FLEXING Upon That Shining Hill

Bodybuilder flexing on the mountain top

I get choked up just thinking about it. Reagan as president. Standing tall. Exclaiming...

America is a shining city upon a hill 
whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.

And, As Ronald Reagan said in his farewell address to the nation,

I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.

 I often think of his words when I am faced with people of strong will, indomitable strength of character – the kind of person you'd chose when you are in need, who is a continuing model of what it means to be a "hero."

I believe there are heroes everywhere – far more than we celebrate or recognize. And to be someone's hero is one of the greatest things one can do for another. Teachers, First Responders – Paramedics, Firefighters, Police, our Military, even those who pay kindness and compassion forward daily and anonymously.

When I was a kid, I was an avid comic book reader. And in the back of every comic I had was that Charles Atlas ad. And I read and re-read and re-re-read it because that wasn't going to happen to me. I'm not fucking getting sand kicked in my face by some muscle dude - just cuz I don't have muscles. Fuck that.

Charles Atlas The Insult

And in a way, I grew up with a misconception and prejudice against big guys – even when I was doing everything possible to gain weight and get jacked. But, man, I was so wrong.

I have found that it is bodybuilders and gym beasts who are in the group of The Most Indomitable Heroes. Building muscle takes a strength of will to drag your ass to the gym no matter what. To eat on a schedule. To train hard and consistent and with intent and purpose.

When a bodybuilder is lifting that heavy ass barbell for his 12 rep, and his biceps are screaming in torture, he summons something inside him, some deep well of perseverance and determination and lifts ONE MORE REP. And its in that final rep that he makes his greats strides - where his muscles tear and rebuild stronger and bigger.

We are all faced with challenges and adversity in our daily lives. It is in the gym, in maintaining my schedule of workouts, persevering through an ever-increasing amount of weight to lift, that I find the eternal truths so clearly for me to live by. 

Let me know what you think.

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