I fell in love with weightlifting when I was 17 years old and have been doing it on and off for the past 28 years. I was drawn to weightlifting for the same reason many teenage boys probably are. I was skinny and insecure and I wanted to be bigger and stronger. There were two guys, John and Chris, a year behind me in high school who were best friends that lifted together. They were the first people I knew in person who looked like bodybuilders. I had seen bodybuilders in magazines and on TV, but these guys were real-life people right in the same school and they were known for being really strong and having bulging muscles. I wanted to look like them. So I finagled my way into working out with them and it was all over after that. I was hooked. I think they had fun torturing the new skinny kid. After the first two workouts with them, I was so sore I laid in bed the whole weekend, but I was back and ready for more on Monday. I still love it to this day.
Why I Love it
This is hard to answer succinctly. There are many reasons why I love to work out. I love the feeling of accomplishment after a workout. Right after a workout is probably the only time each day when I feel truly content. I can sit and sip my protein shake knowing I worked my butt off and it's OK to rest. Most other times during the day, I'm often restless. I'm either stressing about something I'm working on or planning something I need to do in the future.
The most important reason why I love to work out is the energy and health that it gives me. I have an amazing wife and the two best children in the world, and I want to live a long healthy life to be around for them. I also want to set a good example for them and have the energy to do lots of family activities together. The last several years, I have missed out on so many opportunities to do things with them because I was too tired and lazy, because I was in such bad shape.
Another reason why I love to work out is that I have a very competitive personality, but there really aren't too many outlets for that in our modern world. So lifting is a way to focus my competitive drive. It takes a good deal of determination to fight against all the forces that conspire to make me unhealthy and weak (laziness, food temptations, time commitments, stress, genetics, gravity, and age). I love the feeling of lifting 5 more pounds than last time or getting one more rep than last time. I track everything I do in the gym and I am always striving to do a little more than I did before.
And to be honest, there is an element of vanity in it as well. I like the way it makes me look and what it says about me. I want to be seen as strong, healthy, and disciplined. I am not tall and I'm most definitely not athletically gifted, so lifting is a way to look the part of an athlete even though I'm not. I like that. I know it's vanity, but lifting is so good for me for so many other reasons, I don't worry if all my motives aren't pure.