Today was a pretty interesting day to be honest. Blasted through the morning routine, started working, and then around noon I was hit by a pretty old feeling – one that I haven’t had in years. It was the need for catharsis – the cleansing of oneself. So naturally, I did what I always would do when that feeling hit me back in the day – I went and destroyed my legs at the gym.

It has been a long time since I’ve done this, but it brought me back to a time and place when I was just starting out and learning. I had no idea what I was doing, but the feeling I had after starting to build myself back after I felt like I was broken…well, that feeling delivered me a little dose of pride every single day. I know a handful of people who use the gym as a therapy session, and whenever they tell me their stories about why it really makes sense. There’s something about being stable through the resistance of it all. Maybe it’s finding the solidity that escapes us every single time we feel like we have had the rug ripped out from underneath us. That moment where you are solid in yourself and you are constructing yourself as the sculptor and the clay.

I really respect people who use this place for their mind…because a long time I myself was burnt to ashes and came to the weights as a way of remaking myself. Those days were full of pain, and yet, the gym was a place for me to unload everything that was heavy in my heart and burdening my mind. It still is really. For a while, I didn’t have the healthiest of relationships with it because I would go 2 times a day nonstop. Whenever sh*t hit the fan I would overdo it and that’s what started a pretty wicked bad cycle of bad eating as well. I am a different man now – with the help of an amazing trainer – who bought into my philosophy and desire to create the strongest mind we possibly could together – and see what the hell the body would look like after we did that.

Almost 5 months into training with him, and I have made the best decision of my life to head down that path. It’s one thing when you believe in yourself…it’s another thing when someone else really believes in you as well.

It’s critically important to hold onto people who believe in you, love you, and support you through anything no matter what. Sometimes you don’t feel like it makes sense logically, but the matters of the heart hardly do. We can de-prioritize, disengage, and even shun away things that are great for us simply because we don’t feel like we are functioning at full capacity or offering our best selves. I…have been incredibly guilty at that. My all or nothing mentality absolutely destroyed my capabilities of developing strong relationships with family, friends, and significant others for years because I felt like I always had to be the best version of my self around them. Thing is, once you find the confidants in your life – those who really believe in you and love you through your best and your worst days, they will accept every single version of you that shows up with grace, love, compassion and excitement. In fact, those confidants lift you.

If you are being lifted by someone, elevated…and their energy urges you to simply be more – you are lucky as hell. People like that don’t come along that often, and I feel like one of the luckiest men in the world because I have a family and 3 amazing friends who drive me, celebrate with me, and grieve with me when I fail. What more could I ask for?

You have to tear down the walls that you’ve put up to protect yourself. It is one of the greatest fallacies we are told…that in order to be strong we must protect ourselves. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s a practice I am engaged in every single day, but the strongest of people on this earth, I have seen it with my own eyes, expose themselves vividly and have no walls. They are there – naked, vulnerable, and powerful in that state because they are accepting of everything on the outside, which gives them the ability to accept themselves.

Those people inspire me deeply. Those people make me want to be a man who can exhibit this type of behavior.

So tear down the walls. Easier said than done? Absolutely. Hard as hell? Oh yes. But worth it – mhmm. You will never know the absolute beauty of the person that exists within you with all these walls up. Walls against others, walls against yourself…they constrict you. Will you accomplish things? Yes, but you will always fall short of what you could have been. Courage is not the absence of fear – courage is being scared to death and continuing on anyways.

Being in that type of state is exciting, anxiety inducing, and everything else in between. It’s a state that I have been in for around a month now. It has challenged me beyond belief and at the same time ripped insecurity and doubt out of my like kids grabbing candy out of bucket on Halloween.

Let them crumble…let those walls crumble.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project