Accept the Challenge: An Introduction to Alex Barrett

Alex Barrett, a friend of mine and fellow member of the youth group at church, came to me requesting a spotlight here at One-Way Stop. The following material represents his testimony in the realm of health and fitness, with which I resonate. His feature unearths two active ideals for health: Change. Challenge.

 “January, 2012:

I can say that I was in the worst shape of my life at this current point. I was approaching 200 lbs., and I kept gaining. I had very little muscle to speak of, and I was less than The Rock-like in appearance. I was sad, unhappy with myself and with the life I was living, and I was constantly being picked on at school.

Let’s face it, I was fat. There’s no two ways around that, but I didn’t want to be that way. I wanted to be skinny, like so many of my friends were. One could say I was inspired by my own selfish ambitions to change my ways.

One day, I caught a cold, or something to that extent. I went to my local children’s pediatrician. She treated me, prescribed antibiotics, and told me and my parents the fact we didn’t want to face: I was twice the normal range for kids my age, at that time 14. However, the next bit of information she told us was the key to changing my life undoubtedly forever.

The trainer who owned gym right down the way from the care clinic started a program, and he wanted an adolescent who was overweight to start circuit and weight training. Against my will, I was signed up.

The next week, I began training. I hated it. I was always sweating bullets, out of breath, and struggling with the weights. I wanted to quit so badly. But I didn’t. I kept going. I kept pressing weights. I kept sprinting. I kept running. I didn’t stop.

The first year was the hardest. I lost 30 lbs the first year, but it was hard. Now, I’m not gonna throw the wool over your eyes: it was hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do. I got angry. I got so angry at times that I seriously thought about walking out the door. The pain hurt. The pain made me want to stop. But then I thought to myself: “How bad do I want it?”

I wanted to drop weight with a passion. I wanted to look good. Now, 2014, 50 lbs since when I started in February 2012, I’m here. I still have a ways to go before I can crush cans with my abs, but I’m working.

The point is: I didn’t stop. In the words of Anthony Kiedis, lead singer of my favorite band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Can’t stop, addicted to the shindig.”

I didn’t stop. I was addicted. I still am. I still seek to further my fitness and my appearance. Even when it seems so hard that you can’t go anymore, you have to. A phrase I like to coin to myself a lot is: “How can you get stronger if you don’t accept the challenge?” Set goals. Accept the challenge. As the cliché goes, you can do anything you set your mind to. Nothing is impossible, just as Jesus said. “I can do all things through he who strengthens me.”


                             – Alex Barrett”


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