My passion for fitness began in 1981 when my father, Larry Marr, bought me my first Weider Weight set.
Hearing the clanking of those weights and, more importantly, wanting to get buff to impress my buddies, created an obsession. Not many kids leave a party at their friendˈs house to go home and lift weights, but that was yours truly.
Lifting weights had a host of benefits beyond packing some muscle on my skinny 12-year-old frame. Most 12-year-old kids have a lot of energy, but I was a step removed from high energy, according to my mother. As a small boy, I would run around the house, jumping over couches, pretending I was a racehorse for extended periods of time. I also had a very difficult time sitting still in school. I always wanted to be moving. Weightlifting was crucial in my development as a teenager. It gave me confidence, a calming energy and helped me excel – well, maybe not excel, but at least be pretty damn good in sports.
I decided to pick things up a notch on my 20th birthday and entered a local bodybuilding show. In 1989, there certainly wasn’t the plethora of fitness info that is available today and my nutritional advice was limited to that of a local gym owner. He told me to stick to lots of chicken breast and to refrain from eating more than one sweet potato per day.
Probably not an optimal diet, but that is what I ate for the next eight weeks – six chicken breasts a day and one sweet potato per day. Lets just say that by the end of the eighth week, I could not stand the sight of another rubbery chicken breast. I came in 3rd place and it was my first and last bodybuilding show, but I often tell my kids and wife that it was the most difficult thing that I ever did. However, it built a foundation of discipline that shaped my life.
My 20’s were marked with all of the usual stuff: I entered the workforce, got married, had a kid and the one constant remained working out.
My 30’s were much of the same still working 40 to 60 hours a week in the same industry and still married to the same woman (not sure how she put up with me), had two more kids while still managing to squeeze in six workouts per week. Working out in my 30’s was different, but not a lot different. I was experiencing some injuries, but not a ton and had taken on two new new sports — Softball and Tae Kwon Do.
Now in my 40’s I’m still working out, but things are a little different. The injuries are starting to pile up — my back, my elbow and my knees. You name it, I have had it. I had to take a step back and realized that if I want continue to do this stuff in my 90’s (that’s the plan :)), I have to take a look at not just training, but how I am training.