While I was stirring my oatmeal on the stove, the only thing I could think of was, still three days till Saturday. Even though my body is so tired today. It’s funny how something can become so addictive. It’s only one day a week, so how can it possibly. Or maybe it is just that. It’s only one day a week, and I am eager to want more. Or maybe it is because it is a remainder of my healthy life, or simply because I am good at it. And seeing my body growing and reacting so well to the iron, on only one day a week.

When I am angry or sad when my body even dares to shut down while I am lifting, my father always reminds where I came from. Three years ago, he took me to the gym, only to sit, watch and smell the particular smell of a gym. I missed it so much, and after a moment in life where I thought it was the end, we thought it would stimulate my thoughts and mood, to just only be there. That went on for quite a while, and then when I was able to slowly strengthen my body again, the physical therapist encouraged me to continue his work under the guidance of my father, a bodybuilder, who has 50 years of experience in the gym, at the place I so loved being. And so it began.


henk kleine


From the beginning my father made me buy a notebook, that I now call my bible. Every Saturday he writes down everything I do, and my job is to keep track of my thoughts, my energy, pain levels, how many seizures I had during the week, and how much food I could sustain. That is a great way to remind myself to be grateful what I have accomplished, even with all the pain in my body. And a great help for the doctors to use as a guide to see when and why something got worse, health wise.  It also keeps me pushing to do better next time. Those two little letters, P and R, Personal Record, has such a nice ring to it. And I made many over the last three years. Even though it’s filled with spikes of better and worse health.

When I am in the gym, my father hovers over me. The hazard of damaging myself while having a seizure during a workout, makes me restricted to use cable and machine only, but even then, he keeps a keen eye on me, so little to nothing can happen.




There was a time where I reached a limit. I knew my muscles could handle more weight, but the rheumatism in my hands prohibited gains. So I got me some lifting hooks and stuck magnets on them for a better grip. So when I need to pull, those hooks take over where my hands let go. And that is something I also love. Finding new ways to make things possible. With my father’s experience, and my own eagerness, we find ways to hit all the muscles. Maybe a little less than ordinary, but enough to still make me grow stronger. But I do believe that not only the act, but also the mind is a strong factor in the willingness to grow. Everything I do, I do with a strong mindset and focus. I picture the muscle in my mind while working on it, and silently whisper: “I Demand You To Grow”. Maybe it’s silly, my father always smiles when he hears my whisper, but I am convinced it only works as good, when you believe. And that it not only works in the gym, I have learned in life as well.


flexing in the gym