And on the sixty-third day, Roc broke.
Bulk Legs. Increased weights. I got this.
I was near the end of the workout doing a combo set of heavy weight stiff leg dead lifts combined with side to side squats when it happened. I was covered in sweat. It stung the eyes. My face hurt from contorting so much. I could feel myself grinding my teeth throughout the entire workout. I was straining hard – harder than I should’ve let myself. All the warning signs were there … and I ignored them.
Doing the final drop set of the stiff leg dead lifts, 80 lb dumb bells in each hand. My legs were locked, my ass sticking out, weight on my heels. My back was straight and I was nearly touching my toes. I breathed out audibly as I began to lift … and heard a popping sound followed by an immense shock of pain in my lower back. The weights dropped to the floor and I involuntarily collapsed to my knees. The pain was excruciating and I screamed.
Someone ran out the door to get a staff member. Someone else ran over to me and I waved them away in anger. A flood of emotions were overwhelming me and I was crying freely, loudly. I had failed myself. I had overdone it and wouldn’t be able to finish the program. I was an idiot. I was weak and old. I was a horrible example to anyone. These and a thousand other self-pitying thoughts rushed through my mind and defeated me. I let them defeat me. My back was destroyed. Being my lower back I was particularly terrified.
The staff member came rushing into the free weights area, first aid kit in hand, just in case. I was having trouble talking between sobs. Seeing me like this was only freaking out those around me even more, which continued the downward spiral of depression and failure already crushing down upon me.
Then the oddest thing happened, and as corny and overly dramatic as it sounds, believe me that every single word that follows is true.
I could heard theme music playing in my head – my theme music. I suddenly could see every big screen hero moment where those characters I idolized stood strong, finding that inner strength to continue, to overcome, to be victorious in the face of imminent defeat. I could hear cheering. It was coming from you, the readers of this blog, from those close to me, from those that believed in me.
My back began to tingle with warmth. The hairs on my body stood on end. The tears stopped and I raised my head and looked at myself in the mirror with such determination that it almost startled me. I reached down and paused the workout video. I brushed away the staff worker and those trying to console me, trying to aid me. I rose to one knee, putting my hand on it for balance and pushed myself to my feet. The mental cheering intensified. I stood, breathing deeply, looking in the mirror at myself, looking at what I had accomplished for myself. Nothing else mattered but knowing I was a champion, knowing I would never be defeated.
“I’m fine.” I said not even hearing if anyone had asked.
I stretched my back, slowly at first, then more deeply. I stretched it some more, then some more still. I stretched my back for ten minutes straight. Reaching down, I picked up my Neocom and hit the play button.
I finished my workout. I would never yield.