man in gym deadlift weightlifting

How Weightlifting Ignited a New Chapter in My Life

19 July 20237 min readby Portful


Weightlifting has truly transformed my life for the better. Throughout my teenage years, particularly between the ages of 14 and 18, I struggled with social anxiety. The idea of entering a space filled with people who were generally bigger than me and lifting weights in front of them seemed nearly impossible. But I still did it; I still went and did my best. My first workout was with a friend from school who taught me the basic exercises and how to use the machines while maintaining good form. What I realized that day, which I had already read somewhere before, was that everyone is too busy focusing on themselves. No one was looking at me.

Overcoming Anxiety:

I also had a later experience that further proved this idea. After finishing my workout, instead of leaving, I decided to try the abs machine. The first rep I did resulted in the most painful abs cramp I had ever felt. It was so excruciating that I had to lay down on the floor. To make matters worse, my vision became hypersensitive, and everything appeared as a blank image. I thought I was dying. Then, out of nowhere, a guy came and asked me if I had seen his water bottle; I could barely see his body. I told him no, and then he just left. After a few minutes on the floor, the cramp finally was gone, and when I opened my eyes, everyone was training like nothing had happened. You could literally be having a heart attack, and no one would even notice. People are focused on themselves and no one else.

This experience also made me realize how anxiety can be somewhat narcissistic. It keeps you constantly preoccupied with your own thoughts and emotions, causing you to overlook the presence of others around you. You start only caring about yourself and how you're feeling. When this realization truly sank in, my anxiety started to dissipate. Often, it was recurrent negative thoughts that I couldn't control that created those overwhelming feelings. I had to keep reminding myself to stop focusing on those feelings, and that's where meditation came in handy. I started acknowledging each thought and then letting it go.

Developing A System Of Habits:

One remarkable aspect of consistently going to the gym is that it teaches you to embrace your weaknesses, to accept that other people your age may be bigger and stronger because they started before you or have better genetics. It helps you accept the challenge and look forward to achieving your fullest potential. You quickly discover that it's not just about lifting weights and then forgetting about it; it's a system of habits that you maintain throughout your day, before, during, and after your workout :

Diet : The first thing I changed was my diet. I did a lot of research to optimize it. I started eating just the right amount to build muscle without gaining too much fat. I completely avoided any junk food and didn't rely on it to meet my daily calorie intake. I even started learning how to cook, which completely changed my perspective on food. I began to value all the time and effort my parents put into cooking for me and my siblings.

Sleep : Improving my sleep became a priority as well. By enhancing the quality and speed of my recovery, I could train more without the risk of overtraining. I discovered that various habits before sleep can have an immense effect, such as avoiding screens an hour before bedtime and not eating too late.

Sauna : I'm fortunate to have a sauna in my building, which I rarely see others using, and it's perfect for me. Using it consistently has numerous health benefits and aids in recovery. Sometimes, I even stretch in the sauna; it truly helps getting rid of soreness and release the stress accumulated during the day.

Meditation : As mentioned before, I also started meditating every day. Just 10 minutes can make a huge difference. You can do it anywhere, whether it's from your bed, in your living room, or outside under a tree. It doesn't require much effort. You simply sit there, focus on your breathing, acknowledge your thoughts, and let them go. Meditation helped with my anxiety, taught me how to manage stress and emotions, and gave me so much more confidence.

Maintaining this system of habits made me realize that before all this, I was doing the right things for the wrong reasons. I used to wonder why I wasn't happy despite doing my best. It also changed the way I react to setbacks: Now I see them as opportunities to learn. Every obstacle I overcome strengthens my character, making me smarter and stronger. Every challenging situation reveals a weakness that I can turn into a strength. Working towards my lifelong goals turned into an exciting journey of knowledge, discovery, challenge, and reward.

The Secret To Success :

One last thing the gym taught me is self-discipline, something that many people lack because we never learn how to develop it. We grew up in schools where teachers always told us what to do and how to do it, but when we enter the real world... well, many of us end up doing nothing, lacking motivation to achieve anything beyond seeking easy and immediate pleasure. "Working jobs we hate to buy things we don't need Truly self-disciplined people have learned to give themselves the true joy that comes from pursuing and achieving their goals and dreams. 


In conclusion, weightlifting has not only transformed my physical strength but also ignited a profound shift in my mindset and approach to life. It has taught me valuable lessons about self-acceptance, resilience, and the power of consistent effort. I firmly believe that all sports can have the same impact on anyone if they approach them with enough seriousness and practice them consistently. But if you're thinking about starting some activity, which you should, I highly recommend weightlifting and combat sports. It will for sure hel you succeed in your life and help you achieve your fullest potential.



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