Earn Your Callouses

It’s 4am and the alarm goes off. You can hear the rain bounce off the side of your bedroom windowpane. The warmth of the pillow and the faux fur blanket have kept you company for six hours. It’s enticing to stay in bed just like millions, if not billions of other people in the world, but you know there’s a resounding purpose within you that is propelling you forward. There is something that pulls you and something that pushes you at the same time. This, my friend, is called purpose. It is not always glamorous, but it is always there when you need it.

You turn off your alarm, put on your gym clothes, and make the commute to the gym. You’re surrounded by silence as you are the first one there. You greet the iron all around you with a glaring stare. The relationship between you and the iron is like two old friends that silently compete in everything. They may not always enjoy each other’s company, but they respect the hell out of one another.

3,2, 1. You grasp the iron dumbbells and commence to accomplish countless sets and reps of shoulder presses, rows, pull-ups, dips, bench presses, and pushups. You’re checking off your list of exercises and the mack daddy of them all is at the bottom, the farmer’s carry. The farmer’s carry is a man’s exercise. Farmer’s carries have been seen on battlefields as soldiers rush carrying containers of ammo for the machine gunner in the trenches.

No time for thinking, it’s time for action. You hoist the 70-pound dumbbells from the racks and bring them to an open area. By then, a crowd of people have filtered into the gym, but you do not notice them as you have front sight focus on the mission.

3,2,1. Go. You grasp the dumbbells in each hand, squat down, stand erect and begin the long walk. One foot in front of the other. Your traps are burning. Your forearms are filled with liquid lava. The dumbbells feel like they are about to roll out of your hands, but you keep pushing forward to the finish line. One more step, come on, one more step! And the finish line is no longer a wish but a reality, but you know it’s about to stretch a little further. Next set, here we go.

Last round of farmer’s carries and you can’t even feel your hands. The veins in your forearms are jumping out of your skin. Sweat trickles down your chest and back creating islands of sweat on your shirt. Time elapses but you do not worry, because this is time well spent. This is better than laying in bed all day. This is better than living a life of mediocrity. This is better than waking up in a panic, rushing to get ready, and heading to work. This is better than the Rat Race. This is better than living without purpose. This is better than looking in the mirror and feeling nothing but emptiness. This is better than being told how to live your life. This is better than weakness. This is better because you are better.

It’s go time. The dumbbells lay lifeless on the linoleum floor, but it’s time to give them life. As you rise, the dumbbells rise with you. The long trek begins but the trek is worth the journey. After walking to and from the starting line, you close in on the finish line, step pass it and drop the dumbbells back to the ground. You look at your hands and you see the callouses. You see the beaten and peeled skin. You see effort. You see dedication. You see overcoming fear and pain. You see discipline. You see hard work. You see love; love for yourself and love for who you are becoming. The love for yourself outweighed the negativity in your life and you are making a change every day of your life. It is no easy task, but you are  better than who you were yesterday.


Earn your callouses.

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