I approached Chris a couple months ago inquiring if I could write a little piece on my experience with the Black Iron Training gym, and the Starting Strength program. If anyone caught in that first sentence, I said "a couple months ago", with no intentions of it taking me this long to write my story. You see, I have known Chris and had a basic understanding of what Starting Strength was because he began coaching my son when he was 13 on some of the basics to help him with becoming stronger for hockey. Little did I really understand the dynamics that went into the time my son spent building strength in a small little gym on the corner of Waverly road in Lansing, MI. The friendship that Chris and my son developed over these formative years is something I know will last a lifetime, and due to the friendship and respect, I knew without a doubt that this is the place I should turn to in June of 2015. The reason I say this is because January 10th, 2015 I received a phone call that would forever change my life. My Father had passed away, alone in his home, and would not be found for two days. This statement alone is what has been hindering the process of me writing this paper. Each time Chris has asked me how it's coming along, I would say "it's coming", in total honesty because I would get to this point and could not type anymore. I decided that I had to honor my promise about what I wanted to share with everyone. The Starting Strength program that Chris, Spencer and the other wonderful interns are teaching at Black Iron Training goes much further than muscle, it affects the overall health of one's body, including the brain and emotions.
Few people know, but I have struggled with Depression and Anxiety for most of my adult life and when I learned of my Dad's passing, the tail spin that I went into was something I did not entirely recognize, nor did I really want to. I was not eating or sleeping very well, and I began drinking alcohol more than I ever had. Fast forward six months, when I was tired of being tired, and weak, and sad, and angry, and knowing that my Dad would not be able to rest in peace if I could not live in peace. I made the decision to start taking better care of myself and one of the first steps I made in that process was to call Chris and schedule my first trial session to see what Starting Strength was really all about. Little had I know what I actually signed up for was going to save my life. This may sound like a bold statement for some, but I believe it wholeheartedly. Not only have I gained strength that I never could have imagined, but I gained happiness. Twice a week I go into the Black Iron Training where the atmosphere is almost like that of the old sitcom "Cheers". We all know each other's name, we all cheer one another on, but the most important aspect is genuine friendship and caring that cannot be found in any gym that I've ever attended.
I eat, I sleep, and don't drink near as much but most of all, I smile, laugh and when the days of missing my Dad are almost too much to bare, I know I have a place to go that will put my soul at ease, and allow both my Dad and I to "rest in peace".
Thank you Chris, Spencer, and the amazing folks at Black Iron Training!