This Thursday, November 11th, thousands will gather at war monuments with veterans to remember the fallen. At 11:00 a.m. they will stand with heads bowed to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when the "guns went silent" and the German armistice was signed to end "the war to end all wars."
This past year I also went to war. It was on a battlefield of a different sort. I dedicated myself to preparing for a 3rd bodybuilding contest. As a gym veteran I have pushed through injuries to accomplish my goal.... On November 20th at almost 45 years old, I will be on stage in the best condition of my life.
Along the way I have thought about the many gym veterans who have inspired me since I began my weightlifting journey approximately 30 years ago. They taught me gym manners, workout intensity and modelled a great respect for being one step away from injury. Today, the fighting passion to be fit still burns in my belly and it will until "my guns go silent" ... So with no disrespect to John McCrae, whatsoever, I have adapted his poem "In Flanders Field" to honor the gym veterans who battle the weights each day to accomplish their fitness goals...... I challenge the young warriors to carry the torch with pride.
IN DIRTY GYMS
In "dirty gyms" the weights do pound
between the benches row by row
They mark the place; and provide the high
The veterans, still bravely train, with drive
Scarcely noticed amid the noise around
We are the wariors, sometime ago
We were young, and full of go
Respected and were respected, and now we train
In dirty gyms
We still struggle with the foe
To young wariors our callous hands we throw
Gym respect, be yours and hold it high
If you break faith with us who "die"
We cannot stop, though we still engage
In dirty gyms
Can't wait for November 20th ...... so I can march on stage one more time in the best condition of my life.