What garners more respect from you or what do you think deserves more accolades or nods of approval.
I have two friends that are equally motivated in body building. They are both at the point where they could compete and one actually does. For simplicity I will refer to them as Adam and Mike.
- Mesomorph/Endomorph. Easy to put on weight moderately hard to take it off.
- Age 43
- Weight at start 231.3 pounds @39.9% BF.
- Height 5'8”
- No history of genetic illness.
Adam has told me that he has always battled obesity. He was a fat kid and his parents ate poorly and taught him poor nutrition habits. He is 5'8” and at one point he was 230 pounds with a body fat of 40%. He cleaned up his diet and eats 6 – 7 times a day, he started training in weights and cardio working with a trainer at first then gradually going it alone. He is 182 pounds now and sits at around 8% body fat and for competitions goes as low as 4 or 5%. This process took him 4 years of hard work and dedication.
- Mesomorph/Endomorph. Easy to put on weight very hard to take it off.
- Age 42
- Weight at start 162 pounds @12% BF
- Height 5'7
- No history of genetic illness.
Mike says for the most part he has always stayed on the lean side for his body type while here and there having increases of 2 or 3 pounds now and again. He has told me that while he has never been fat and always around 10 – 12% body fat he does find that as he has aged it has gotten harder to lose any extra fat he accumulates. His parents were almost non existent so his food choices were primarily left to him as a child and teen. Mike eats very clean and like Adam eats 6 – 7 times a day.
Mike studied bodybuilding and never used a trainer, coming up with his own routines and guidelines. After 6 years of hard work and dedication he is now 190 pounds and sits around 6% body fat. Mike stays at almost competition body fat percentages but has never and has no desire to compete.
John is from an elite upper class family who's parents were so absorbed in their own affairs they were abusive by never being there for their children giving them the emotional and psychological support they needed. During his childhood he watched his socialite parents hold balls and events with alcohol being a large part of the social gatherings. Surrounded by older siblings who rubbed elbows with celebrities and partied non stop while using drugs by the time John was in high school he was already a heavy user of cocaine.
In the younger years of private schools the teachers showed no interest in the students instead they were concerned with their own lives. Often students were given grades simply because their parents had paid for them.
John had no mentors to help him or support from adults who could encourage him. During his second year of high school John decided to clean himself up and focus on college. During three years of high school John worked three jobs and saved up money for college and by the time he went to college was able to afford an apartment off campus. It was very tough in the years that followed as John continued to have to hold two jobs at a time and go to law school.
No support came from the parents monetarily, emotionally or mentally and no government aid was used.
John graduated and is now a lawyer for a large New York law firm.
Marcus was born to an abusive single father (mother died during birth) who was an alcoholic and addicted to crack. The low income inner city neighborhood were he lived was a haven for drug trafficking and gang violence. At a young age Marcus was arrested for selling drugs and working as a prostitute. He was placed in foster care by the courts where he was for the most part forgotten.
During his middle school years Marcus was singled out for having an aptitude for math and many teachers mentored him in this area. When Marcus was in high school he earned a scholarship which would pay for two years of his college. While Marcus proved to be an exceptional student in college grasping math and science subjects with ease he also liked to have fun and instead of working took government aid to pay for his schooling.
No support came from the parents monetarily, emotionally or mentally, heavy government aid was relied upon.
Marcus graduated with a Bachelors in Pharmacy but found that any further schooling to become a Pharmacist would require loans that were out of his reach. Marcus works as a Pharmacy Technician now.
In the two stories above which person would you recognize as having overcome more obstacles to attain their goals?
What garners more respect from you. Someone who started out fat and overcame that obstacle to be a competitive body builder or someone who started out at a reasonable weight and built upon that to also be at the level of a competitive body builder?
How do you see society react to those two very different stories?
Does it matter more to you, do you respect someone more for overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal? Do you think that the person who achieves their goal while having had to overcome obstacles deserves more “wow that is amazing” than someone who did not but arrives at the same goal?