Finally—a place where busting your ass actually does pay off. You don’t have to worry about a coach giving you playing time. You don’t have to worry about kissing your boss’s ass to get a promotion. There isn't any of that other crap people feed you your entire life—“hard work gets noticed” and “keep working hard and things will work out.” I call bullshit. I call it because I’ve been there. I come from an old-school family where my grandpa taught me my work ethic. Needless to say, I always bust my ass. I do everything for me and I don’t care who’s watching or who knows. It’s about busting your butt in the early mornings or coming in after a long day and getting your stuff done. Finally! A place where I can do it and see the rewards.

I’ve spent a lot of my athletic days behind coaches' sons or highly touted junior college guys. From little league baseball to college baseball, it always seemed that I worked harder than everyone else but got less attention. What happened? I was always told by my coaches that I was one of the hardest workers. Of course, I didn’t need that BS up my ass. I wanted to see it on the field! I know what a lot of you are thinking—it’s probably because you just sucked. Well, it’s not. Let me put it this way—for my last collegiate start in baseball, I went 2-4 with a grand slam and a double. That was about the third week of the season. Tell me how there were guys in my position hitting below 0.300 (which isn’t good in college) and I was still stuck there watching this agony! Where was my hard work going?

I still busted my ass in practices, trying to prove that I deserved it. Well, guess what? Our team made the regional bracket and even hosted it because we were number one in our region and the coach put me as a reserve! A f***ing reserve? Again, what happened?! I busted my balls for four years and this is what I got? I wasn't even allowed to wear a uniform during my senior season in the playoffs?! Whatever. It was done and over, right?

So I moved on to graduate school. I busted my ass in graduate school. My degree was supposed to be a two-year degree, but I finished in a year and a half. Oh yeah, my undergraduate degree was in history and this degree was in advanced exercise science. Needless to say, I busted my ass. I was also coaching baseball at the time. So I’m finished with coaches and not getting playing time. This time it has to pay off, right? I busted my ass in college and I busted my ass through graduate school and coaching. I have to get a job. At least something from above has to help land me something. But nothing. I was stuck. I felt like shit. I’d worked so hard my entire life to try and get ahead, to try and get things done the right way. People definitely noticed! But that sure as hell didn’t get me anywhere.

Then things finally changed. An opening became available to become a personal trainer. Me? I don't even have a certification, but I went for it. I gave it my all and landed the job. It allows me to use my teaching and coaching skills. It allows me to do what I've always wanted to do—work with and help people. Not only that, but luckily, my boss is a powerlifter and Strongman competitor. Naturally, I became intrigued and joined in on the fun. I’d been lifting for years as an athlete. I'd been in the athletic weight room as a coach, but I’d never been into powerlifting.

It’s enjoyable to be in and around the sport because in this field, people see, notice, and reward hard work. Not only do other lifters congratulate each other and cheer each other on to hit higher numbers or break records, but you can see it happening. I know that when I bust my ass during training I will get stronger. I can see the weights going up. I don’t have to rely on someone else to notice or do something about it. It’s right there. On the bar. Finally. A place where busting your ass actually pays off!