Let Them Laugh
Jul 10, 2014
When I was in the 6th grade, after I got out of middle school, I would walk to the high school to lift weights. My middle school football coach said that if I wanted to play football for him, I was going to have to "hit the weight room." AND, my friend, Patrick, told me that girls liked guys that worked out. So, after school, I would walk across town to lift weights and get stronger.
Not too long in this iron journey, probably about a week, I had an "event." I was going to bench press - which consisted of my entire strength training regimen. No one told me what to do, only to hit the weight room. Anyway, I placed my plates on the bar to begin benching: one 5-pound plate on both sides of the bar, a whopping 55 pounds - that I struggled with. A rather large high schooler noticed me, started laughing, and he called all his friends over to watch me. Then he said, "Look at this guy! Hey man, I curl what you bench and I bench your mama's weight!" Then he and all his friends kept laughing and pointing. Oh, the memories...
You know what? That sucked. It was embarrassing. But, the next day I came back. For three years, I came back. When I was a freshman in high school, I weighed in at 120 pounds and I could bench over 240 pounds. In fact, I could press more than my encouraging "friend" who mocked me and taunted me. He was still in high school at that time, he was a senior.
Why am I telling you this story? Because if you have bought in to the idea that rolling around on the floor, rocking back and forth, and crawling like spiderman can make you as strong as a superhero, then some people may laugh and point at you. Others may ridicule you, maybe even in public on the internet. Let them.
Don't let other people's thoughts about you or what you're doing stop you from becoming something, or someone, that you know you should become. Some people will judge you to be strange simply because they don't understand you. Others may say harmful things about you because they are afraid of the freedom you are beginning to represent. Some will just stare in amazement and think silently to themselves, "That guy is crazy. He is crawling down the street. What a weirdo."
Let them think what they will, say what they'll say, laugh how they'll laugh. Love them and keep going about your business. There will always be people who don't understand you, or who don't like what you represent. There will always be people who want to armchair quarterback your life and your actions. But they are not you. They don't have your goals, your reasons, your hopes and your dreams. Therefore, they do not belong inside your head or inside your heart.
Crawling around like a cat or like Spider-man is not a traditional way of gaining strength. It is, however, perhaps the very best way to gain strength, but it does not follow the conventional way of thinking. It does not fit nicely inside the comfortable box of strength training. Crawling certainly does build strength though. The kind of strength that traditional strength training cannot even address. Crawling builds total, whole body strength: strong stabilizers, strong prime movers, strong brains, strong minds, and strong hearts. Crawling strengthens all of you. As does rolling, as does rocking, as does breathing.
You were made to be amazingly strong, resilient and healthy. We all were. We have all been given the same operating system, the same OS, to build and retain our original strength. When we tap into this operating system, wonderful things start to happen. Don't worry about what it may look like to others. Don't give any thought to the way they stop and stare at you as you crawl by. Don't read their smirk-ful remarks on the internet. You are restoring and securing your original strength, your vitality.
If I had let that high-schooler's remarks stop me that day, not only would I have never been able to out press him, but I may never even have crawled my first mile. Our decisions and reactions shape our today's and tomorrows.
The message behind this "squirrelly" post is this: Don't let anyone hold you down. Don't let the fear of being different keep you from soaring. Keep going. Roll on. Be the superhero you were born to be. Real life has so much more to offer than what the traditional way of thinking would lead you to believe. It certainly has more to offer than what the scoffers would want you to believe.
Let them laugh. YOU just be. Be strong. Be courageous. Be super. Be.