Home > Self Help, Weight Lifting > Physics Is For People Who Don’t Believe

Physics Is For People Who Don’t Believe

This is not a post about my books. Not directly, anyhow. This is me being damn proud of myself. You see, four and a half years ago I tried to tear my arm off. I failed, but managed to rip the pectoral muscle off my arm and leave it flapping like a broken chicken wing. I was training for a powerlifting meet a month out. Bye bye competition.

I ended up having surgery to reattach the muscle, and I was told in no uncertain terms that I would never lift that much again. I moved a week or two after the surgery across country and lost my health insurance for a while. It was a kick in the nuts, to say the least, because I identified with being a big and strong mofo. Fortunately, I’d been studying my body and weightlifting for many years now and was able to self-rehab myself back to being within 85% of my prior maximum effort. Over time I accepted that. My books started taking off and I dreamed of a life where the pen was mightier than the bicep.

But I kept lifting. I wasn’t going to be a little guy or a skinny fat guy ever again. I would never compete again, but as long as I stayed in shape I could cope. So I did. Through a few more states and a few more moves I stayed strong and kept at it. And I got older. I peaked at 36, whether I wanted to or not. Now I’m 40 and I’m here to say recovery and a lot of other things aren’t what they used to be.

But I also managed to rekindle my love of picking up heavy things this year. It never left, but it definitely had a few lulls along the way. I’ve designed a new routine that works a lot better for me these days and allows sufficient recovery and, believe it or not, growth. I began to see gains that I didn’t think were possible anymore…but the iron never lies.

Last night I bench pressed a bar with only 15 pounds fewer than my competition best. AND I had enough left in the tank I wish I would have done 5 more pounds. I’ve given myself 6 weeks to meet and / or beat that prior maximum effort and I am positive it will happen. If you’re curious about what that means, I benched 390lbs tonight and I plan to meet or beat my 405lb lift that was a state record back in 2009.

That’s not the point though, what matters is that I’ve done a lot of crazy shit in my life. Some of it good, some of it not so good. Some of it… well, never mind (hi, Mom!). None of that stuff taught me the lessons that powerlifting has taught me. Lessons like how a determined human being has no limits. Physics and gravity be damned, if you put your mind to it you can do anything. Weight lifting, writing 12+ books a year, or doing anything you really want to. Hard work is the key. Hard work and determination. Heck, with enough hard work we might even be able to fix our government (remember, I write a lot of fiction).


Tonight’s lesson is this: F*** the rules, make your own.


To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

  1. Brian Wallace
    August 8, 2015 at 19:56

    I can really sympathize with what your saying. Growing up I was a weight lifter by hobby and all around work out junky. I was known for my physique. After getting married very young and three car accidents, I went from 150 to 260. I suffered a mild heart attack at the age of 28. I didn’t even realize I had let myself go that bad. I lost most of the fat for a while but life for in the way again and I gain a lot back. I’m dieting and working out now to get back to what I used to be when I was younger. I haven’t starting lifting again but it’s in my plans. I’ve read almost all your work and I love everything I’ve read so far. I’m currently trying to write my first book and I’m eleven chapters in so far. Your post reminded me to never let expectations to cloud my drive. Thank you for sharing and being and inspiration for my own work.

    Brian W.

    • August 17, 2015 at 12:23

      It creeps up on you, I know! I remember my wife (fiance at the time) and I realizing one day we’d gotten wayyyy too comfortable and let ourselves go. That was 11 years ago or so and both of us bust our ass to never go back there again.

      Life is a series of battles and, ultimately, the only victory possible is Pyrrhic. We will all die, but hopefully we can do enough between now and then to make it worthwhile for ourselves and for those we leave behind.

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