• Steven Gardner

Ask Steve: What got you into lifting?

Happy Wednesday you beautiful Sportless folks,

In order to stay on my 2020 mission of getting better on camera i have been doing a lot of Q&A's and ive gotten a lot of really good questions. From the title of this writing im sure you can guess what im elaborating on today as i found this question very hard to fit into the 15-30 seconds that instagram will allow and the question was "when did you get into lifting and what got you there". I cant promise this wont be long but some people are genuinely interested.In the future, i will elaborate on some mindset points to this but for now we will just stick to the history. Deep breath in, ANNNNNNNND here we go.

Sometime around 7th or 8th grade i hit a BIG growth spurt which caused me to be severely skinny (90lbs at 15 years old) and blood sugar problems that made gaining weight "impossible". The only way to get rid of the problem was to gain weight, the only way to gain weight is to eat, the only thing that caused me to pass out was eating, so on and so forth so i kind of just went into maintain mode. Fast forward a tad to ninth grade. My bestfriend and skateboarding partner Ray moved away right as we started high school as well as the girl i was dating, due to a custody change, had to instantly move to Germany. I thrive alone but id be lying to you if i said i had even an ounce of hope going into high school. I leaned heavily on skateboarding, karate, and heavy metal music to get me through but little did i know the cold, steel embrace of the barbell was about to catch me in it's loving arms.

PE is something everybody had to take. It was usually the class they would put somebody willing to coach a sports team for like $200 a year for them to be "on staff" at the school so we mostly ended up playing basketball. One day they announced they were having the "pre-football meeting" in room 203 and i was in a desperate position of wanting to be one of the cool kids that played football so i went, all 90lbs and long skater hair of me. As soon as i walked in i will never forget the face the coach at the time made, pure disgust, as he told me he would NOT be used by somebody to skip class. I tried to tell him i was serious but he wasnt having it and sent me back to the gym. The coach was obviously in the football meeting and we had a "sub" watching the class but i wasnt in the mood to deal with some of the ass holes that were in there so i went to the locker room. To my surprise, look, the ass holes were already there and they promptly and forcefully shoved me into one of the lockers. I had given up on fighting back and would just kind of laugh and go along with it, tended to be easier. This time though, they put a lock on the locker because they knew i could get out. Laughing, they all left the locker room and never came back (each one of them expected the others to come let me out)

I had a lot of time to think while in that locker, two or three class periods worth. I spent a long time crying, feeling sorry for myself and/or contemplating making it all end. I dont say that lightly, i dont think i had intentions of ever doing something like that, but damn it if i didnt wish it would happen right then. Somehow in the silence i had a long talk with myself and during that talk i made a decision to walk in the weightroom any and everytime that those doors opened to workout and make something of myself. It was my only thought and i locked onto that thought so hard that years later i had to come to terms with the idea of an unhealthy addiction to working out. Those same ass holes were at the weightroom as well as the coaches who laughed and when i walked in their eyes burned a whole through me. The only thing i could muster to say was "please" and the rest is history. I showed up, i kept showing up. Nothing happened over night but my sense of self worth did.

I cant express how thankful i am for every person in this story. I needed them, i still need them. Today was monumental for me as i was able to use my gym Sportless to donate to my old schools softball team as a sponsor. I have a lot of problems with communicating feelings (out loud, hence the blog) mostly because these feelings are between me and myself, but i get so nostalgic when things come full circle. At the time nobody could imagine me lifting weights, now nobody can imagine me without them. Strong for life

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