Do you remember the excitement that you felt on Christmas morning as you walked into the room and saw all of those presents sitting under the tree when you were a kid? The anticipation of ripping that paper to pieces with the hope of uncovering the one thing you’d spent the whole year wishing for came to a boil and now it was finally time to dig in and get to work. The mystery of the unknown was what made those Christmas mornings so exciting. Those boxes on those mornings represented infinite possibility – the essence of what Christmas as a kid is all about.
For me, and I think for many of us, when we first began training, or made our first commitment to bodybuilding, it generated that same feeling of giddiness and anticipation as those Christmas mornings. It excavates our inner child as we dream up the possibilities of what our future physiques might become. Bodybuilding becomes our mystery box. We become like artists in a sense, we conjure up visions of how we’re going to build and shape this blank slate, or how we’re going to paint a masterpiece on our empty canvass. Our bodybuilding mystery box challenges us to find out what’s inside and unlock its hidden potential.
However, unlike those frenzied Christmas mornings that left our livings rooms covered in debris and looking like they may need FEMA assistance to recover from the damage, unwrapping our bodybuilding mystery box is a much more tedious process. Piece by piece, and year by year, we tear away the paper revealing a little bit more of what’s inside. With each layer that we strip we start to conjure up visions of what our mystery box has in store for us, and what our physiques will eventually be transformed into.
In a sense, this is the beauty and the burden of the sport all wrapped up into one colossal mystery box. In bodybuilding there is no crystal ball or magic mirror that can forecast our future. In order for us to find out exactly who we are as athletes, or what we have the potential to become, we have to unwrap our mystery box piece–by-piece with our fingers crossed behind our backs wishing on a star that we were lucky enough to get the deluxe model complete with capped delts, full pecs, and flaring quads all neatly wrapped together by a pretty red bow called genetics. This is what makes the sport so enticing. Before we set sail on our journey everything seems possible. We see that mystery box sitting there under the tree, begging us to unwrap her and find out what sort of gems she might have waiting for us inside. It reignites the flame of excitement that burned inside of us as kids on Christmas morning. We want nothing more than to unwrap our bodybuilding mystery boxes and unleash infinite possibility.