I watched this fascinating documentary on Netflix called “Ronnie Coleman: The King.”
He was an 8-time Mr. Olympia and a general badass when it comes to bodybuilding.
Google some of his images. I hadn’t seen him before, and if you haven’t either, your jaw will drop after seeing how massive that dude was.
He was the king of the hill for nearly a decade in one of the most demanding sports there is.
Today though, he’s in bad shape. His back is compressed beyond repair, he hobbles around with crutches, he struggles picking up his kids.
The long-term impact of his over-the-top effort was a tradeoff I’m sure he didn’t think much about in his hay days.
I’m not judging him at all. In fact, I really resonated with his story.
He’s living proof that what you feed and water, grows.
In his case, quite literally.
For me, I clearly wasn’t feeding and watering my biceps and back muscles like he was. But his story is my story.
Some of the nutrients I was feeding my soul for decades weren’t the ones that grew into lovely plants. In more direct terms, some of the food I ate was sh***y.
I was putting fuel into climbing a ladder. I was watering seeds of secrecy, hiding and pretending. I was feeding the flames of ambition, hustle and approval. I was watering the grass that always appeared greener somewhere else.
The long-term impact didn’t leave me with crippled knees and compressed discs in my back. But it did leave me with wounds I didn’t realize would grow so destructively for me and those around me.
It was somewhat sad and somewhat inspiring to see Ronnie limp around with his wife and young kids.
But you know what?
He’s right in there with them. Loving on them, reminding them they’re special to him, and seemingly cherishing his relationship with them.
The good news for guys with limps like me and Ronnie is that we have to keep feeding and watering something.
So we can focus on all the bad food and water we’ve injected over the years. And live in the shame, embarrassment or regret. And in so doing, continue to give those bad nutrients the energy they don’t deserve.
Or we can feast on more of the good nutrients of love, connectedness, vulnerability, honesty, and acceptance.
And let those grasses overtake the weeds we let hang around for too long.
Because what you feed and water, grows.