When I was a kid, I wanted to work out. My sister and I would create our own exercise routines and do them to vinyl LP’s such as Amy Grant and the soundtrack to Oliver! (appropriate Christian music). We also had a vinyl LP called Mouscercise, a children’s exercise routine from the Walt Disney Company led by the very physically fit Mickey Mouse (he’s not muscular, he’s just drawn that way). We danced and stretched to classics like Step in Time and I wanna be like you-ooh-ohh. My dad, who was a sergeant in the Marine Corps, would have us do push ups and sit ups and even ride our bikes with him when he would go for his runs.
Soon, I began to have an interest in some body building. The WWF (now WWE) had a Saturday morning cartoon show staring the ever popular “professional” wrestlers and their zanny adventures. And then I wanted to build muscle like Hulk Hogan. My folks got me his Hulkimania workout tape which included weights and a Hulkamania headband! And so I started exercising and lifting weights. Hulk Hogan was my hero!
As with all fads, I started to lose interest. My muscles weren’t bulging (I think I was 10 the time) and I wasn’t looking anything like Hulk Hogan. But I still kept him in high esteem. When I started doing weight lifting in high school, I used the pep talks Hulk Hogan used to give on my Hulkimania tape (now stored in my memory banks) as motivators.
And when I started lifting again about 6 1/2 years ago, I kept thinking of Hulk Hogan and that inspired me. I was excited when VH1 had that reality TV show Hogan Knows Best and then greatly disappointed when I started watching it. A hero of mine was brought down the level of mere mortals such as I. What I held dear wasn’t what it truly was. What I strived for wasn’t what it should have been.
But I pursue on. The words from Philippians 3 start coming to my mind at times like these
“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
I know, I know..my strength is not in Hulk Hogan. It isn’t in Arnold Schwarzen-however-you-spell-it. Not in exercise books nor in the very weights I lift. I know with certainty where strength lies, both in my muscles, in my heart and in my spirit. And I know that I can do all things through him who gives me strength.
I just need to remember that when I put just a little bit too many plates when I bench.
What about you…have you had a change in how you viewed a childhood hero? What gives you strength to keep on keeping on?