My name is Nick Grogan. In October of 2014 I placed myself in a rehabilitation center for alcohol and substance abuse. I was 19 years old and fighting the hardest fight I’d ever had to deal with. I grew up with an amazing family, but I made very poor choices in my teenage years throughout high school. I was addicted to every substance I tried, and by the age of 19 I had been on numerous hospital beds with doctors telling me I was lucky to be alive.
While in rehab, I was introduced to weight lifting. I had been around the gym because of sports in high school and college, but never saw the point of it because I was always the smallest guy on the team. The moment I was sober and had a weight in my hands, it was like love at first lift. I couldn’t stop. It became something I needed. While other people were going out to clubs and parties on Friday night, I was in the gym, making sure I wasn’t going to leave until I felt I needed crutches.
Before I got into weight lifting, I was all about partying, I had no goals in life, except that I wanted to party. My reason of lifting was I was simply trying to find something to take away my urges of addiction. Little did I know, it would become one of the best things that ever happened to me. I LOVE the way I look, and I improve every day. The emotional relief from lifting has been something I never knew existed. If I’m angry, sad, happy, I take it out on the weights. I’ve lost friends because I choose not to party and that’s ok, because 200 lbs. will always be 200 lbs.
It’s been over two years since I stepped into that small hometown gym the day after rehab, and I’ve gained 40 pounds. But more importantly I gained a support system, a stress reliever from my every day life. It has taught me how to grow and be professional, and has shown me that hard work doesn’t come easy. Growing stronger isn’t about literally being stronger, it’s about growing stronger emotionally, physically and mentally. It’s proven that when you exercise and eat right, you’re body thanks you. You will see enormous improvement in everyday life!
If I was to talk to myself 5 years ago, I would’ve told myself to keep fighting, not only for my life, but for something I really want and need in life, something that now days I have and will always have, but I still tell myself that every single day, “keep fighting, it’s worth the fight”. Life will ALWAYS throw you obstacles, but you have to find a way around them. You have to face your fears, you have to own up to your actions, your mistakes and your faults. You are not perfect and never will be. But you can improve your life if you put your mind to it. You will make lifelong friends. You will lose friends. That’s life, and that’s why its beautiful. We are privileged in this world because we have so many choices to make. We can choose to stay average or we can choose to follow every dream we ever have. It’s up to you! I won’t ever give up on my dream, I will mess up time and time again in life, but I get up and start over and I keep moving on.
Growing stronger has made me a better person inside and out. I love helping people to see that they can grow stronger too.