Your life can be like a track; if you keep walking away from yourself, you’ll eventually come full circle and end up right back where you started. Some people move quicker around that track than others. Some do laps, some don’t even finish a lap. But the thing with a track is that there is no definitive start/finish. The lines are blurred. It’s a circle, and people move around it hoping to make progress. But we aren’t meant to stay on a track our entire lives. Eventually we have to find ourselves, and step off the track, and onto the dirt road that has no cyclical environment. We have to leave the certainty of knowing that 4 laps equals a mile, and start running to where the distance is limitless.
It’s funny; I always hated doing the mile in school. I was a heavy set kid and a terrible runner. I would do the full sprint for the first quarter, then jog/walk for the remainder because I didn’t know how to pace myself. Now that I think of it, I always enjoyed running a path versus running in a circle. I would see everyone pass me by, and I would think “Shit, I still have 3 laps to go…”. The mile was absolute poison. It passively threw competition in our faces, citing it as a “fitness test”. While yes, it’s probably the most generic and applicable fitness test that any school can conduct, but man, when those mile times were recorded, those under 8 were awesome, and those over 9 were losers. In between 8–9 there were the kids who said they could have done better but didn’t try.
I had a 12-something.
Its not fun growing up as an outlier. Never belonging to a particular social clique, never having a stable friend group, always liking different things. Eventually you come to the realization that you no longer want to be the odd one out, and that instead, you want to fit in and be just like everyone else. Trust me, I know. I spent my first 20 years of life doing just that. And let me tell: It’s not fun. It really, really fucking sucks. Badly.
Naturally, the solution seemed to just try and be like everyone else. I remember wanting to wear etnies shoes and try skateboarding because thats what was cool and everyone else was doing it. I remember religiously watching VH1 and MTV music videos to see what songs were popular. I would go clothes shopping, and look to style myself after my peers. I got shitfaced at a house party and nearly died of alcohol poisoning, because well, kids got drunk at house parties. And if my mile time sucked, then I would make up by being the drunkest, wildest kid. All I wanted to do was fit in and be accepted, because if I was recognized as one of them, than I would have made it.
That mindset didn’t really do anything for me. In fact, it literally almost got me killed. It was then that I discovered health and fitness, and shed the skin of the old Tom , and found and embraced this new Tom 2.0. Since then, I’ve been living life for myself, and not for others. Because I learned something in those first 18 years of my life: Nobody really cares about you, so you might as well say fuck everyone and do you.
Now I know that sounds super cynical, but let me explain (in a uber-quick auto-biography)…
I was born and raised in Rego Park, Queens. Life was great. My family and I moved to Connecticut when I was 10. Life sucked. As mentioned, I was always the outlier. A fat asian/hispanic kid with chinky eyes and neck rolls. It was only right that bullying and depression ensued for the following years. I wasn’t kidding when I said trying to fit in sucked. I hated my life. Not in a suicidal way, but like “Why couldn’t I be the cool kid, or at least have friends that liked me?” My mom always told me I would go so out of my way to impress other people. It took me too long to realize that, but she was right. Do you know how painful that is? Every single day having to prove yourself to others, because you aren’t comfortable in your own skin?
But I don’t aim to take shots at those who contributed to that atmosphere. Instead, I want to thank you, for making me the man I am today. For without your sub par kindness and rude treatment, I would possibly be just like everyone else, and not me. So fuck you all, but more importantly thank you, because as I type this, I can finally smile in knowing that I am happy with who I am. I AM WINNING.
But this world is so much larger than just me. There is a universe of us millennials, kids, younger adults, etc that suffer from the same negativity that impaired my world growing up. The struggles may be less than or greater than what I went through, but even that is enough. NOBODY deserves to go through that. We are all somebody, and we owe it to ourselves to embrace that soul inside of all of us and be who WE want to be, not what others want.
I was extremely fortunate to discover health and fitness, which in turn returned the favor and helped me discover myself. I truly believe that taking control of ones own health is the catalyst to a happy life. If you can take control of your own body (the human body which is the most complex living organism ever created) than you can do anything. It’s that simple.
My goal is to use health and fitness as a platform to help others find themselves. Because for all the little Tommy Chin’s out there who might be going through something similar, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And the best part is: YOU CAN CONTROL IT!
As my first blog post, I wanted to give a little insight into my life, and why I am so passionate about health and fitness. I don’t want to sell detox teas nor give you six-pack ab secrets. I want to save lives, and change them for the better. Because I truly believe, that a healthier you, is a better you. It’s time to make this world a better place. And it starts with your health.
Over the next week or so, I’ll be releasing my second entry that gives a little more insight into my recent life-changing summer, and how this whole goal of a health and fitness takeover started. In the meantime, I sincerely appreciate anyone that read this from start to finish, or hell, even just a little bit. I never thought I’d be sharing my life like this, but it’s safe to say I just feel like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I can for once take a huge breathe. And with that breathe, I want to thank the following people for really giving me the support and advice I needed during this hectic time of transistion.
-Mom and Dad, thanks. Although we disagree often, you both have been my rock and really allowed me to embrace this life I aim to pursue. Although at odds about it, never once did you actually choose to hold me back. Dad, thanks for sharing all the posts on facebook too. It really lights me up when I get that notification that you shared something. And Mom, you annoy the hell out of me, but for good reason. I need you guys, so thanks.
-One of best friends Andrew Creaturo, for always putting me on to new health information and giving me amazing nutrition advice. You inspire me in a lot of ways bro, thank you!
-Another one of my closest friends, Brandon Gesualdi. It was his idea that I start a blog, and through his advice and coaching, has really helped me make a transition into this new lifestyle. I cant thank you enough man, I really do appreciate everything, and I mean everything!
There’s probably a million more people I can think of that have given me support along the way, but this thing needs to end kind of soon I guess (lol). So after all this, I leave you with one question:
Who do YOU want to be?
Let me know, I love talking and until next time, stay tuned!
Thomas Marc Chin
PnL1, NASM CPT, CNC, YES