around me, but there was still some distance. I was way too close to alcohol and putting my priorities in the wrong place. That slowly began to change.
The closer I got to my friends, the healthier I began to be. I continued working out, but alcohol began to take a backseat until I eventually gave it up almost completely. The negative influences in my life began to fade as my positivity and optimism for a future began to take hold. I began to know what I wanted and what I needed to thrive. I changed my relationship with money. The biggest change was my relationship to myself.
I started pushing myself. I got a gym membership to a gym that was much more expensive, and realized I could easily afford it. The fact I put more money into fitness meant I needed to put a little more seriousness and time into it. I wanted to write about queer culture. My friends and I began to build a queer culture blog for New Jersey. I wanted to help with Hudson Pride, and now find myself throwing events and helping wherever they need me. Somewhere along the way, I sat back and realized I began to living the life and being the person that I always wanted to be. And it all started with changing my relationship with myself.
A lot of factors went into this. I had a great group of supportive friends. I hit a low point. I needed to do something that made me feel like I was accomplishing something. I needed to love the work I put out into the world. I needed to find love for myself. I needed little pushes all along the way to find the right path to lead me to this realization, but I was open to them and didn’t resist this call to my true self. Honestly, I’m still growing and evolving, and even in fitness, I have more goals to accomplish. I know I’m on the right path, physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially. I’m exactly where I need to be right now, and that’s amazing.