Against all odds and against the grain, I “push and pull”. The catalyst to any work out (down up 1, down up 2) rapid successions as I bring myself down and bring myself back up. Stabilizing the core, breathing in and out trying to maintain proper form.
To me working out wasn’t just about getting stronger and fit, it was a means to vent steam and all the pent-up frustrations that come from behind incarceration. Working out to me was a “coping mechanism”. Breaking myself down and building myself back up. Even working myself out to the point of exhaustion at times. (It was the times that I had the best night’s sleep).
There is such a thing as too much energy and what I needed to learn was how to implement that energy in a positive manner. How to direct that energy towards a productive lifestyle.
Working out has become just that, “A Lifestyle”. Once a person implements a daily regimen in their routine, it becomes habit and human beings are creatures of habit. So that habit becomes hard to break. I find it even unsettling at times to miss a workout or go a prolonged period of time without working out.
I soon developed a pattern in adopting such a lifestyle and wanted to incorporate even more wholesome methods to my day to day regimen. Such as eating well (or as best as a person can under the conditions), but you start looking at the overall scope of things and it’s true what they say “one thing leads to another”.
I have completely cut off pops/soda from my diet and instead aim to drink at least a gallon of water daily. I even find myself repulsed at the taste of any pop. Today would make it almost 8 years that I’ve abstained from such sugary drinks. It’s almost like an acquired taste, you “will yourself” into liking certain things and in turn you can utilize that same “will” into disliking that certain thing.
Sugars, bad carbs, gluten, too much sodium and processed foods, all had to be minimized, or cut off from my diet all together. You grow more conscious of the things you put into your body. I was trying to attain overall health, so what came next for me and which was most recent is “mental health”.
I’ve realized that everything starts from within. I put it in my head that I wanted to be strong overall. I wanted not only to have a strong physique, but a strong mind, strong enough to overcome negative thinking and influences that come from behind such a milieu.
I came to realize the power of your subconscious mind and how “awareness” can shape, or shift a persons arrayed outcome. Concentration was key, not only to my workouts and targeting certain muscle components, but really concentrating on the things I wanted and developing a more acute understanding by doing so. Meditation taught me how to do that, focusing on one thing and one thing only, allows for the person to be more significantly inspired.
I must admit that my commencement to exercise and working out wasn’t in the least bit coming from a place of pure heartedness. I first wanted to start working out so I could get bigger and stronger to beat people up in fights, which I grew up having. My nearsightedness at the time wasn’t thinking about a healthy lifestyle, or any of that. I just wanted to beat people up, it turned into a means to vent and cope and just as with any pattern they develop and what is formed is only a result of your own doing.
Even though I started working out and exercising to get stronger and beat people up, it was a positive attribute to have. That one positive attribute led to more positive attributes, which led to me watching my diet and being aware that you are what you eat and what you put inside you shows on the outside.
My thought patterns since have also changed and instead of working out to get stronger and beat people up, I now realize that “only the weak are cruel, gentleness can only be expected from the strong”.

My 16 min. Burn out full body exercise:
(Perform at least 3 times a week)
Burpees: 100 in 10 min.
Do 10 sets of 10 (1 min. per set, using only the remainder of that 1 min. to rest and immediately get into 2nd set)
After you complete burpees, perform the following core exercises:
Sit ups: 30 Sec.
Crunches w/kick out: 30 sec.
Scissor Kicks: 30 sec.
Plank: 30 sec.
Perform in intervals 3 sets w/no rest time in between (aim to complete intervals in 6 min.) (Beginners should take their time, aiming to complete workout in 30 min.)

By Abdallah Othman