Hey guys Ben here,
This story is so raw and honest, my Mum and Dad didn’t even know about it until last week.
I’m 15 years old and have just got home from being punched in the face by a classmate. It’s only the second time I’ve ever been physically assaulted. I deserved to be hit though, I was annoying this kid to know end. We were standing outside the classroom, I was bored so I thought it would be funny to unzip his bag, I can tell he’s annoyed and tells me to stop. I do it another couple of times. I see how far I can push him with one more try; he turns around and swings at my jaw. I’m in shock, he starts laughing, a couple of other classmates see what happen and have a small giggle. All I wanted to do was cry. I tried to stop myself but a couple of tears escape my conscious barrier.
“Are you crying?” a classmate questions. I reply defiantly, “No!” I can’t show weakness, not here, I’ll be the laughing stock of the school. I think I’ve successfully hidden my feelings and emotions, deep down though, I feel embarrassed and defeated. I’ve become quite good at hiding my feelings. Whereas in reality, I’ve just buried them deeper and deeper into my subconscious so they can simmer there, but I reassure myself that I’ll tell dad what happened.
I arrive home, my parents ask; “How was your day? My consciousness resists the urge to state the obvious, and reply with a simple: “Good”. The feeling of regret arises, I should tell them. I’m too embarrassed to tell them though. Then I confirm to myself, “I’ve missed my opportunity”.
I go into my room and cry, several negative self-doubting thoughts flow through my consciousness; “I’m weak, I’m dumb, I’ve got CP”. I’m sick of feeling sorry for myself!
I walk into the lounge room and sit at the dinner table. I hear something outside and glance into garage. I see my dad in there, doing a set of chin-ups. I’m inspired. I’m sick of feeling sorry for myself. I can become stronger. I put on my shoes, walk into the garage and plead to dad, “Can I exercise with you?” Dad replies excitedly, “Definitely”.
I do a few warm-up exercises and then look at the bench-press. I think back to when my mate Mitch stated that he can bench press 40kg. I think to myself; “Well if Mitch can bench 40kg I should be able to knock out a couple of sets with 20kg”.
I think, “Realistically I’m probably half as strong as him”. I lay down on the bench and dad lifts up the bar. I grip the bar quite tightly with my left hand. I try to grip it as tightly with my right hand. Dad releases the bar, my right hand buckles under the weight instantaneously.
Dad reassures me, “It’s alright”, and takes off the ten-kilo weights and replaces them with two kilo weights. Still my right hand buckles; “Surely I can’t be this weak!” I think to myself. Dad proceeds to take off the two-kilo weights and says encouragingly, “Try it without any weight”.
I’m crushed, angry and frustrated with myself. I want to cry. I’ve just been hit in the face and now I can’t even bench press two kilos. All sense of self-confidence is sapped. “What’s the point?” I think,
I finish the session by doing all machine-based exercises; which don’t have as big an emphasis on grip strength as the free-weight exercises. My CP is magnified in this environment. Every repetition reminds me of the difference in strength between my left side and right side.
Dad says, “It’s not that important to be able to do bench-press or free weight exercises, machine based exercises are sufficient enough”. I’m determined, now driven to prove him wrong. “I will be able to bench-press 40kg one day”, I think to myself.
Read Part 2 here!