This is the story of my life. How it was reduced to rubble. How I climbed back out and became who I am today.
I spent the better part of my 20’s making as little money as I could to survive, and spending as much as I could to have fun in bars.
At the age of 21, I took my first official job as a personal trainer in a giant corporate machine called Goodlife Fitness in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
This was a big deal to me. My desire to help people through fitness had been nurtured for about 7 years at this point.
After 7 years of learning, reading, lifting and interning I was ready. I was also focused.
At this point in time I hadn’t had more than a drink at a time, usually at random.
I would go to work, and then lift weights. Besides that, I was a home body. I would come home, listen to some early 2000’s hip hop or watch some TV. Phones were of the flip variety at this time, so I did a lot of thinking, dreaming and planning.
Around this time I experienced a pivotal moment. My college girlfriend and I broke up, I found myself bored and feeling insecure.
Being petrified of reflection, bad feelings and dealing with stuff, I handled it poorly.
I had some good friends at the gym I worked at, so one night I decided to go out with them and drink a whole bunch of beers. For the first time ever. On a Wednesday night.
This was the first of a string of awful decisions that would occur over a two year period.
Lets skip the part where I threw up, slept on some guys floor, woke up with my first ever hangover and went to train people at the gym.
In fact, let’s just say that I made this behavior a habit.
I mean, I was in my early 20’s. I could recover quickly, get people in great shape, and put together some great workouts of my own.
Life was good.
I partied between 3–4 nights per week for the better part of two years.
My client list shrunk, and my boss began to show concern.
I remember him sitting me down in the office just off the gym floor.
He said, “Now, this may be none of my business. Tell me to fuck off if you want, but….”
I honestly don’t remember the rest. I think this is where I shut down. If I had to guess, I would say he was addressing the fact that I’m partying my skills, “career” (career is in quotes because I dislike the word and concept), and life away.
My work ethic was non existent. It was pitiful. In fact, I’m embarrassed to identify with that version of myself.
Now, let’s paint a broad picture here. I’m around 24 years old, I party a LOT and I do it for all the wrong reasons. I spend a good portion of my shrinking income at bars, I’m completely shut off to intervention or help of any kind, and my friends are really on the same page as I am.
The worst part of this situation is not that I’m pissing life away.
The worst part is that nothing was bad enough to rock my world. Nothing was happening to snap me out of my trance. I was good, so I thought. I could keep this up forever.
Now, I’m not sure what your concept of God is. I’m not sure what my concept of God is either. This is an area I’m very uncertain with.
But there are a couple things I am certain of. One of them is that what happened next happened for a reason.
It was Gods way of rocking my world. Shaking me up. Slapping me out of it. Forcing me to reflect on what’s going on here.
What happened next was a necessary step in my evolution.
It was the worst thing to ever happen to me.
It was the best thing to ever happen to me.
Continued in Part 2
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