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Posted By iamincontrol | November 11, 2014
5:30AM: BUUZZZ!! BUUUUZZZ!! BUUUUZZZ!! My alarm goes off with a growl as I roll over in my bed. The weights, my coach, and my football team are anticipating my gruffy arrival for morning practice. As I start my upright plank exercise, my coach left his perch in the corner with his arms crossed to pull me into the next room. My coach proceeded to chew me out for what he called my “lack of dedication towards the team.” Apparently, he did not feel like I was pushing myself in practices. It was 5:45 AM, I couldn’t even.
This is a scene familiar to many high school football players, even as the football season comes to a halt. I used to stand for hours in front of mirror: flexing, hoping, waiting for muscles to just morph and pop out of my stomach. Body image issues are for girls only, right?! WRONG! Body image affects guys, too– just in a different way. Many guys think they are either too small or too big, and need to have this big muscular body. But the more I lifted with my team, muscle did grow, but never big enough or in the right spots. I wanted to look like the guys in magazine ads and Sports Illustrated covers.
So, I started my quest for the six-pack. The summer was returning and my job as a lifeguard approaching; the only way I was willing to hit the pool was a six pack. I hit the salad bar at school and told my mother I wasn’t hungry. I did more crunches in that month before the pool opening than I ever did in my life. But still on pool opening, there was no six-pack to show off. I had failed my quest. But when I looked around, no one that day had a six pack either. That day, I stepped up to the edge of the pool, dipped my toe in the refreshing water, decided to take my shirt off, and dove into that summer head first.