When I was a teen working out in the gym in a tank top an older bodybuilder took me aside and told me to put my shirt back on. At first I think I took offense, because I felt he wasn’t thinking much of what he saw, which was a fledgling little bodybuilder. What I came to realize later from that experience is there’s a time to work and a time to admire, and the truth is it’s possible to mix up the appropriate time for either. .
When it’s time to admire and assess there’s a mindset for that. There are tools for that. For instance, I don’t walk around the gym in a Speedo. That’s a part of the unveiling come contest time. When I’m onstage in posing trunks I’m allowing my work to be assessed. Many times people will judge others without a hint as to what’s going on. At church when I was a kid the pastor said, “Please don’t be so quick to judge me because God isn’t finished with me yet.” He was talking about going through the process of maturation, the trials of life. Through those fires a better human being can be forged. Yet if you freeze-frame a person at any particular stage of that process it’s like considering an artist’s work after the first few brush strokes. What’s on the canvas in the beginning might differ markedly from the end product. But if you’re too quick to judge the beginning, the artist herself might give up before she is done, and no one will know. So sometimes you’ve got to play your cards close to your chest in an effort to keep your mind clear and focused, to keep control over your universe without becoming disheartened or derailed. And that’s why I cover up.
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