I had a really cool epiphany yesterday, I feel great! I'm not talking about the feeling of not lugging around an extra 100 plus pounds of bodyweight either. I'm talking about feeling great about myself.

Let me put this into perspective. I have had some really cool accomplishments in powerlifting. I held an all time world record (a real record) benching in the 275 lb weight class. I have benched 600 lbs raw in three different weight classes. I benched 900 equipped. They were all incredible experiences and very gratifying.

For those who have competed, you know, those moments are fleeting. The next day you are returning to work like everyone else and nobody but a bunch of crazy lifters even care. Even that doesn't last long. Actually, no matter how good the lift is you'll end up getting blasted on social media anyway.

Now with my current accomplishment of getting into really good shape, I get that euphoric high numerous times a day. I know it will sound narcissistic, but every time I get out of the shower and see myself in the bathroom mirror, I'm like "Damn, that's really me!" Or when I'm shaving and only have one chin to work around. Sometimes I pass a mirror and hardly recognize myself, seriously.

I think this also has something to do with the fact that I have never been in good shape. When I was really young, my nickname was skinny Vinny. Then I had that sprouting stage as a young teen, but mine was more wide than tall. I ended taking the pudge off, but was never in really good shape. I never had abs, or veins in my arms, or a cut in my chest.

Then as I got more serious about being strong, I got big. Well, big and fat. Not that I cared at that point, but I got further and further away from being in shape. I know round is a shape, but that's not an enviable one.

For those of you already in great shape, good for you. It does not come easy. Don't take it for granted. Now for those of you who have never been in good shape and are efforting to do so, it is totally worth it. It's actually way cooler than I could have ever imagined. Just be patient and disciplined. It won't happen overnight. Good luck in your journey.