Connection May Just Save Your Life
“He was a quiet guy. The type of guy you pictured one day taking a gun out and going on a shooting rampage.”
If you think about it, everybody knows a Craig.
I mean, I don’t actually know anyone named Craig, but I know I am Craig.
For a time, I WAS Craig.
I can tell by the confused dog looks I’m getting, I’ve lost you. It’s okay, not like context is important or anything.
This past Monday night, I was working on this week’s article, when I got distracted by something on Facebook. I’ve got to say that this is a common occurrence for me.
Modern-day writing is 50% talent, 50% determination, and 100% not getting distracted by the internet.
Don’t do that math. It isn’t worth it.
This article on a site called Fitness and Power was what distracted me. And I’m so very glad it did. I believe it’s the most real, honest, vulnerable, and unlikely example of love and human connection that I have ever seen.
There is no byline, so I don’t know the author’s name. Apparently, he’s a young competitive bodybuilder. Just like millions of us, a challenging iron session is a therapy for him.
I like to think of myself as a transformed, modern man. But I still need to tap into my primal instincts, y’know? Iron worship is therapy for me.
Our author kept seeing this guy at his gym. Nobody knew his name except they called him “Pigpen” behind his back. He came to the gym every day. Lifted weights intensely, but quietly. Never spoke to anyone. And never wore fresh gym clothes.
People made fun of him behind his back. And nobody dared to speak to him.
Turns out Craig was quietly fighting a battle against some serious demons. He’d been a successful guy, a competitive bodybuilder with pro potential. But life has its way of humbling a person.
Over time, Craig became an unwitting mentor to our author. And the two formed a unique bond.
The climax of our story is a battle of deadlifts between Craig and our narrator.
Craig said that it was the first time he felt human – like a man – in a long time. We all deserve that feeling.
This scene is intense and difficult, and I was cheering as I read it.
I was crying like a baby with two more page clicks, though.
“Be kind. For everybody you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Socrates
Consider how many people you run across on a daily basis. I’m talking about real life – not on social media.
- You’re going to work in the morning. You get on a subway train and you see the homeless guy sleeping in the corner of the train car.
- The guy who has no personal confidence and no personal self-esteem. He can’t make eye contact with anyone.
- The woman who visibly flinches when she brushes shoulders with a man on the street.
- The kid who wears the dingy clothes and the old, beat up shoes to school.
I could go on. You never know what battles a person is going through.
I remarked to a friend the other day about a guy I saw at my gym. This kid was maybe 25. I’d call him maybe 175 pounds with no more than 10% body fat. He looked phenomenal.
But I immediately started making fun of him with my friend. “Can he read?” that kind of thing.
She remarked back to me that while even she gets into a similar place in her head, you never know a person’s story. He may have forged that body through a lot of pain and heartbreak.
For as long as I can remember, I have seen myself as an outcast. An outsider. The black sheep. The weirdo.
I took a few special needs math classes as a kid. I was picked on and bullied. I was invited to the cool kid’s table in high school only to be abandoned in two weeks. And even when I sat there, nobody ever spoke to me. They just pitied me.
And you can’t deny that life has kicked me in the balls a few times. Job loss, health difficulties, and personal loss.
I had to develop a thick skin and a wall to get through all that. And it shows!
This kept me from developing real social skills until adulthood.
I was Craig!
I knew that people made fun of me behind my back. I knew that they talked about me. I knew that people called me names.
“Captain Cranium,” “Thunderhead,” “Fatass,” “Faggot,” etc. I know these words came up about me. And I had to develop thick skin and a wall to get through all this.
My rock star coach-friend Christina said something incredibly prescient to me the other day.
“You’re so good at self-deprecation. You’re a brilliant guy, but you have to parse it with ‘I was a yokel from Alabama, so what do I know’?”
It’s almost as if I want to keep people out. But you know…I really don’t.
The moral of this story – and Craig’s story – is this: everybody needs love. Everybody needs connection. And everybody needs a team.
Would you like to make a better connection with those in your life? Would you like to let the love that people have for you into your heart?
I believe a session and a relationship with a coach can absolutely support you with this.
Contact me at [email protected] and we’ll connect on a free sample session.
Y’know, even now, I can see myself as Craig. I can see myself as the guy who nobody likes and who people make fun of.
But I know I’m not that guy anymore. I know that I have a team of amazing, brilliant humans who are on my side and want to see me set the world on fire.
I firmly believe that if Craig let in the love that people had for him, his story would have ended in a different manner.
No matter how independent you believe you are, you need it. No matter how shy or reserved, you crave it. No matter how broken you think you are, you deserve it.
Love! Everybody deserves connection and love.
Now go read that article. It’ll change your life.
And bring some tissue…I’m just sayin’.