My Childhood Struggles

I am going to write today on a different subject. It’s not necessary along the vein of what I should be talking about. Usually we try to keep things positive and fitness related. Not today.

Me at around 2 

My blog. My rules. To bad, so sad. Read or don’t read, it’s totally up to you.

The point that I am going to make with my story is this: You may NOT allow your past circumstances to disctake your present state. In other words don’t let the wrongs of your past be an “template of excuses” (I totally just made that up!) for why you are fucked up today.

Let’s go back to the beginning.

My dad have 3 little girls and was 32 when he met my then 20 year old mom. That right there is a recipe for disaster. Not really sure what my mom was thinking but that is what she walked into.

The details are not really know to me but after 3 years of being a mom/step-mom to 4 little kids at a very young age my mom had enough. She packed me up and left my dad.

1977. I was 4. Check out the collars. BAM.

For the next 6 years of so it was just me and my mom. I have a remarkable memory of that time. She worked a lot and I was at my grand parents a lot. We also moved quite a few times. I was able to visit my dad on some weekends (he lived over 3 hours away) so life those days wasn’t bad. I even remember my mom dating a little.

It’s interesting the perceptions of a 6 year old. I know on the weekends when I would have babysitter and my mom was going to the bars. She used to curl her eyebrows. Do people still do that?

Anyway. My whole little world got rocked in late 1981 and early 1982. At 9 years old the situation very rapidly went from just my “mom and I” to “my mom and a new man and I” to “my mom, her new husband, new new baby brother and I”.

I became a very lost little boy.

I want to briefly mention 2 things that I KNOW had a VERY negative effect on who I am and quite possibly who I would become. These two things I will mention but mention but not go into great detail because, honestly, I am no expert. The physiological ramifications I really don’t know anything about. I am a personal trainer and not a shrink.

My step father did drugs and he made me call him “dad”.

These two things cause a great deal of stress and angst to me at the time and honestly haunted me for a good number of years.

For the next few years I got the feeling of not being wanted or needed more and more as my mom and step-father had another baby and were taking pride in a family that I didn’t feel part of.

In 1987, at the age of 14, I left my moms and home and moved in with my dad.

My relationship with my mom, while civil, has been strained ever since.

So, let’s get back to the main point of why I share this today.

I am 42 years old. It’s been 28 years since those 5 years of drugs and the calling my step-father “dad”days. I have two main points to make.

POINT #1: I have no doubt that the events and circumstances of those 5 years did, FOR GOOD OF FOR BAD, help to define ME and WHO I AM. I own that. This, to me it just a fact. This leads me to….

POINT #2: I can NOT and I will NOT us circumstances and situations that were totally out of my control and many years in the past define that actions that I take TODAY and the person that I am becoming.

Does that make sense?

We are shaped by many, many things. There are likely MANY negative experiences that impacted you in a negative way. EMBRACE that. Be appreciative in the fact that it creates a unique you. Acknowledge the fact that you were forced for challenges and embrace it!

It can be very easy for any of use to say, “I am fat because my mom fed me shit food growing up…“. It’s an easy out.

I smoke cigarettes because my mom did and my sisters did….

I was abused so I can’t trust you…

My parents did drugs so that’s all I know…

It’s bull shit.

Each and every decision that you make today is 100% on you. Learn from the past. Appreciate the past. EMBRACE the past but make decisions today that design your future self. Don’t keep rewinding the tapes of yesteryear. Be a new you. Be the best you that you can be.

Did you get value out of this blog today? I know we went a little cra cra but I think the point is a valid one and people can get value from it.

A short side note. This topic came to me because if a VERY specific circumstance that I decided NOT to address specifically due to it’s real world implications… in MY WORLD. This stuff is real. TRUST ME. Don’t let a few years from your childhood dictate who you are going to become in the future. These is too much for you in the years ahead to do that.

Thanks for reading. You rock. Really….THANK YOU.

Rick Copley 352-989-6795
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