This I Believe

Ismail - Missouri City, Texas
Entered on May 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Perhaps it was the taunting I heard about not getting enough to eat, or maybe it was the incessant questions of people asking me whether I was anorexic that made me so self- conscious. While every male envisions himself as one day being the underwear model for Calvin Klein or posing for Abercrombie, last October I decided that it was time to transform my body from my lanky scrawny physique of 112 pounds to my goal of a muscular, lean 165 pounds in just one year. I took into account my fast metabolism made a plan to incorporate the hours of weightlifting and increased caloric intake I did meticulous research on how to properly train, eat, rest, and supplement my nutrition. It turned out that these steps would soon be crucial to my success.

Senior year has arrived; I realize I look nothing like the person I used to be last year. Not one meal missed, not one workout day ignored and not one rep short, since last October I have added 55 pounds of rock hard muscle to my frame. No longer am I the skinny kid on the block. Now, people compliment me on my chiseled physique and ask me whether I took steroids. Others ask me for advice in the weight room, hoping to achieve a metamorphosis similar to the one that I had undergone. My dedication compelled me to eat a whopping 5200 calories a day and partake in gruesome workouts fully equipped with supersets and high-rep squats. Some days my body screamed “No!” I wanted to indulge myself with some smooth Blue Bell Milk Chocolate and whip cream while sitting on my couch enjoying an episode of John Stewart, but everyday I was committed to going to the gym; no matter how tired I felt and no matter how many distractions or other obligations interfered.

Most around fail to notice the untold level of persistence required to induce such a physical transformation. I had to dig deep for everything that lied beneath my dead skin cells to stay dedicated to the workout and eating schedule. They fail to see the drastic internal changes this regiment has brought about. Looking back, the whole experience reminds of a boot camp movie scene; those who came in as boys did not just leave with chiseled pecs and biceps but instead gained an appreciation for a structured life and an understanding of hard work, commitment and mental toughness. Only with determination and persistence did I transform myself and it was with these two things in mind that I learned to approach everything.