Hi guys, it's been awhile.
I'm a longtime reader (6 years) and rare poster (speaks for itself). I've got an issue I think the folks here will understand, and I could really use some advice. I'll try and keep it brief, but it requires my own story.
I'm a 21 year old full time college junior, and left lifting 8 months ago. I started out as a 150lb 15 year old competitive swimmer training in a crappy apartment gym, working out everyday (doing everything except the hard stuff!) and ended up at 20 years old standing about 6' 2", weighing 240lbs at ~15% body fat, benching 315 (stinkin' lanky arms!), clean grip front squatting 365, and deadlifting 550 as one of the most serious lifters in my school's weightlifting club. I was pegged to be President of that organization during this school year
I left the lifting lifestyle because I had other life goals I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to make Dean's list for the whole year( I made it last semester, and if I don't make it this semester, I'll be pretty damn close), go live on an organic farm and learn that business (I'm doing that this summer), and just generally be a bit more spontaneous in life (meh).
I don't think I have to tell you guys what it's like to be invited spur of the moment to run off to do something and have to decline going because you've gotta make a protein shake and eat your 6th meal of the day. As much as I love this life, it can be a lonely lifestyle that takes a toll on your family and friends. I know I drove my Mom up the wall when I was younger by not really being able to go on vacation without knowing the location of every Subway along the highway and lugging around a giant cooler everywhere.
I've trained while I've been away for family funerals, and I've missed more than 1 family reunion because PRs were more important to me. I've hurt a few close friends by playing hermit crab during bulk cycles because birthday parties at 3am are out of the question (if you wanna grow, you gotta sleep!).I've lived the sentiment expressed by Louie Simmons in "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" when he's talking about Smelly and says something to the affect of "Marriage, babies, and work are bad for PRs."
Ultimately, I'm VERY aware that I could have worked at achieving the previous mentioned goals and kept progressing in lifting, but I wanted to experience my youth in a different light for awhile.I've always been a blast or dust kind of guy, and while I was growing and doing well at lifting, my school work was suffering, so it was time for me to go. My time away has helped me mature, but the longer I have been away from the gym, the more I miss it, and I am going back in September.
Despite my planned return, I've got another untackled obstacle I wonder if you guys can help me deal with. Since I was 8 years old, I've wanted to be a member of the United States Marine Corps, and I plan on enlisting after I graduate in 2012. My reasons for enlistment stem from the fact that I've always been a gun nut.I've shot since I was 9, I'm my school's current Pistol Club Vice President, I'm President elect for next year, I've designed a few weapons (unbuilt, of course!), and I've got a working knowledge of guns I've been building for as long as I've been shooting.
I would like to advance this knowledge bank with a little hand's on experience in the Corps as a Small Arms Repairer (MOS 2111), with the ultimate goal of becoming a Marine Corps Gunsmith (MOS 2112). I had the opportunity to go to Platoon Leadership Camp to be an Officer this upcoming summer, but turned it down because I wanted to do the farm thing more, and the closest I'd get to Small Arms Repair anyway would be as an Ordnance Officer (No Thanks!), assuming I made it. Current Marine and TMAG member Hungry4More gave me some GREAT advice about a year or so ago on this, and with his input I made a decision I'm happy with.
So if you're still awake after reading my story, I'd like to know how YOU rationalize going after goals that conflict with lifting? In my case, when I enlist in the Marines, I'll have to go through Boot Camp, Marine Combat Training, and my Military Occupational Specialty School, which probably means NO lifting. I really want to get immersed in the culture and do well during that training time period (7-8 months), but I also know that I will have to sacrifice my pursuit of a 750 lb deadlift, 405 lb bench, and 500lb front squat at 250 lbs to succeed, at least for the time being. I know there is no such thing as a free lunch, but how do you guys deal with going after dualing life passions?
Thanks for reading, and I apologize for being longwinded (I'm a Sociology major and Philosophy minor, so what did you expect?