Swolehate: One of the Last Accepted forms of Prejudice

Now, normally I like to keep my posts positive, motivational, and upbeat…but I saw this picture and it really struck a chord with me and I’m going to go ahead and speak about it. Some people might not like what I have to say, if so maybe you should re-evaluate why you feel the need to be such a hater when you see people successfully being fit, but I digress… and we don’t really care about negative people’s opinions anyway. One of the beautiful things about exercise is the mental effects, the tendency to relax, be happier, and not be so affected by negativity.

Anyway, what I’m going on about is a picture that was posted on the Spartan Race facebook page, of a fit couple with six pack abs. They’re in the gym, lifting their shirts up and showing their abs…and the comments on the picture were pure hate! I understand that not everyone has the same opinions on what is attractive and what isn’t, but why is it acceptable for people to voice their undesirable opinions (loudly and proudly I might add, the most ignorant people tend to have the loudest voices/opinions) about fit people and publicly circlejerk about it? Those physiques aren't even that excessive in size and both are attractive; this hate is ridiculous, and the attacks on their occupations and mental state are deplorable.
My problem/amusement isn’t necessarily with the comments themselves, but the fact that there were so many of them, from people who probably never worked out a day in their life. And it was accepted, and allowed to stay up…yet (and yep, sorry, but I’m taking there) if that were a picture of a fat person, or person of a certain race getting slandered…people would be jumping all over those who made the comment, shaming them into keeping their hateful bullshit to themselves. (Proof of that is in the second picture that I posted, of a very pretty but overweight girl who submitted herself to the Most Beautiful Teen facebook page…nothing but support) If anyone were to be talking crap about her weight or anything like that they would get slammed, called shallow, mean, every name in the book for talking about her. Yet it’s okay for people to bash on two people who clearly put in a lot of hard work to get their bodies where they are? What kind of sense does that make? For the record, before this gets twisted into something it’s not, I don’t condone hating/negative comments on ANYONE, regardless of how they look. I do notice, however, that swolehate is real and it’s widely accepted.
For reference, here is the photos I am referring to:
Enlarge them to read the comments.

 I know how hard it is to get (and stay) as fit as the two lovely people in this photograph. It’s a 24 hour a day commitment to good healthy habits, and it takes a lot of determination and willpower. Yet for some reason when people see extremely in shape people, they feel like it’s alright to say hateful, rude, or just plain stupid things about them. The first thing that comes to mind is: insecurity. I guess it must suck for a lot of people to see what they don’t have. Still not a good reason for it to be publicly acceptable to rag on people who are fit.

Comments like the guy “must be on steroids” and the girl “took it too far and isn’t my cup of tea”….LMFAO! Do you really think she trained that hard, ate clean, and slept well just to be somebody’s “cup of tea"? Comments like that show a gross lack of knowledge on what being fit is actually about, how amazing it is to care for your body like a well-oiled machine. How great it feels mentally and physically.
Maybe people feel like it’s okay to publicly hate of fit people because they realize, deep down, that fit people are enjoying the benefits of a lot of hard work. Maybe they tried getting fit and failed somewhere along the way. Maybe seeing someone shredded brings back painful memories of not sticking with their regimen, or becoming out of shape. It’s the crabs in a bucket mentality…Many of these commenters are just trying to rationalize to themselves why they keep saying “screw it” and not working out and bettering themselves…Or why they continue to constantly eat like shit instead of eating clean…why they can’t find an hour out of their day to go to the gym but they can find a way to squeeze 2 hours of TV in (gotta catch that latest episode…right? Right?!)

I think the main reason why the fit/swolehate is so widely accepted is because unfortunately, being obese and out of shape is becoming the norm in America. We are embracing mediocrity. Well not all of us are just going to sit around and take it.
I get it, people get jealous. But jealousy is no excuse for widely accepted hate. Everyone has the right to their opinion…well guess what? I have the right to call you out for the insecure, jealous, possibly out of shape asshole that you are if you swolehate in front of me.
Stop the Swolehate!


Mythbusters: Exercise Edition - 5 Common Broscience Fitness Myths

It seems like everyone who works out has a different opinion on what you should and shouldn't be doing. The fact is, a lot of those opinions are dead wrong, and will keep you from getting the results you want. These are 5 of those myths, debunked.

1. "I worked out today, and after exercise your metabolism is raised....so I can eat whatever I want!"

Yeah...no. This one comes first and foremost because I hear people say this ALL the time. This is a surefire way to keep yourself from seeing the results of your hard work. I even fell victim to this flawed way of thinking when I first got into going to the gym right after high school. We would hit the gym for an hour, then head across the street to Carls Jr and demolish a combo meal. Then see no results (couple of my friends actually GAINED weight this way).

While yes, it is true that your metabolism stays slightly raised after exercise (your body is replenishing the glycogen and ATP stores in your muscles, repairing your muscles, and other things) the caloric difference it makes is not enough to warrant eating ALL THE THINGS! Not only that, but unfortunately most people vastly overestimate the amount of calories they burn while exercising, and underestimate the number of calories that they eat. That is an equation for gaining weight, and can be disheartening when starting an exercise program only to see yourself GAINING instead of losing weight.

The most important thing to focus on if your goal is fat loss or general fitness is the number of calories in versus the number of calories out. Since exercise tends to boost appetite plan them right before a meal, that way you don't overindulge, since you were going to eat the meal anyway. Keep track of how many calories you burned (this varies by your weight and exercise intensity level...so factor these in! A 200 lb person burns more calories during a 1 mile walk than a 150 lb person for example) and unless you are working out for over 1 consistent hour of endurance cardio stay away from sports drinks! They have as many calories as soda and serve no purpose during short workouts. Most importantly remember - YOU CANNOT OUT TRAIN YOUR DIET. If you are eating crap you might get away with being thin if you limit your calories, but you will not be fit!

2. "Muscle confusion" is the most effective way to quickly increase muscle size and strength and avoid exercise plateaus.

Oh man, this whole concept of "muscle confusion" is complete and utter BS, broscience to the max. P90x is to blame for tricking people into thinking this is actually a thing...alas, it is not. The claim is that switching your workout every few weeks or so "confuses" your muscles allows them to increase in size more than normal, and avoids the plateau effect (where your body adapts to an exercise and your fitness improvement decrease or level out).

As legit as that sounds...your muscles do not work that way. The ONLY way to increase muscle size and strength is through progressive overload (gradual increase of stress placed on the body during training). Switching up your workouts regularly is good for other reasons, like giving certain groups time to repair and things like that, but that alone wont grant a bigger increase in size/strength. You cannot "confuse" your muscles...either they are being overloaded or they aren't. The more fit you get, the more you will have to increase things like speed, intensity and weight to continue to progress. Taking a break from one exercise only to start again at the same level wont do much...it is all about increasing the load.

3. Protein is muscle food, eating it goes straight to muscles and it's okay to eat in any amount.

Yes, people who work out do require more protein than those who do not work out  (for muscle repair, synthesis, etc) 0.5 to 0.8 g of protein per lb of body weight is recommended for those looking to increase lean body mass... but protein calories are still calories. Protein is not some magic macronutrient that you can eat unlimited amounts of and have no adverse effects. Protein, whether it be from protein powder, meat, tofu, or veggies...will still make you fat if you consume too much. Once your body has used all the protein it requires the leftover calories are treated just like every other food source - converted to fat and stored in your body for energy. The crazy thing is protein powders and drinks tend to have a LOT of calories, and I see people chugging them all the time thinking they're doing their muscles a favor. Be mindful that protein, and any other health food for that matter, still has calories and too much WILL make you fat.

4. Going below 1200 calories in a day, or going a day without food will put your body into "starvation mode" and then you will hold onto every calorie you consume. Meaning eating too LITTLE will cause weight GAIN.

The good old starvation mode fallacy...this is another common misconception I hear very often. This is also a form of "fat logic" (logic about nutrition/exercise that is incorrect and will get/keep you fat). I am tired of hearing overweight people say that they think they are overweight because they don't eat ENOUGH, and their body is in starvation mode. There is so much wrong with this assertion, and I'm here to break it down for you: Starvation mode is not real unless you are ACTUALLY starving, and your body fat is low enough that it's below the minimal amount needed to live on. Even then, fat cannot come from nowhere, your body cannot magically gain weight from calories it did not consume. The laws of thermodynamics do NOT work that way. You don't absorb calories and fat through thin air.

The starvation mode myth got popularized by a certain Minnesotan study that tracked men on a very calorie restricted diet. Toward the end of the study some of their metabolisms had slowed down by as much as 40%....and people latched onto that to mean that will happen to anyone if they skip a meal or eat too little calories one day. NO. Two important things to note: The 40% decrease in base metabolic rate was only noted toward the end of the study, when these men had been on a severely restricted calorie intake for MONTHS and their body fat level was at or close to the minimal functional amounts. Also, the men STILL LOST WEIGHT even with the 40% metabolic decrease, because they were still eating very low calories.

Eating less than your body uses in a day will cause weight loss, point blank. When people reach a plateau during weight loss you are NOT IN STARVATION MODE. The answer is not to eat more, it's to introduce a new challenge/ exercise for your body to adapt to. The starvation mode myth is one of the main things keeping people fat. I have seen countless people who say they think they're overweight from eating too little have their actual macros/calories counted only to find out they were consuming a lot more than they thought they were. If you are gaining weight I guarantee you, it is not because you aren't eating enough.

5. Spot reduction, aka losing fat in one area of your body.

Hate to break it to you, but spot reduction is a myth. No matter HOW many crunches or how much pilates you do you will NOT have a six pack (or visible abs at all) unless your OVERALL body fat percentage is low enough. It annoys me when I see these ads for workouts promising "Six pack in 2 weeks" to everyone, because that is just simply not the case. Your body cannot only burn fat from one particular area, because muscles don't get fueled by local fat. Fat supplies us with energy by being broken down and circulated through the bloodstream, then used as needed. That means that even though you are working a particular muscle the fat used to provide that energy is what is coming from the body as a whole, and reduction of body fat is pretty balanced everywhere in the body.

From wikipedia: "The misunderstanding may be attributed to the firming and shaping effect of muscle hypertrophy. When additional muscle is built, it takes up new space which can briefly compress subdermal fat against the skin until the skin adapts, a larger bulging muscle shape is also more easily seen through the layer of fat on top of it. This can give the illusion of fat being reduced when it has not." The only way to lose fat from your abs (and anywhere else on your body) is through a caloric deficit, aka burning more calories than you consume.

These are just a few of the myths that I hear consistently about fitness. The amount of broscience that is misguiding people looking to eat right and get more fit is absolutely ridiculous! When you want specific results from a workout, do your research and don't believe everything the first gymbro tells you. Hard bodies come from hard work...there is no shortcut.


A Newbie's Guide to Starting Running

For some reason, about 2 weeks ago (give or take a few days) I decided to try my hand at running long distances. To be completely honest, I've never liked running. I could physically DO it decently fast (I ran sprints in school track teams) but I never particularly liked it. I just ran track because I was fast, got asked to, and I like winning...and fervently turned down any attempts made by coaches trying to get me to join the XC (cross country) teams. Hell No...endurance running has never been fun for me, not to mention I've had exercise induced asthma since I've been 11.

So I have no idea what came over me not too long ago to put on my most minimalist of trail running shoes (that I usually use for hiking), open the front door, and just go. I think part of it was realizing that very soon, I'll be training people in the art of physical fitness. It would feel hypocritical to call myself a decent trainer when I knew deep down I hate running and had never gone more than a couple miles before stopping. So I laced up and decided to jog the 1.5 mile loop I usually walk my dog on around the neighborhood. It went alright...though I haven't been a runner for long I was at least still in shape from the amount of hiking, climbing, lifting, and spinning I do...so the form wasn't amazing, I wasn't the fastest, but I finished. The second day I tried again, this time 2 loops (3 miles). Third day, same thing, 2 loops, 3 miles...kept on like that almost every day and next thing I know by this week it went from me "getting my run over with" to me looking forward to it.

Two days ago after a day of partying, too much beer, and unhealthy food it was night time when I got home. I decided to lace up and go on a light jog (it's become a habit already)...2 laps became 3, 3 became 4...I finally got that runners high (endorphin and serotonin rush in the brain) I've heard people talk about. It was euphoric, and amazing, and made me feel like I could run forever. If only my legs would let me. I ended up doing 4 laps...6 miles that day, and mentally craving more by the end of it. I was NOT expecting such a drastic mental shift so fast. What started as just a way to relate to/ understand training clients who were runners or wanted to run, quickly became an extremely enjoyable pastime with a ripple effect of awesomeness that spilled over to other areas of my life. I absolutely love it.

I did expect maybe some slight physical changes, but not much, since I hike ~10 miles a week anyway. Even though it's still early in the (running) game I'm already noticing a tighter core, tinier waist, and more solid thighs. It's the mental effects that really have me hooked though. As a lifelong insomniac on the days I run I actually can sleep somewhat decently, without a sleep aid. I'm strangely more energetic (I researched why, exercise actually provides us with more potential energy on a cellular level - interesting stuff, but that's another post altogether :) ), more productive, have better posture (this comes with watching your form and correcting problems in it as you run), in a happy and relaxed mood all the time, and I just all-around feel healthier. It even helps with ADHD symptoms and makes it easier to focus on one thing at a time (probably because running forces you to concentrate on one thing).

The best physical adaptation was just that: feeling and seeing my body adapt to endurance running, actually being able to do distances and terrain I never thought I could before. A couple short weeks ago I was definitely in shape, but not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. That first 1.5 mile loop burned, and sucked, and included a little walking because I couldn't jog it all in one go. Yesterday I ran 9 miles, and instead of wishing it was over the whole time I loved every minute of it. That's a big leap in just 2 short weeks. According to most fitness literature, it takes about 4-6 weeks to see results...so there is more awesomeness to come. My ultimate running goal is to be able to trail-run Mt Wilson to the observatory (about 8 miles of straight uphill mountain running).

I never thought I'd be saying this, but if you have ever had any curiosity about running...try it. Running does a body good, and it's cheaper than therapy. Put on your most appropriate shoes and gear, play your favorite music that gets your blood pumping, and get outside. See what you're made of...you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.


5 Facts About Fitness That You Probably Didn't Know

It has been quite a while since I've had a chance to post! School is back and session, and I'm going through the training to be a Personal Trainer too. I do have to say the curriculum is a lot more in depth than I expected...which is awesome. Anyway, I've been learning a lot of interesting things about fitness, nutrition, and how it effects our bodies.

1. Music is Power: In a way, it literally is. Studies have shown that people who work out while listening to music improved their performance by up to 15% compared to working out without music. Listening to music can help people in multiple ways, but two of the big ones are: avoiding mental exhaustion and (depending what type of tunes you sweat it out to) stimulating adrenaline production.

Music breaks up the monotony of a workout, especially long endurance training cardio sessions. Keeping yourself mentally stimulated and getting enjoyment from the music makes the entire workout more enjoyable. Multiple studies (and common sense) show that the more a person LIKES their work out the more likely it is they will stick with it long term. As far as the adrenaline goes, some music - especially with heavy basslines or fast BPMs - can stimulate adrenaline.

2. Mind over Matter: Mental exhaustion is a real thing. Long before people get physically exhausted in a workout, where their body cannot handle anymore and needs to stop, they get mentally exhausted. Mental exhaustion is something that can be adapted to and overcome (for longer and longer amounts of time) with integrated training.  Once you realize that it is possible to keep going past the point where your mind tells you to throw in the towel it becomes easier to learn the signs of actual physical exhaustion and listen to those instead. Mindset is a huge part of everything in life, exercise included.  Doing something mentally draining before a workout actually hinders your workout. Same with feeling extreme disdain for workout our, or feeling intimidated by it.

Something that helps me a lot when I'm tired or things start getting boring, is remembering what I'm doing is a choice, and the benefits of it are worth it. Going from a mind set of "Ugh I have to do this" to "I'm CHOOSING to do this." is a small, easy shift of thinking that can have big impacts.

3. The word gym comes from the Greek word "gymnazein"... which literally means "to exercise naked". Maybe that explains the people with no shame who lurk in every chain gyms steam rooms from time to time.

4. Exercise is more effective at increasing your energy levels than caffeine. Exercising does amazing things for energy because it does it at a cellular level. Increased demand on your body to produce energy (like for cardio exercise) makes the mitochondria in cells produce more energy, which stays readily available. The more consistent you work out, the more mitochondria get produced and the cycle continues.

5. Men who work out with a female partner are shown to lift heavier weights and get better results. This is most likely due to our social tendencies as a species more than anything. Humans are social creatures, having other people around who have similar interests serves as good motivation. Also, no one wants to look weaker than other people around them.

Exercise and fitness are so multifaceted, and have some kind of effect on so many different things, sometimes in surprising ways.One thing for sure though, it's always beneficial.  Get it in!


Cordyceps, Nature's Beautiful Killer

You know how some things are better off unknown? That would be the case for cordyceps and me, ever since I found out about it from a nature documentary the first thought of it makes my skin crawl. For the uninitiated, cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that slowly and agonizingly eats away at insects while they're still alive, and replaces their live tissue with long tendrils of fungus...the fungus grows and eventually alters their behavior...making them plant themselves on a leaf or somewhere high that the spores can spread. Then - here's the kicker - a bulbous, fruiting body grows out of the host insect and they slowly die while the spores get distributed among whatever is around the area where they died.

There have been signs of fossilized cordyceps-infected insects from as far back as 48 million years ago. Luckily for humans, the fungus cannot attack our tissues in the way it can for insects and arthropods. Actually, certain strains of cordyceps are known for their medicinal properties and are sold for 10,000 - 60,000 yuan in the Tibetan Plateau. They have also shown anti cancer properties in in vitro and animal studies. In mice, they produced an anti depressant effect. As awesome as all that (and other studies) sounds, I just don't think I have the inclination to ingest something that does THIS to insects. Cordyceps is one of those reminders that insects have to deal with uncomfortable and horrific things too, but I doubt that anyone can refute that it is quite the beautiful killer.


Friday the 13th, Ouija boards, and a haunted night hike to remember.

In Honor of Friday the 13th this post is deliberately creepy. Also, 100% true.

Every Friday the 13th I make it a point to do something that scares me, or has the potential to scare me. Last year it was several haunted hikes. I got a Ouija board, a friend who were equally as crazy as me, and researched the most haunted places in California. After some digging, I found an old Indian burial site (200 years ago a small village was massacred by the Spanish and buried there) called Black Star Canyon that is supposedly one of the most reported paranormal activity sites in the United States, and the scene of many urban legends. We drove a couple hours into the sticks of Orange County and got there around 1am. The last part of the drive was all through isolated mountain roads, pitch black and cavernous, with massive trees on both sides of us. The deeper into the mountains we got, the more unsettled we both got.

Let me tell you a little more about Blackstar Canyon's weird happenings for a moment. People have been found murdered there, this is confirmed from police reports (though that could have more to do with unsavory locals than paranormal). In the 1970's a school bus that was traveling the mountain road lost control and went off a cliff, killing the driver, teacher, and all the students on board. People reported hearing screams and crying coming from the wreckage debris, it was removed in summer of last year (2012). There have been multiple reports of people seeing shadowy, hooded figures on the trail. There is also a homeless man said to live within the canyon and attack hikers for "trespassing". Cults are frequently known to congregate in the canyon at night and perform rituals and animal sacrifices, many reasons people are advised not to go at night.

So, of course we went at night. We wanted to be scared. We pulled up to the parking "lot" (more like parking dirt road) in front of the ominous looking signs at the trail head. There was one other car there, and another pulled up while we were getting the ouija board out of the car and taking shots of liquid courage. The people in the cars acted kind of weird though, as the inside lights were on but no one moved or got out the entire time we were messing around with the board. This was actually my first time playing with a Ouija board, and I had bought a glow-in-the-dark one especially for this haunted Friday the 13th excursion.

We set it on the ground, put our fingertips on the glass and I asked:

"Is there anybody out there?" ..... Nothing.

I tried again.

"Is there anybody out here, that can see us right now?" .

The glass shot over to the "yes".

I thought (from movies, admittedly) that it was supposed to move slowly. I immediately snatched my hand back and accused my friend of moving the glass. He swore that he didn't. I quickly put my hand back on the glass, remembering that if you use the board you are supposed to do a quick ritual of saying goodbye. From the manual: "Failure to close the Ouija board session by saying ‘goodbye’ may result in the contacted entity remaining present long after you have finished playing. Doing could result in the spirit escaping from the board, allowing it to terrorize you and the other players indefinitely."

So yeah, we said goodbye. We kept accusing each other of moving the glass as I packed up the Ouija board and stuck it in my backpack to take with us. We walked up to the entrance and beamed our flashlights toward the signs. I do have to say they are some of the least welcoming entrance signs to a trail I have ever seen. Here they are:

One of the groups got out of their car, went to the signs, stared at them for a long time, and then got back in their car and left. We decided to stick with the plan, and in we went.

The trail was eerie. The remains of burned down trees (or lightning struck trees) left jagged shadows on one side of the trail. We walked silently, alert, listening for anything strange...looking for creepy things. After about an hour of walking the trail uneventfully the trail got a bit more narrow, a sudden gust of wind blew over the canyon, and we decided to try the Ouija board again. We sat on the side of the trail and I dug the board out and set it up on the ground. We put our fingertips on the glass.

"Is anybody out there?" .... nothing.

"Can anyone see us?".... nada.

"Are you still watching us?".....absolutely nothing happened.

Now that we weren't walking we were starting to get cold. We packed up the board and continued to walk the trail. Then we heard something weird. Footsteps, hushed voices. We turned around and were surprised to see....more people. Out of nowhere, behind us on the trail a HUGE group of 20-30 people walked up. We figured they were also there to be spooked on Friday the 13th, cool. We stepped to the side to let them pass, and one of the guys broke off and walked menacingly up to my friend, staring him down.

"What's up?" my friend asked.

No response.

More staring, about an inch away from his face. The guy put his hands in his pockets, then wordlessly turned around and left.

Ohhhkay. I guess that was a signal we weren't welcome there. We shrugged it off and blazed some more as the group continued down the trail. Then started the long walk back to the car in the pitch darkness.

Happy Friday the 13th, people.


Pain and Suffering: You Either Get Over It, or Die Pissed Off

The title and theme of this post makes it sound like it could be somber and depressing, but it wont be. This is just about why pain is an inevitable part of life, no matter who you are, and how it helps us grow. Suffering sucks, but there is always a silver lining to even the deepest of the depths of despair...it makes us stronger and it helps us to grow. A good quote that illustrates that point is this simple one: "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor." It isn't the easy things in life that make us who we are...if everything went easily for everyone we would all be the same. There would be nothing to thicken our skin, to teach us lessons that words can't, to force us to see what we are really made of.

There is inevitably going to be some type of suffering in your life. No matter how much you avoid it or how lucky you are, you're going to go through pain. The type of person you are is dependent on how you deal with that pain. Your reaction to things is exactly what makes you who you are. When bad things happen we have two option: Get over it or die pissed off. I know which one I'm choosing.

Trying to avoid pain, or attempting to live life like you're immune to it is not only futile, but also doing yourself a disservice by not allowing yourself to grow. Some people go the route of eventually getting cynical and jaded, but I feel like that is a futile route as well. Sure, you would be disappointed a lot less if you just lowered your expectations and assumed the worst out of everyone and every situation...but ugh, what kind of life would that be to live? Sounds like a miserable existence. That is letting pain affect you in a bad way and mold you into a negative person.

Then there are those who take negativity in stride, and learn from it. Learning from something doesn't have to mean always assuming the worst, it's just knowing all the options that are possible and accepting them, while still striving for the best. Some of the wisest people that I know, or know of, are zen in the face of negativity. They treat everyone around them with respect, even when treated unkindly. They keep their cool, don't act out quickly in anger, and genuinely spread positivity wherever they go. One would think off the bat that these types of people are just the lucky ones, who never had to go through any real pain, and that's why they are who they are. What I've found, however, is that it's usually quite the opposite. Look at Eckhart Tolle, one of the greatest thinkers and spiritual teachers alive today...in his book "The Power of Now" he talks about a time when his life completely crumbled and he found himself homeless, spending his days and nights on a park bench. He could have given up then, a lot of us would. Instead, he grew. He learned and gained strength from the crappy hand he got dealt, and most of us know him now as a bestselling author and spiritual mentor. That dark period in his life was a defining moment in shaping his success, it was a huge catalyst to his growth as a person. In a lot of ways, it helped him find his meaning in life.

The easiest thing to do when faced with hurdles and negative events is to give up. Some situations seem to suck the life right out of you. And if you do give up, you'll probably just get swept under the radar, and life will continue to go on. Nothing will get handed to you. That's why it's important to see pain and suffering for what it really is: an unavoidable part of life, a stepping stone. Everyone goes through it, and it will either ruin you or mold you.

Next time you're going through something that just makes you want to throw your hands up and give up, instead ask yourself how you can grow from it. You wont be hit by anything you can't handle, and life will go on, regardless. Might as well make the most of it, make the most of yourself, and come out a stronger and wiser person instead of a feeble and defeated one. The choice is yours.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
-Khalil Gibran