I moved back to Pittsburgh from Los Angeles in 2017. My heart was broken and so was my bank account. The only thing that I seemed to be able to get myself to do was go to the gym. I had belonged to LA Fitness when I lived in California and switched my membership over when I moved back home. I was pretty relentless, even doing “two-a-days” meaning, exactly as it sounds, going twice a day.

The thing that I was most consistent with was ensuring that I got on the StairMaster for at least 20 minutes every day. Again, sometimes twice a day when the anxiety was biting just a little harder than usual. It was my brokenness and shattered heart that pushed me to go. With everything else so outside of my control, this was the one thing that I could control.

After days that turned into weeks and weeks that turned into months, I started getting my time on the StairMaster up to about 40 minutes. Now, for anyone that’s ventured to use this machine, you know how damn brutal it can be. Ten minutes is a feat let alone 40. And my intention is not for that to sound boastful, I’m just trying to paint the picture of how difficult it can be.

It wasn’t some desire to have six-pack abs or a flawless physique that pushed me to push myself to climb hundreds and hundreds of flights of steps. It was a broken heart that pushed me. It was a crumbled dream that lay at my feet and tears falling from my eyes that left me with one thought and two options; The one thought being, everything hurts. The two options being, let it break you or let it build you. So, with nothing I just simply chose to climb the steps.

Recently my life has changed considerably since then and I’m thankful for it. But I’m also thankful for that pain and brokenness that found me in 2017. I now go to a gym called, Crunch Fitness, and have some pretty good friends there. One friend in particular came up to me a few weeks ago before we were friends and said, “Yo man, I’ve been meaning to tell you. You kill it on the stairs. I get here and look over after an hour and you’re still going.” That came from someone that I would consider to be one of the strongest people I now know. Eric is a damn tank. It was uplifting and encouraging for someone that I admired from a distance to say that to me.

I know how crazy it is to do 40 minutes on the StairMaster, but I don’t do 40 minutes anymore. I do 60. And the only reason I’m able to do that is because of the times that everything hurt.

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