Genetic Motivation! Are We All Crazy?

While in medical school, I remember laughing when the professor told us that all human personality is genetic. Can it be true? Well that depends... If you are curious about this then read on.
The next time you are in the gym doing cardio, playing gerbil, ask yourself a simple question. Why doesn't the rest of the world do this? What drives us to do what we do? What causes us to starve ourselves to the point of fainting? What causes us to lift more than most humans would ever even tow in their car?

Lots of questions, with very few sensible answers. We can ignore the obvious, or we can lock into this point of interest and make an attempt to enhance this obsessive compulsive disorder.

That's right; we are all crazy, some more than others. We just have to correct the rough edges and use this genetic gift to take us to even better. Of course we can lose everything in the process, but its worth it right?


Is It Worth It?

While in medical school, I remember laughing when the professor told us that all human personality is genetic. What? I thought. No way, I can't believe it. After two kids and knowing how they were while they were still in the womb and then after they were born. It is very clear that we are all absolutely genetically positioned for our personality. Given that we need to question our motivation for doing what we do.

Current studies question the figure athlete or the weightlifter who likely suffers from muscular dysmorphia. This condition is associated with other eating disorders. Okay we are all crazy, that's no big deal. Trouble is that the people who want to tell us that we are not normal are not in my world of normal.

Feeling Small? You Might Have Muscle Dysmorphia!
Mental health experts have learned that it is very likely that you could be sick and suffering from a Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) called Muscle Dysmorphia or Bigorexia.
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Having abs or 19 inch arms or even being able to squat over 800 is normal to me. Given that, my life has pretty much been dealing with my family not understanding me lifting on Christmas day or spending more on food than I do rent. It simply amazes me that the rest of the world thrives on athletic performance, but if they only knew what it took to get there, it would boggle their minds.

I have trained next to people who do in a year, what others seem to take ten years to do. I see people come to the gym doing the same routines and never change. Maybe that is what they want, which is fine. I can't understand that thinking, but I do know people are obsessed with infinite wealth. That's not my bag baby! One thing is for sure, some of us have what it takes and others wish they did, while others hate us for it and still others laugh at us for being what we are.

The Fine Line Between Obsession & Self Improvement

So is there a line between obsession and self improvement? That depends on where the line is drawn. Where do you live? Where do you train? After working with NFL, NBA, NHL, Olympic, and other Elite athletes, they all can be listed as crazy by most of the world. So let's move past this point.

Genetics again determines what level of drive you will have. Ask any young coach, they'll tell you.

"You can't teach aggression."

I don't buy that 100%. I have seen people on the lifting platform; just absolutely blow out on a lift. They go away and get it together and come back and blow the weight up, like it wasn't even there? What happened? No time to grow, or physically improve, they just suddenly make it happen.

Now consider that you have a small child trapped under a car, a mother who weighs about 130, lifts the car off the kid. What happened? Genetics? Yes. We all have it in our bodies to lift more, run faster. For some it is easier than others.

Genetically, we can produce more adrenaline or cough up more mental chemicals to directly force us to achieve greater athletic advantage than the average person.

It is a simple matter of chemical interactions called neurotransmitters. These allow certain brain reactions to occur. It is involved with two sets of the brain, those that say yes and those that say no. We are likely to have more sets of pathways that say yes than no.

What Does Neurotransmitter Mean?
A chemical substances that carry impulses from one nerve cell to another; found in the space (synapse) that separates the transmitting neuron's terminal (axon) from the receiving neuron's terminal (dendrite).

If we continue to feed that behavior we will enhance that process. It is called a learned response. Continue to lift weights; you will have neuro-adaptation. Continue to diet, it becomes easier. Sure you can become obsessed, but it is a question of winning, not just an obsessive compulsive disorder alone.

So do it again, look around the aerobics room. See the same people day after day? Why? What do you share? Science hasn't determined that gene yet, but they are getting close.

In the mean time, don't expect others to have it. If you are dating or married, don't expect others to have or even understand your obsession.

Your friends and parents aren't likely to understand it either. My dad used to ask, "Where is all the weight lifting going to get you?" Well, maybe it got me no where; maybe it got me deep into a world of people who are living just like me. Is that a good thing? I think so.

My current lists of good friends are all pretty normal people to me. I also meet new friends and I help them as much as I can. It is funny, once you are friends with them, they know, they know you know... what it is all about.

They are there for you in the future. I can still walk up to top bodybuilders/powerlifters whom I have trained with and they know my name and share my passion. It is easier in life to associate yourself with people who get the job done or share your passion. Maybe it makes us feel we are less of a freak and more normal. To me they are just positive.

I was talking to another friend of mine the other day (Jan Tana), when we talked about being helpful to newer and younger athletes. We share that bond and know that not everyone is like that. We have a very strong bond because we have so much in common.


Click To Enlarge.
Jan Tana.


Enhancing Your Behavioral Disorder.

Now after that tearful thought, what can you do to enhance your behavioral disorder?

  • Surround yourself with good friends who act sensible outside of the gym.
  • Learn about everything, but more about exercise and health related topics.
  • Don't judge others who don't have our genetic gifts.
  • Don't expect others to have what you have mentally or physically.
  • Experiment and don't think you know everything. One thing is for sure, the more I learn, the more I realize that I don't know.
  • Make an improvement spiritually. It has to go deeper than the mind.
  • Surround yourself with the best there is to motivate you. Maybe that is a gym, maybe that is clothes, maybe that is the people you train with. Perhaps a little of everything. Eventually you will discover if it is working or not.

We are all affected by elements of the universe that are both good and bad. Have a strong hold on what is good and what is bad to you and try to isolate yourself from the bad elements. Work on understanding their point of view if they are a loved one.

Try to suggest they do the same with your point of view. Eventually your path to personal accomplishment will be paved with success and you will be required to help others. Do so. Micheal Jordon once said,

"To be really great, inspire others to become better, then when you practice, they will push you to be better too."

Micheal Jordon, from the movie, " THE MAX"


Conclusion

Maybe you feel like you just took a trip to the psychologist office, but all in all if this article got you through another cardio session, wasn't it worth it? Maybe it made you think about something. Maybe it will make tomorrow easier. Maybe you will understand your parents better, love your girlfriend, push your training partner harder or just be kinder to others who don't have your gift or understand those that maybe have something different than you.


Click To Enlarge.
David With Fitness Legend, Jack La Lanne.

Whatever the outcome, I hope and pray it is positive for you. Because once you lift against me, or stand on that stage and pose against others, I want one thing. I want you to do your best. No excuses, I want to beat you fair and square. Thanks to my friends; Ginger, Jamie, John, Jim, Lisa, Craig, Jan, Valerie, Dan, Mike etc. for motivating me.