A few days ago I posted a picture on Instagram of my Uncle back in the 80s getting “tanned” up for his first all natural bodybuilding show. It was crazy to me when I found all of those pictures to see how lean he was and having a picture to put with all the stories my mom and grandma had told me about his dieting and training routines.
He actually got me into lifting when I was about 13. I can still put myself in that exact spot in my mind, we walked into what JDs at the time a bodybuilding gym in my hometown. He had me do the elliptical for 10 minutes to warm up, in an orange Tennessee sweatshirt and sweatpants, he told me I was gonna sweat! HA! While I did that he walked around the gym and got everything set up. I remember him teaching me to bench press with legs up and super setting with pull down. I vividly remember him taking 225 for reps with his feet up, at the time I thought that was heavy as hell! I really did look up to him in everything, its pretty special to have these memories to look back on now that he’s been gone since 2008.
Finding those pictures and hearing stories about his lifting career, his landscape business, and his band has always made me think, why he didn’t leave Mattoon area. Obviously personal matters played a factor, but he had the talent especially musically to have left and followed a dream, but he always felt like it would just happen if he was meant to leave.
I love my Uncle and miss him everyday but I don’t want to have people ask the same thing about me after I am gone. I want to say I tried and go out and risk it all. I want to break the mold that he fell into of staying where it was safe and not taking a big risk. I will forever be grateful for that lifting session when I was 13 and all the memories I have with him. I hope that over the next 6 months as I take on the challenge of moving for an internship, that he would be looking down proud of me.
Thanks for letting me share what was on my heart this week with you guys!
Get After It,