I’ll start this story off with a little insight into my past.  I grew up like any other kid, did well in school, and ate all my vegetables, the usual.  After high school, I attempted to go to college for engineering for three semesters before I dropped out and joined the United States Air Force at the age of nineteen.  That was both the greatest and worst decision I could have ever made.  Living on my own at such a young age brought a new freedom that I never had before.  With that freedom (and the help of some friends over the age of 21) I took up the art of drinking.

The first couple years were great, living all over the country, constantly making new friends, parties every weekend, every late teen’s dream!  It wasn’t until shortly after my 21st birthday that I finally learned the repercussions of binge drinking every night.  One cold, windy night in Wyoming I took it upon myself to drive home after a long night of drinking, like I had done many nights before, only this time I landed in the hands of the law.  That moment would change my life forever.

After being arrested, embarrassed in front of my squadron, and stripped of my rank, I was enrolled in an alcohol treatment program where I was diagnosed as an alcohol abuser.  The rules during treatment were simple. I was to attend three AA meetings a week, along with many visits with my alcohol counselor, and one other thing… NO DRINKING!  This left me with a lot of free time that, no matter how hard I tried, could not be satisfied by watching tv. That’s when I decided to give the gym a try.

Like anything, my bodybuilding career started off slow and confusing.  I tried to absorb as much information as I could as I followed my jacked co-worker around like a lost puppy, doing almost everything I could absolutely wrong.  Yes, I got discouraged at times, but I pushed through the tough times and fell in love with my new journey.  I was addicted; the feel of the iron in my hand, the pump in my muscles, the soreness for days after, it was like a drug to me.  I was all in, and it was the best I had felt in years. Not to mention, it kept me away from the drinking scene and revealed a whole new world of health and fitness that I never knew existed.

Five years later, I am now a 200lb nationally qualified classic physique competitor who, thanks to the gym, finally learned how to control his drinking.  After adopting the bodybuilding lifestyle, I no longer had the urge to get black out drunk every night, or to even drink for that matter. My body is now my temple, and my life is dedicated to feeding and nurturing that body along with building the most aesthetically pleasing physique possible.  To anyone traveling down that dark road, I strongly urge you to take a step back and re-evaluate your circumstances, then check out your local gym! It saved my life, and I guarantee adopting the fitness lifestyle will change yours for the better.