I have been sitting here staring at this for 15 minutes and still can't seem to hone my thoughts into anything coherent.
I love lifting weights. I love feeling strong (even if I am not the strongest). I love feeling like I have accomplished something...that I have overcome.
Human beings are designed to aspire, to have goals, to see the horizon and yearn to know what is just over it.
It is in doing that we grow, conquer our demons and find fulfillment. Some people can multitask that. For me, I tend to hyper-focus.
Even though I don't do competitions, I love the competitiveness of it. Whether that is to be the only person in the gym that can MP 315# (whether or not anyone else notices) or to see that next, still defiant weight and sweat, grunt, and grind it down until it is just another conquered foe on the heap.
I, honestly, don't think much of injury, other than back. I don't squat or deadlift because of spondy. But, I still do heavy MP's and, occasionally, heavy shrugs, which both aggravate it. I think that I accept a degree of pain and setback (injury, in this case) as just a part of life. Especially if one is truly willing to push their boundaries.
So, I guess that I have also accepted the fact that my continued heavy lifting will ultimately lead to back surgery. I don't know that it is avoidable either way, just that lifting will hasten it. So, if it is going to happen either way, I may as well do my thing and go as high as I can until I can't. And then I will find another way to push it.
Three things that immediately up my sense of well being and quality of life...hearing my children laugh, seeing my wife smile and making an aspiration into an accomplishment.