Friday, May 18, 2012

Self Made Man

I have this thing about people who excel and thrive in spite of their circumstances. I have a good friend, Rob who grew up a lot different than I did. Although we all grew up in the same town, and all of us were suburban Maryland kids, Rob definitely had it rougher than  most. Both of my parents stayed together and both of them worked. Rob's dad was an electrician by trade, but mostly he was a drunk. After his father and mother divorced, his mom got a new boyfriend when Rob was in high school. Pretty soon it got serious and his mother was outta there, and got remarried. So Rob was on his own.

Now, being that he never had a damn thing growing up, he had worked at Adelphi Mobil gas staion since he was like 14 or something. We all ended up working there, but Rob HAD to work there. He also cut lawns and fixed stuff, doing everything for himself.

 So anyway, his mom left when he was 16. She just left one day and Rob was on his own.

We loved it because we could go over there all of the time, and he had a gym in his basement. His mom had some guy move in for awhile, to "watch over" Rob and the house, but he didn't have much control over anything at all, except to kick me out of the weight room because he was a big old..well..that's another story.

 So now he is 16, his dad split, his mom spit, we are living in the early 80's in suburban Maryland where the climate was drugs and drugs and more drugs.

So what did Rob do? He graduates high school which was no small feat considering he was 16 and had nobody telling him to get his ass up and go to school. Then he puts himself through the University Of Maryland where he gets his degree in Construction Management. All the while he was in school, he worked. Mowing lawns, making pizzas, selling rings for Josten's, paying his way through school, paying his insurance, and the best thing about him? He never once complained, not once did he say, man what a shitty hand I was dealt in this godforsaken life. Nope he just got up and got going, day after day.

What is he doing now? He is a Construction Supervisor at a major company in Maryland. He is in charge of the job site, all the workers, everything. He works his ass off, everyday.

 A few years back, he decided to move out of Adelphi after crime got too bad. He bought a plot of land a few counties away, and built a house. He built it himself. I would drive down from Jersey every couple of weeks and he would be closer and closer to being finished. He worked every night after getting off of his regular job.

The damn house is beautiful, a million dollar house. He has 3 kids. His oldest is going into college next year, and he has been married to the same girl since 1989.

Rob is a self made man in every sense of the word; taking care of business when nobody cared if he ever did a damn thing with his life. When some folks would have just packed it in and felt sorry for themselves or took a turn down a road to nowhere, Rob persevered and made it, with hard work and something inside of him that I would love to bottle up and sell to everyone who bitches and moans on how hard they have it in life.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.