Can’t and Shouldn’t
Ron HarrisDon’t let the naysayers and negatives knock you out
As most of you probably have figured out by now, not everyone in the world supports your bodybuilding goals. Often friends and family do the most to discourage your dreams, though they may have good intentions (you know what the road to hell is paved with). The disheartening words will usually fall into one of two categories: can’t and shouldn’t.
The can’t remarks have a unique sting to them, as they imply that you’ll never achieve your goals no matter how hard you try. A few of the choice samples:
•“You just don’t have those freaky genetics.”
•“Only guys from X racial or ethnic group make good bodybuilders.”
•“You can’t build a good physique without tons and tons of steroids and GH.”
•“You’re too old/too young.”
•“All those guys started out big already, and you’re so skinny.”
•“You’ll never be able to show any definition; you and your whole family are overweight.”
•“You have a job and a family; to be a good bodybuilder you have to do nothing but eat, sleep and train.”
Wow! How’s that for a blast of negativity? I bet you’ve heard most, perhaps all, of these. Don’t believe statements like that because they’re all ridiculous if you look at them objectively. The next category is more on the idea of advice—advice that’s well meant but is nonetheless bad. Listen to a few:
•“You shouldn’t waste your time bodybuilding; there’s no money in it.”
•“Bodybuilding is a very unhealthy sport; you’ll die young.”
•“All that muscle will turn to fat when you quit.”
•“You shouldn’t eat a lot of protein or take creatine; your kidneys will be ruined.”
•“You shouldn’t spend so much time training and eating. What about your poor family?”
•“Bodybuilding is for homosexuals. Is that what you want to become?”
Such statements, while conceding that there’s a possibility that you can make your bodybuilding dreams come true, all insist that you’ll come to regret it one way or another.
With can’t or shouldn’t statements, you must carefully consider the source and any motive the speakers may have before you let them get to you. Some people are simply ignorant and have bought into the myths and misinformation regarding bodybuilding, often served up to them by sensationalistic mainstream media. Others are jealous or threatened and secretly don’t want to see you do anything exceptional that may make them feel inferior. So whether the intentions of those negative statements are innocent or malicious, do your best to take them all with a grain of salt, and stay focused on your goals and dreams. Remember, nobody can ever take those away from you unless you let them.