by greenbamboostudios

Strep throat has kept me in bed for a week and even though I am still on antibiotics, I feel well enough to get back on my lifting program.

The goal for the next six weeks is simple: attempt to move as close to the same amount of weight as possible from the previous phase, but with a deficit of 500 calories, and without the recovery help of the supplement creatine.

It’s my first attempt at beginning the process of stripping away excess fat without loosing hard-earned muscle mass known as cutting.

So I step onto the floor of the gym, unsure.

As I carefully warm up and begin to add plates on the bar in the squat rack, a familiar face walks up.

“I haven’t seen you in a while, welcome back,” he smiles.

He’s one of the more experienced regulars. And he’s always friendly and encouraging.

So I spill what’s on my mind and together, we look though the rubrics of numbers and percentages, sets and reps; and exercise selections in my logbook.

He’s quiet for a few minutes, cocks his head, looks at me and says, “It seems like you know what you’re doing. You just need to trust yourself and get on with it.”

“You approve?” I ask

He nods, “I approve.”

And even though I have full confidence of the many forms of assurances in my life, the one from this week is a valentine in perfect timing.

It makes me feel just a little less lonely being single again this year.