Training Log

Starting Strength in the Real World


Like a Boulder in the Forest

by Kasra Keshavarzi | June 13, 2023

moss covered boulder in a forest

They wouldn’t even look at you; hopeful glance after hopeful glance followed by rejection after rejection. Remember how they talked so begrudgingly to you, as if you were some dirt unworthy of their association. Remember the snarky comments they made at every opportunity. Don’t ever forget how they treated your bigger, taller friend with kindness, only to have their smiles wither to looks of disgust as soon as the 140 lb you tried to say a word. All humans are equal? They must have not gotten the memo.

What a joke. They are creatures led by emotion, my friend, not discipline. You must never again be at their mercy.

You are a resourceful guy, so you found a reputable program. You purchased a gym membership, and went to the squat rack every other day, first thing, even though everyone else would do arm days, back days, leg days, chest days, ab days. You stuck out like a sore thumb, being the only person in a squat rack most of the time, and you could feel being out of place too. Hell, you even gained a reputation as the guy who “only does squats.” Despite all this, you stuck with it, and turned in a respectable novice progression. By the time you finished the program, you would barely feel how out of place you must have looked, or been, or seemed. Compared to 365x5x3, followed thirty minutes later by a 5RM deadlift, that shit is a summer vacation.

You didn’t expect this from lifting. Interesting.

Of course, by the time you pulled 545, they weren’t so disgusted. In fact, they would be the ones looking at you. Where your presence would have previously gone unnoticed, in college, as you walk into a room, you notice the pretty girls turning to look. And they are much more receptive, of course.

This was all rather expected.

What was unexpected was the real change: you stopped caring whether they looked, whether they rejected, whether they are helpful. You are now a trailblazer. Like a boulder rolling off the mountain into the forest, you carve your own path from where there is none, regardless of whether it is looked upon favorably by others. You get what you want – the easy way or the hard way is up to them.

You have grown independent of them.

So, next Monday, when there is 395 on the bar, and you are supposed to squat it for 5x5, and you don’t feel like it, and you’re already strong enough anyway, and your knees are sore, and you suddenly feel sick, and no one else squats this often anyway, you remember what the consequences are. Remember how far you have to fall down.

Will you choose that life, or this?


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