Gabriel De Leon
22 January 2017
How I Changed My Life
During the summer before I entered my senior year of high school I began to go to the gym religiously. I went to this gym called Retro Fitness with my cousin Ben. He had more experience than me with working out, so he was the one to show me what I should and shouldn’t do. He told me almost everything in regards to having excellent form during exercises to having good nutrition. He was my teacher during this whole process of learning how to lift weights.
Retro Fitness had just opened up and my cousin Ben went to go sign up and he was telling me about it, the next thing I know I’m going to sign up too. Since the gym had just opened the prices were fairly cheap so I figured why not. Previous to signing up at Retro, I had been signed up at different gyms such as LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness, but I didn’t know what I was doing. I was like every other kid, focusing on getting washboard abs and trying to get huge arms the entire time I was at the gym. I was completely neglecting every other muscle, because I didn’t think they were important. It was not until I started working out with my cousin that I realized that I could have ended up hurting myself if I kept working out the way I did when I was signed up at these other gyms.
My cousin Ben had been working out for about two years already when I started going to Retro with him. He changed significantly since the time he started to go to the gym, so I trusted what he was telling me. If I was performing an exercise incorrectly he would call me out on it and made me fix my form. He is excellent at explaining things which made it easier for me to grasp everything he was teaching me. He would teach me how my form should be during all the different exercises, which took a while to cover because there are so many different exercises for the same muscle, that we couldn’t cover everything in one day. My cousin also informed me about how to have good nutrition, such as which foods I should eat and why. For example, he explained the way macro-nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and natural fats should be portioned in order to either gain muscle or lose weight. It took about two months for me to have an idea of what I should and shouldn’t do, even after two months I still had a tremendous amount to learn. So I went on to YouTube to learn more, thankfully there were many of informative and helpful people teaching things about working out. They exemplified how to perform exercises with excellent form, along with giving a basic list of which foods I should eat throughout the week. Unfortunately, with so many people covering this topic there were tons of people that didn’t have their information correct, which made me have to filter out which information was credible and which was bad. If I didn’t already have an idea of what I should have been doing and I used the bad information that I got from people on YouTube, I could have ultimately ended up hurting myself terribly. Thankfully I learned from the most credible people that I could find on YouTube, which helped tremendously. I acted like a sponge, soaking up all the information I could. I seen a huge amount of difference in the way I look and even the way I feel, because of my cousin and YouTube.
I’ve now been going to the gym consistently for about two years and there is so much that I have learned since the time that I first started. I’ve learned how to have good form, it’s not perfect but I can get it to be almost perfect with more practice and being consistent. There are still other things that I need to improve, I need to learn how to have a well balanced diet, I should also learn how all the muscles work, in particularly I need to know the way my body works and how it reacts to the food I eat and the workouts that I do, by doing that I’ll know how to maximize the growth of my muscles. All that can be considered separate topics of learning, but I believe that it’s still learning how to workout, because without those other components none of it would work, that’s why it’s essential to know all that if you want to workout to be healthier. I have definitely become knowledgeable about lifting weights and everything that it entails, so much so that many of the people that I know have asked if I can help them start going to the gym and teaching them everything that I know. I feel that many of the people I know, look at me and are inspired into wanting to change their lives to become healthier, because they knew how I was before I started going to the gym and they see how I am now. Despite everything that I know right now, there is still a plethora of things that I must learn to better myself, also to grow not just physically but mentally as well,because going to the gym isn’t just a physical thing it also helps create a positive mindset.
I am indebted to my cousin Ben for helping me become involved with going to the gym, it’s not just a hobby that I enjoy doing everyday, it is so impactful that it’s a lifestyle change once you start become consistent and disciplined, it had certainly changed my life. I’ve learned so much during these past two years, that my cousin now follows my lead whenever we workout and he now asks me for advice. It’s funny how now I’m the teacher and he’s the student. I strongly believe that learning how to workout that it will be very beneficial to my future, hopefully I could end up pursuing a career in the fitness industry.