Considering the past 365 days...and the next 365
It's a challenge at any point in time to predict the future, but I have proved particularly inadept at it in the last decade or so. This time ten years ago, I was ensconced with Transcontinental Media's West Island operations, happy to live life at 400 pounds plus.
I was fat and happy about it, I told myself, even though I knew, deep down, that my long-term health was grossly at risk. I was only too happy, on that Dec. 7, 2009 evening to drink as much alcohol as I could get my hands on at my company’s Christmas holiday party, which took place that night, my 33rd birthday.
I was convinced I was on a good employment track. I was being groomed to be the next publisher of the West Island Chronicle and all that went with that, with community involvement, leadership and media being among my favourite things in the world. And it was exciting, I must say. I was excited to think I would be a Transcontinental lifer, destined to spend my whole career with one company.
Just a few months later, I would question all those assumptions again, as the company took a bold step I disagreed with fundamentally, thereby setting the stage for my eventual departure a few years later.
A simple fact of life is that trying to predict what the future will bring is silly, but I would like to see if I can figure out what aspect of this bodybuilding thing bring over the next twelve months. If you would’ve told me twelve months ago I’d tear my quadriceps, put on weight and spend months wallowing in depression as a result, I would’ve punched you in the nose. If you would’ve told me I wouldn’t play a hockey game in 2019, I might have really done something I would have regretted.
If you would have told me a client would become a cherished friend and that her suicide would knock me for a loop and made me reconsider all my life priorities, I think I might have crawled up into a ball and cried. The fact is, though, is that I have to examine all those experiences in a positive frame of mind. My injury and poor mental state made me realize how great it feels to be healthy and almost 100 per cent again and I love that my renewed focus on bodybuilding was my response to trauma, and not something a little more unhealthy.
But this time for introspection has showed me what I would like my life to look like, and how I want my body to look. It’s taught me that even though I lost my friend, I met a whole world of wonderful people I might never have met, and that I’m a stronger person for having lived through a rough twelve months. I know that life always gets better when you feel like you’ve hit your lowest point.
But like the Avengers dusted at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, I’ve got a huge comeback in me, and 12 months from now, I know I’ll be looking back on a year filled with discovery and exciting new things.
I know that I’ll be close to, or at, my physical peak after the Coupe Espoir bodybuilding show next November. I'm looking forward to that. I know I’ll have the confidence of having overcome a massive challenge in my life, and I know that I’ll still be grooving to Uncle Kracker’s ‘Smile.’
Damn. That’s a good song.
Just smile, guys.