Sunday, October 28, 2012

Swolespiration

Some of you may know of the past encounters with some swole hating, or rather, abusing bank tellers that I've had from time to time.

Well my fellow swolediers, as Bob Dylan said "the times they are a changin."

A few days ago I was in the bank and when I was called to the counter it was none other than a past swole offender. Well, she was friendly as usual, but then something weird happend. She started telling me how she had been going to the gym. How she has been doing it five days a week for four weeks and has lost 12 pounds.

She was gleaming with pride. Like she had never been so happy with herself as she was at that moment. She was giddy with excitement.

It was beautiful.

Later when I got home I told my wife about it. I explained to her how the bank teller told me that she knew I was basically a stranger but felt the need to tell me all about how she's been exercising and eating better. My wife then said something that I never even considered.

"Maybe you inspired her."

Maybe I did. Maybe I didn't. But either way, I was happy to hear about how this woman was bettering her life and had decided to walk the path of swole.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Self Portrait: Don't Ask Me Why I Took This Picture


WARNING: This picture might be considered obscene because the subject is considered swole; it may offend your weak privileged sensitivities.  And we all know that only otter-mode guys can show their "abs" and not be considered "show offs."  I'm not going to become skinny and weak for that. These are my muscles. Not yours. MINE. Meaning the choices I make about it, are none of your fucking business. Meaning my size, IS NONE OF YOUR F*CKING BUSINESS.
If my ripped abdominals, swole arms, awe inspiring quads, and mountainous traps offend you, then I'm okay with that. I'm not going to hide my swole, my nature,  to cater to your dainty, privileged, and ignorant being.

This picture is for the tellers at my bank who demanded me to show them my abdominals, arms, and legs.
This picture is for my overweight coworker telling me my lifestyle is unhealthy. And that "protein powder is literally a steroid." 
This picture is for the girl who sexually harassed me in the grocery store and felt it was "okay" because "I'm attractive" and "I should want that attention from women." (Her words, not mine.)
This picture is for all the fucking stupid clothing companies who are selling us skinny jeans. Telling us what is "hot" these days. I can't buy fucking jeans anymore thanks to your stupid fucking trend, assholes.
This picture is for the bro at the party who told me to lay off the steroids.
This picture is for the girls who say I'm "too bulky" and "gross."
This picture is for all the jocks in high school who thought they were better than me because I wasn't swole then.  They made me feel like I wasn't a man; because I happened to enjoy skateboarding instead of football. I was 15. And they continued to bully me until I got out of high school, joined the Marines and got swole as fuck. Now whose friendship are they requesting? 
Fuck your opinions. They don't matter. They don't decide who I am inside or outside. If you wont take the effort to judge me according to what beats within my chest or exists within my head then I wont take the effort to give a fuck about the jealousy disguised as ignorance, which salivates from your mouth. 
MOST OF ALL, this picture is for me. The man who loved himself so much he took extreme measures to change his body to reflect the character, the toughness, the fortitude, that existed within himself. Who sweat for hours in the gym to build this swole. Who poured over training manuals and buried his nose in nutritional information until he was exhausted and then slept comfortably in the dark crevasses that exist where pages meet.  Like he were Michelangelo chiseling tirelessly at the stone of which his body, mind, and soul were made of.  Who saw what he wanted and unapologetically took it. 
I'm finished with swole hate.
THIS IS MY SWOLE, DEAL WITH IT.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Transportation Safety Administration or Terrible Swole Abolitionists?

This week I am in Virginia, away from my home in sunny California.

As anyone who has flow in the last two years or so knows, this requires heavy interaction with the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). This process, which I'll now refer to as the "pre-travel hazing ritual," begins with standing in line waiting to show your identification and air ticket. While waiting in line I was subjected to the visual assault of the TSA employees. Besides my slightly apparent swole there is nothing particularly peculiar about my appearance.

Other than my swole I am bland.

So why was I then eyeballed like I was some terror suspect? Like I was some European terrorist out of a Die Hard movie plotting on hijacking an airplane.

After the waiting and visual abuse I handed the swole subjugator my I.D. and plane ticket. "What are your reasons for traveling today?" She asked.

"Business."

Silence. "... proceed." She ordered.

Next came the backscatter body scanner. Great. Now my body will be viewed, naked. My swole subjected to these strangers. I stepped into the machine, it spun quickly around me, and I was ordered to step out. The TSA agent then gave me a quick look up and down. What for? She had already violated my Fourth Amendment rights. She had essentially just seen me nude.

Yet she checks me out? Unprofessional as can be.

Now the greatest part!

My lifting belt was in my carry on. Being a short trip I only packed one small bag and it was coiled up inside of my bag beneath my spare clothes. Somehow these geniuses determined that it looked "suspicious" and "resembled an explosive device." And that "they had to take precautionary measures to determine the safety of my baggage." Meanwhile the entire TSA staff was eye-fucking me like I was a Brazzers actress.

Seriously. That's what they told me after the following events.

I was ordered to a physical search area. In full view of the rest of the passengers I was to stand next to my bag as a TSA agent emptied out a majority of the contents and placed them into bins to be rescanned. Underwear, various paperwork, reading material, and other lifting related accessories thrown out onto the table for all to see.

For all to pass jugement on. Luckily I wasn't the subject of a pat down or worse yet, a nude or cavity search. (Had they performed one they would have found the balloon of Jack3d I was rectally smuggling.)

As other passengers walked by I stood there idly waiting for my lifting belt and bag to be rescanned. Not only that, they took swabs of the belt and the inside of the bag to be scanned for explosive materials; good thing gym chalk isn't similar to urea nitrate. All this was done apparently, because upon visual examination, they couldn't determine whether or not it was in fact a belt or some kind of high tech improvised explosive device.

That day was the single most humiliating day I've had in quite some time.

Yes, my leather lifting belt is an explosive device and I'm a Soviet agent sent into the future from the year 1982 with the sole mission to blow up a small plane carrying less than 30 passengers on a short regional flight from one small air port to a larger hub.

Quite the terror plot.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Cuts Continue

Still cutting weight for my upcoming powerlifting meet.

Down from a swole 175 to a seriously less swole and much leaner 160 in the last month and a half or so. A large portion of that I credit to creatine cessation.

Not only am I cutting in that meaning of the word, but I am also being cut by other's words.

"What gym do you go to?" Asked the old retired veteran at the bank.

No hello. No greeting of any sort. Just turned around and blurted it out.

"Uh, the West Gym... sir."

"It's surely working for you. It's a nice gym." He replied. Implying that it is they gym that does the work. Not me.

"Haha, I guess sir."

Insecure laughter and a moment of introspection wrapping up the conversation.

Is it the gym that does the work? Do I just show up, see what's available and choose how it will work me? Or is it I who works the iron? Do I show up, see what's available and choose how I will use it? 

Does the iron smith me or am I the iron smith? 

Surely it must be the latter; for it is through my efforts, my knowledge, my dedication, and my perseverance which generates this swole. People too quickly dismiss the efforts of others. They see great results; whether it be bodybuilding, painting, music, or writing, and say,

"Yeah that's some great work, but they could only do it because they had the tools available. If they didn't have those tools. They wouldn't be where they are today."

Of course if a person had no brushes or paints they wouldn't end up a great painter.

A person without a camera will never become a great photographer.

However, just because we have removed the tools doesn't mean we've removed the drive. I believe, that a person who is great in one thing could easily be great in another. Because it is the tools they chose to master which has given their greatness in that specific field. Replace that tool with another and they would have ended up just as great in something else. For it is not the tool which makes a person great, it is their efforts.

The tools are only a method to their greatness.

Just a few days ago while at work a man spoke a few interesting words to me.

"You work out?" Asked the older, leather skinned man in tattered rags.

"Yes I do sir." In response.

"Yeah me too. I'm stronger than a lot of people my age. I workout with black guys though. They're not any fair. They can just look at the weight and muscle grows."

"Oh, yeah... that's good you're so strong sir." I replied in haste. Hoping him to leave my general vicinity just as quickly. That wasn't the case.

"Yeah, I workout four or five times a week..."

He went on for about five minutes how he lifts weights. I kinda tuned him out after that "black guys" comment. Is it really that easy for people to dismiss the efforts of others? "It's the equipment. It's their genetics." If it's not one thing it is another.

I think this points to a weakness in our character. Something inside the human mind. A process by which we justify our existence by demeaning another's; while also at the same time subconsciously acknowledging what mediocre life we have scratched from this earth for ourselves.

These types of people, these dismissers as I'll call them, will never fulfill their potential because their too busy occupying their minds with what others have done and how others have it easier than them. They don't understand dedication, they don't understand the frustrating struggle the greats have made in their own personal quagmires.

They don't understand greatness.

Are you a dismisser? Do you read this blog and say, "Ah, GZCL is only as strong as he is because he has access to great equipment."

"He has time for that."

"He's a manlet."

What about other people in your life. Do you dismiss their hard work? Take a look around. Look at those around you who will be great and say to them,

"I admire your dedication. It's awesome."

Everyone doubts their efforts sometimes. Even the greats. Surely your compliment may aid one of them and in their greatness they may come back to you to say,

"Thank you."