This Is No Way To Go Through Life

This email contains a cautionary tale and lesson from one of my close friends (and few remaining training clients).

For the sake of this email, said friend will be referred to as Tommy.

And awwwaaay we gooooo.

For the past two years I’ve watched, guided, and supported this swole motherfucker as he worked his ass off to build a bloody impressive physique.

In that time Tommy has added close to 40lbs of mostly-lean tissue, outworked his alleged “hardgainer genetics,” and is one of the most driven, dedicated humans in the gym I know.

But, of late, something I’ve tried to warn him of has been creeping up with greater ferocity and biting with sharper teeth.

To that, here’s a snippet from a message I received last week.


“I’m not sure what’s wrong with me exactly, but I’ve been taking a lot of depression naps lately. Part exhaustion, part unwillingness to help myself out.”


This is no good.

This is no way to go through life.

Depression is a complex beast, with two (of many) root causes being isolation from community, and isolation from meaningful work.

Humans are not meant to survive in isolation, and we’re bloody well aware of it.

There’s a reason exile and isolation has been a choice punishment for cultures across the globe, and throughout our history.

For many, enough time spent in exile will push even the sanest to the brink.

In this case, Tommy does little outside of working 8-10 hours per day and training for 60-90 minutes most days—sometimes twice (his doing, not my prescription). Rare is the case where he has a day off from either lifting or work, let alone both.

While training is inherently a healthy habit, it can become unhealthy when it’s to the undeniable detriment of other areas in your life or serves to weaken the footing of other pillars in your life.

Examples being your relationships (friends, family, romantic and otherwise), time to pursue meaningful work, or spending time with yourself.

Embraced for the wrong reasons, even the healthiest environment can become unhealthy.

So, we have:

1. An unfulfilling job that demands hours of his life.

2. Isolation driven by using the majority of time not working for lengthy training sessions.

3. Isolation from relationships (friends, family, romantic, etc).

4. A life consisting of environments that drain rather than fill and excite.

If that’s not a mental state teetering at the top of a staircase waiting for even the smallest of shoves to be tipped into the abyss, I don’t know what is.

Unpopular truth:

You have control over ALL of these dynamics.

Don’t like your job?


Create time to work on your own endeavours or secure another job if cash is tight—at least knowing you have a mission will help.

Buried in unfulfilling or non-meaningful relationships?

Put yourself in a position to attract the kind of people you DO want in your life. Focus on bettering yourself, adopting high-quality habits, and digging into yourself.

Feel isolated?

Do SOMETHING where a community exists.

Earning an income thanks to my internet connection and laptop is isolating in its own right, which pulled forth a desire for community. Which is a large part of the reason I started going to yoga, frequent the same cafes to work, join masterminds, and for a hot minute, considered joining a CrossFit box.

Nobody will do this for you.

It’s on you, Mate.

Back to Tommy:

At the end of the day, Tommy has walled himself into the position he’s in because of his daily thoughts, actions, and decisions.

These are his habitual choices.

He can change them.

So can you.

Alright, let’s take an abrupt turn.

There’s a Revolution coming.

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_A. Mullan

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