The other day Jim Wendler had an article posted by the same name. What'd I think of it? It was pure genius. I've read things similar to this before, but Wendler's really hit home with me. So much so that I decided to straight out take the idea! Ask me how I feel about that.
Dear Young Me,
You've got a helluva journey ahead of you, Bro. Be prepared. I wish I could tell you differently, but your life isn't without its twists, turns, ups and downs. You'll have good times and bad times, and you'll be stronger for it. I can't give you all the secrets, but hopefully I can streamline a few things.
Try just a bit harder in High School, please. Just a bit. You're much smarter than you give yourself credit for, but you're being Goddamn lazy and you know it. You get by pretty well with your awful study habits, but you could definitely do better. Oh, and don't take AP Physics. Trust me. It's a clusterfuck for you.
All those people that rag on you for being the Chinese kid? Let it roll off your back. Most of them end up being pretty fat.
I won't give away too much information, but Dad is going to have a talk with you on your way to move in to UMass Amherst. You think he is ridiculous, but it's the best advice anyone could give you. You should think much harder about what he has to say. Think long and hard about what you want from your education. You'll travel a twisty path to figure out what you love and it will take you some time, but when you figure it out you'll be happier than ever, I promise.
You'll first discover lifting when you're about 14-15. Keep knocking out the bench and curls on the back porch, because why not? But when you come across your first squat rack in Mike Delgado's garage, take the time to learn how to use it. It's a really good thing, and you'll be happy you did it. You like sprinting, you're also not too awful at it. Keep it up, sprint all you want. If you stick to the script of: bench, squat, deadlifts, sprints you'll be in pretty good shape for anything that comes your way. Find an opportunity to learn how to do the Olympic lifts, clean and press and the snatch. It's a lot of fun, and your athleticism will benefit greatly from it. Oh, and eat more! Life is too short to be small and weak.
Girls will come and girls will go in your life. They are all beautiful and they are all necessary for the evolution of You. Learn to take them less seriously, though, and you'll feel a lot better. Love is a beautiful thing, but don't get so wrapped up in it. You'll save yourself a lot of pain that way. I can't give you all the info regarding this stuff, because a lot of what you go through will help make you into who you are. Just keep calm and try not to give a damn.
Here's a shitty fact of life: people are gonna hate. They will hate for a lot of reasons, which may be out of your control. In high school, you're going to get shit from people just because you are different. These people are small-minded and ignorant, so fuck 'em. Later in life you'll come across people that are going to press negative energy on you for various reasons. Some people will be uncomfortable by your dedication to your passion; they don't understand why you would want to eat the way you eat, or train the way you train. It's not you they don't understand, it's your passion for something. Most people, you'll find, go through life without being passionate about anything. They just exist, going through the motions day after day. Please remember that these are people that you can't necessarily change; a lot of them just are who they are.
Negative energy will come at you from all angles, so be aware of it and don't get caught up in it. Girls, friends, co-workers, it's all over the place. People won't get you and will want you to change; don't. Keep being you, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.
It'll take you a while, but you'll find out what you were meant to do in life. You have a particular gift for teaching people, that's why you wanted to be a teacher for so long. Thankfully, Mom talked you out of that. You'll merge the things you love, teaching and exercise. Know what? You're going to be pretty friggin' good at it, too. Your knack for being able to sympathize and empathize with people will pay off, and you'll be able to get your message across to a wide variety of people. You're going to love this industry, having clients stop you and say "Thanks, I can't put into words how much you've helped me, but thanks" will be some of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Truly.
You're going to be just fine, man. Things won't always turn out the way you want them to turn out, but that doesn't mean it turns out poorly. Just differently. Always remember that the less you care, the happier you'll be.
Take care, and don't forget to lift something heavy.