Yesterday, my doctor told me to find a new hobby, and to leave lifting behind, when he found that one vertebra was fractured — I have no idea how this happened — and four discs in my lumbar spine showed symptoms of DDD.

I haven’t been able to do heavy deadlifts or squats — something that I love — in several months due to back pain.

Naturally, I was devastated to learn the news. I have to take it easy going forward.

The news meant that my aspirations to break my national powerlifting records, while natty, crumbled.

The Versatility of Lifting

lifting in wheelchair
Lift, no matter your condition

But this doesn’t have to be the end of my lifting career, per se.

There are tons of other fitness-related goals I can pursue.

I will be positive and view this as an opportunity to reinvent myself; to become a better, more aesthetic athlete.

Although the news was devastating to hear, I immediately scoured my mind for alternatives.

Powerlifting, in all its impressive glory, is not all that glamorous in the grand scheme of things.

While lifting heavy stuff is cool and all, it doesn’t possess the same pizzazz as aesthetics.

Athletes such as Larry Wheels and Julius Maddox have done wonders to mainstream the sport; but still, the bulk of lifters focus on improving their physique for aesthetic reasons.

And this is the channel I will pursue instead of focusing on lifting as much weight as possible.

Being strong is cool, but so is living your middle ages and twilight years relatively pain-free.

With great strength comes great responsibility — form breakdowns are riskier at heavier weights, yet easier to come by due to, you know, lifting heavier weights.

This year, overall, has been immensely difficult with the passing of my mother and a few other consequent hardships, coupled with the financial impact dealt by the coronavirus.

If the chips are down, you’ll still be at the table–you can be floated more chips to buy back into the game.

No corny clichés or anything here.

The closure of my powerlifting career simply means the aperture of a new lifting career focused on aesthetics, athletics, calisthenics, and other forms of bodily excellence.

There’s no point mulling over lost possibilities and what-ifs; life has a funny way of rewarding you with opportunity in the face of adversity.

And that’s the beauty of this iron-based sport; as soon as one door closes, another opens.

You don’t need to lifting overly heavy weights to pursue greatness.

Heck, if you wanted to, you could use nothing but machines, and, if you have the right genetics, get a better physique than 99% of your peers.

There are just so many things you can do.

We’ve all seen very inspirational athletes with severe disabilities getting it done in the weight room.

Guys with one functional limb achieving a better body than most Westerners; wheelchair-bound vets doing muscle-ups with their wheelchairs attached; athletes with severe cerebral palsy cleaning and jerking enviable weights.

A back injury won’t set me back.

The years of lifting under my belt can be repurposed to achieve other goals.

It’s not the end of the world.

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