T Nation

Atomic Pup - Somebody's Watching


Austin is ten. He has one sister named Meredith and one bird - a parakeet - named Jackson. When he grows up, he wants to be a bull rider. He loves to skateboard and really likes to go to the movies. His favorite movie is Underdog.

I know this because Austin told me. He also told me "You're probably my best friend."

"You're probably mine, too."

We go skateboarding together. We go to the movies and we go out to eat, too. His favorite food? Steak, cooked medium rare.

"That a kid!" I said when he first ordered it. Our waitress just smiled. She didn't understand.

Sometimes we train together. Austin can do 13 strict pushups and one chin-up. It's pretty cool to watch, actually. You couldn't wipe the smile off his face.

Austin isn't my brother. He's just a kid that had the nerve to walk into my training studio - while I was training a client, no less - and introduce himself. "Hi. Do you want to go skateboarding later?" he asked.

"Uh, sure, buddy. Just give me a few minutes and we'll talk."

That was four months ago.

Austin starts school again today. He's nervous but excited. "I've got butterflies, but it's not a big deal," he told me. His family either can't afford or doesn't care about the school lunch menu. He makes his own sandwich and packs it himself, instead.

When he gets dressed in the morning he puts on clothes that are way too big for him and don't look quite right. "I think it's made for a girl, but my grandma found it for me," he replied when I asked him about his pink and black shirt.

"I like it," I said. "Very cool."

Austin has parents, but if you asked me, I'd say they weren't real parents at all. But I don't concern myself too much with his family matters. I just stay on the edge and watch from afar. For now.

Besides, Austin is confident. He's strong. He told me so one day in the gym as he lay on the ground. "I'm probably a lot stronger than my dad. Guess how many pushups I can do!"

So why do I hang out with Austin? Is it because I think he needs it? Is it because I want to be a good mentor and friend? Yes and yes.

But mostly I want to give back. I want to help him see what he's capable of. I want to introduce him to the gym and the glory of challenging himself. And I want to make it fun.

Austin doesn't understand a lot of things. Then again, neither do I. But I do know how much a positive role model can impact your life. I know that when I was 10 years old, life was hard. I won't bore you with details, so let's just say there was no silver spoon. I tasted a bit of rust and blood.

And while I found my ways to express myself - to release and escape - I wish somebody would have taken me to a gym sooner.

I wish someone would have bought me a steak and said I looked cool even though I was wearing a girl's shirt.

I could have just as easily told Austin to get lost on that first day. I could have rolled my eyes and went back to training my client. But I didn't.

We all inspire more people than we think we do. There's always someone watching you. Someone studying you. Someone who wants to be like you and just wants to talk and hang out.

It may not be a ten year old kid like Austin who rips it up on his skateboard and throws a tighter spiral than Steve Young. It could be the skinny guy in the corner who really needs some help on how to lift correctly. It could be the obese girl who just needs someone to give her a little direction. It may be your next door neighbor who struggles to make rent while you live comfortably. It could be a best friend, a family member or even a complete stranger.

It really doesn't matter.

So keep your eyes open. But most important, keep your heart and mind open. You may find it changes both of you.


Good story.

It is very true. You have no idea what impact you have on people.



How do you reconcile this Pup with the Pup that gets off on banging a girls' head against the headboard while copulating? C'mon...if Austin was watching you with your female friend would you act on your sadistic impulses? Will the real Nathaniel Green please stand up?!?!

Good job with the kid. It's inspiring.



Thank You


Very cool story.


This is clearly an inside joke but wtf...i mean really..wtf??

Good story though, haha funny how I read it only sec's after reading a post on how most people on here are assholes.


Very cool man


Ha, I was going to ask if he was going to show the kid how to bang a girl's head of the headboard once he hit puberty! Glad I'm not the only sick bastard here.

Oh and Nate great story, I hope you continue to make a positive impact on the kids life.



A lot of people like to throw the word "caring" around a lot but to actually get involved brings it to a whole new level.


Awesome story. Pretty powerful, if you'd ask me.

Thanks for sharing. Like I said before, I'm lookin' forward to reading more of these columns.


That was actually...kinda inspiring.

I'm not quite sure "inspiring" is the right word, "but it's the first word that comes to mind".


Me third... Guess Nate's blog is read by fuc**d up people... Just the way I like it!

Great story Nate, very inspiring. All kidding aside, I've found myself in the mentor/big brother position a couple of times, so I really get where you're coming from.

Keep them coming!


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pushharder, not to ruin the moment or accuse you of any ill intentions, but in todays world, i'm almost surprised you didn't get a visit from the cops with a 10 year old girl walking around saying she's not allowed to leave your house without a hug.


Forget today's world...in Push's world, I'm surprised she hadn't blossomed into a 5'10", hard-bodied, blonde with an identical twin looking to show Push how much she appreciated his kindess to her right there and then on the fairground's ferris wheel that just happened to be located in 4 states at the same time...complete with pics and video naturally.


good post Nate

it's stuff like this that got me into teaching, giving back does you good.


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You look totally cool today!

Great story.
You are wiser than your years!
Touching! Who would have known...


Well harems have been around for a long time. :slight_smile:


Nice Job Nate! As some one told me once --
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around -- I believe this to be very true............

it has helped me and I am sure of the positive effects it has on others.