Monday, January 17, 2011

What I've Learned From Twisted Sister

The title alone sounds funny doesn't it? What irrepressible life lesson can one learn from the 80's hair metal band, Twisted Sister?

When I began my journey into weight-lifting, I had crossed many paths with fellow lifters in different gyms. I made many friends; had many gym partners, and logged countless hours of training. Along with those hours came many injuries, burn-out, and wasting time with repetitiveness. Back in the early nineties, I would travel over 20-30 minutes to the gym simply to change the environment. Every few weeks, I would change my song play-list, buy new sneakers, or go to the gym at different times--all in an effort to keep things fresh. At times, I had memberships to 2--sometimes 3 different fitness centers! In my younger years, when life was simpler, it was no problem funding my workouts and making it priority #1.It helped me stay hungry to reach my goals.

Over the years, I had run into many of my former gym partners. Whether it is a restaurant, party, festival, or grocery store, I seem to run into old gym friends and the topic always comes up:
Them: "Are you still lifting?"

Me: "Yep".

Them: "Wow. Not me, I don't seem to have the time anymore. I work tons of hours, have the kids, and I always tired." 

In an effort to show apathy, I tend to agree with them or sympathize with their lack-luster reasons. After all these years, I am still at it. Despite how tired I am, how busy I am, or how many other things going on in my life, I still wake up every morning thinking "I NEED TO WORKOUT".
However,  there have been times when I wanted to give up. There have been times when I wanted to quit and find "another hobby" (as someone once referred it to me). Why do so many people start exercising and then quit? Amidst the New Year's Resolution hoopla, within the next week or two,  gym attendance rates will begin to drop off across America. Why is that?

This is where I learned something from the rock band Twisted Sister. When I was younger, I always played the song "Stay Hungry" from their similarly titled album that was released in 1984. I loved the drive, tempo, and chorus of the song. It really drove my workouts. However,  as I got older,  I paid attention more to the lyrics. The lyrics inspired me and I realized that the reason why I still do what I do--why I keep "lifting things up and put them down"--is simple! I am still hungry.

STAY HUNGRY (lyrics by Dee Snider, Twisted Sister)
are you feeling the fire?
are you ready to explode?
are your dreams and desires
riding down an open road?
I'm like a runaway
a heart without a home
others can laugh and play
I'll fight for
every inch i take
I'm desperate to the bone

stay hungry
feel the fire
stay hungry
don't explode
stay hungry
with desire
stay hungry you're alone

be the hunter and the hunted
keep your target
in your sight
don't be side
tracked or shunted
let pretenders feel your bite
and if you start to slide
never show you're weak
don't feel you've got to hide
remember what
you're fighting for
remember what you seek

stay hungry
feel the fire
stay hungry
don't explode
stay hungry
with desire
stay hungry you're alone
all right!

if your fire is faded
and you can't feel it no more
if you're tired and overrated
let me show you to the door
expect no sympathy
there's none to be had
open your eyes and see
there's no room for
the wannabees.
the has beens or the bad

The song's lyrics can be applied to anything in life. Those that desire success--whether it is in fitness, weight-loss, or financial gain--reach their successes because they harness  tenacity of will. A hunger. When that hunger is gone; they lose the will to continue. And eventually they fail. Maintain your hunger always.


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