Today’s story comes to us from BI4J intern Von Stowers.
Growing up I was just like every other little boy in my small town. We would all ride our bikes to the park on the weekend and play basketball, football and baseball. I was often picked first because I was fast, strong and extremely athletic. I was very proud of my body and never hesitated to rip my shirt off when I was on the skins team. In physical education class I always paired with the other boys for competition and could hold my own.
As we grew older, the other boys started going through physical changes that I didn’t. They became taller, gained more muscle mass and soon were easily out running me and had no problem tackling me. In attempts to keep up with my peers I hit the gym and started working out twice as hard as them in hopes of changing my body. My attempts failed and soon I stopped being able to compete and play with the other boys and became very isolated, inactive and anti-social, which lead to a deep depression that lasted well into my 20’s.
As time went by I learned that the only person I had to compete against or be stronger or better than was myself. I learned to love myself and my body again, and was able to find a healthy way to transition into the person I always felt I was. I am still not as fast or as strong as my peers, but I am happy to work towards my own personal goals and am comfortable being the man that I am today.