Łukasz Łokieć z klasy II A (2012-2013)


Howdy strangers! Let me introduce you to the sport of bodybuilding and how I got involved in it.

It all started many years ago. In primary school I was the fat kid. I hated it, especially given the fact that all the other kids were always ripping on me. I wanted to get leaner and better-looking but I had no idea how to do it. Additionally, there were other obstacles: my mother is an awesome cook and I just couldn't resist her delicious pies. The other thing that kept me from changing is the fact that my mother, who really cares about me, didn't want me to feel bad about it and I ended up thinking I was just meant to be that way. To make matters worse, my belief was reinforced by the fact that my athletic skills were very poor.

I used to watch a lot of television. Now it's changed because I don't do it at all but one thing remains the same: I love action movies. I've always enjoyed watching films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and others. I used to dream about being just like them. I tried a few times to take up exercise but every time I got easily discouraged and quit.

The breakthrough happened one day in my new school when we were doing chin-ups during our PE class. I couldn't do a single one. People were laughing. Normal people would just put a bold face on it and just go on living in denial but I took it very seriously. It was painful. It was humiliating. And I told myself that I must change it.

I started out doing just basic exercises with my own body weight and a chinning bar. 15 months later I got some dumbbells, 6 months after that I joined a gym. I remember my first workout and most notably, how I felt afterwards. It was something that's hard to describe but I know I'd never felt it before. That day I discovered what I want to do in life.

I mentioned earlier that I'd got some dumbbells. My brother shoved me how to use them but that wasn't enough for me. I got on the internet and started looking. I'd remembered the movie Commando and Arnold Schwarzenegger who really impressed me so I typed in his name. The photos that popped out literally blew me away. He was so huge that I simply couldn't believe it. But there was something powerful about him that drew me to his physique. As I started reading about him something inside me said “I want to be like that”.

Arnold was my first real encounter with professional bodybuilding. It is he who motivated me and made me believe that I could achieve great things in life. Now that I look back at it I must say that if it hadn't been for Arnold, I would have probably never got into bodybuilding. Why? Because before I discovered him all I'd heard about bodybuilding was negative stuff and the people that were saying it were my family but not only them. They would say that bodybuilders are nothing but a bunch of morons with big muscles and brains the size of a peanut, that they owe their bodies to nothing but steroids, that bodybuilding is unhealthy. But it's all lies. Lies spread by people for various reasons but the primary cause of this is simply lack of awareness. It's easy to judge others but it's hard to try to understand. Arnold said something completely opposite. He preached the benefits of bodybuilding: that it's good for your health and your mind, that it gives you confidence and discipline. Seeing what Arnold achieved, no further convincing was needed. I knew who I should listen to.

Bodybuilding has changed my life completely. The one thing that's changed the most is my nutrition. I used to eat a lot of what I call trash food: cakes, candy bars, sugar, fried foods. Well, that's no longer the case. I don't drink any sweetened beverages, only water and milk. Every day I personally prepare my food, pack it and carry it with me wherever I go so that when it's time to eat I don't need to rely on the stuff that's sold everywhere. I can honestly say that I've never bought a single thing from our school shop. That gives me a sense of independence and pride in taking care to give my body quality fuel. To be honest with you, when I eat junk I feel like junk. After all, you can't run a Ferrari on sewage instead of quality petrol.

So, what do I eat? First of all, let me tell you that the idea that bodybuilders eat just chicken and rice all day long is a complete myth. I sometimes change things up but for the most part I eat beef, chicken, fish, eggs (whole eggs, I've never thrown away a single yolk), cottage cheese, brown rice, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, some fruit and a lot of vegetables. Things like sugar, fast food, fried foods, white bread, deli meats are out of the question.

As long as you're not a complete idiot, you can benefit tremendously from bodybuilding. What I mean by that is simply that you need to obey certain rules in order not to get hurt. Personally, I've never had an injury which resulted from bodybuilding. Although I've experienced some knee problems, they occurred during PE lessons.

There are numerous benefits that stem from bodybuilding. The first and obvious one is health. Not only does exercise strengthen the muscles, but it also boosts your immune system. Therefore, it is easier for the body to deal with infections and illnesses because it is prepared. Bodybuilding is not just training, it's nutrition. As one changes their eating habits they are bound to experience higher energy level and improved performance in every area of their life.

The mental aspect is also crucial. In the gym you get a touch with reality. You've got a weigh in front of you, either it will crush you or you will conquer it. And that's real. As a matter of fact, I believe that the squat is a perfect analogy to life – it's about getting up after something heavy brings you down.

I'm not saying that bodybuilding is the best thing out there because it's a matter of preference. However, it can't be denied that other sports are benefiting from bodybuilding. Basketball players work out, football players work out, swimmers work out, boxers work out, even the Pope works out! Now why would he do that? Because he realizes that unless the body has a reason to hold on to it's muscle tissue, it will get rid of it as one grows older. And guess what happens when you've got no muscles? You die. So it is especially important of the elderly to stay active as long as they can.

There is one more thing that makes bodybuilding special. 60 years ago the term sports nutrition science was virtually non-existent. It were the bodybuilders who pioneered in this field by experimenting on themselves what worked and what didn't and they accomplished it without fancy labs or equipment. One thing they discovered was that beef made them stronger. Many years later scientific research confirmed that beef contains creatine, a key component that boosts one's strength.

I love bodybuilding and I owe a lot to it. To a large extent it has shaped who I am today. It's definitely given me more confidence and self-esteem and it may have prevented me from doing a lot of dumb things just to feel respected by my peers. I believe in dreams. I believe in making them a reality. I have a dream. Just wait and see.



                                                                         Łukasz Łokieć, klasa II A


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