Eating right and exercising are both extremely important parts of being healthy. I try to do those things on a daily basis because they make me feel good. One area that I was lacking in for many years was the positive thinking. I would get very down on myself and get stuck in a very dark place. My thought process was so messed up that I attempted to take my own life when I was 18 years old. This suicide attempt led to me dropping out of college and moving back home with my parents…
At that time in my life I wasn’t sure of who I was or who I wanted to become, like most 18 year olds. I didn’t have a passion in my life that could push me forward and help me grow as a person. After leaving school and moving back in with my parents I started to exercise on a regular basis and experiment with my diet. At that time my mindset was that I needed to be as big as possible because that was what girls liked… Once again 18 year old Ben was caught up in what everyone else thought of him.
At the time I was going to a local gym lifting weights and doing an occasional cycling class. After a cycling class one day I started chatting with the instructor Dan.C. He told me that he was a triathlete, I could see and hear his passion for the sport right away. I rushed home and started reading all I could about triathlons. Being someone who gets very obsessed with things, I became obsessed with the sport right away. This sport seemed perfect for me, I could do it solo or with others and it covered 3 different sports!
The thing that I really enjoyed was the long hours of being able to get into my own head. I am the type of person who needs to figure things out on his own. On my long solo training sessions I started to really think about myself. Why was I so unhappy? Why did I hate what I saw when I looked into the mirror? At that time in my life I couldn’t let things go. I didn’t have a chip on my shoulder I had a boulder instead. I carried around all the bad things that ever happened to me. The years of kids picking on me,spitting in my lunch at school, calling me gimp,retard and other terrible things. I still had all of that with me. Triathlon training became my salvation, my time to swim, bike and run away from my past.
Through training, my body as well as my mind began to slowly change. I would step in front of a mirror and see a body that was capable of taking me miles upon miles under its own power. I saw a someone who was slowing changing from a boy to a man. I started to realize that I have value and things to offer the world. Things were slowly changing for me. I was transitioning smoothly into a happier healthier person. My first triathlon was September 8th 2008. It was a life changing experience! I have since become a 2x Ironman and have done many other triathlons.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the past few years is to just let things go. If you were picked on as a kid, or have been through other unfortunate events just let them go. That is in the past, and you should be living in the now. My goal for 2014 is to give zero fucks about what others think of me. I had to use that word because that is how I feel. People spend their entire lives caring about what others think and they focus on that more than anything else. Sometimes you need to be a little selfish, focus on yourself and make yourself into what you,want to be. When you are what you want to be then and only then can you help others.
I hope you can take something positive out of my experiences. Find your passion and go after it with reckless abandonment. Become the you that you really want to be and don’t ever stop moving forward.