Adam Melson, Life After Football

“They” are always going to tell you that you can’t make it. 

“They” don’t want you to. 

But “they” don’t know the power you hold inside. The drive. The focus. The determination. 

Ever since APEMAN Adam Melson can remember, he’s had that intrinsic notion to ignore what “they” say—but it’s easier said than done. 

“I’ve always been big for my age,” Adam said. “I used to get teased for being overweight when I was younger. So much so, that I would go home and cry to my mom that I was afraid I'd never have any friends.” 

Adam developed internal scars and strength through his adversity. Instead of fighting how he was naturally built, he embraced it. 

“Being big meant I was awesome at football,” he said. “All of my focus went into that. “I didn't realize it at the time, but it was my outlet. I decided at the age of 8 I was going to play in the NFL.”

Realizing his dream, Adam’s father took him to the gym. Adam was 13 when he first started lifting and it quickly became his passion.  

“I couldn't put my finger on what it was, but I loved something about the gym,” Adam said. “After a few months I started seeing changes in myself. I was officially addicted to the gym. I thought I was training for football, but I was training because I needed to. It was my whole life.”

The obsession with lifting eventually got to the point where all Adam wanted to do was work out. Not having friends was nothing new to him; he never had many and he’d rather be the biggest dude in the county. 

“I started getting a lot of recognition for what I was doing in football my senior year,” Adam said. “I landed at a NAIA school, but after two years money ran out. Determined to keep playing football, I tried out for an arena league team until I made one. I played two years of arena football and then everything changed for me when I realized that football was getting in the way of my powerlifting training.”

Adam is from a very small town where, as he puts it, fitness isn’t exactly a priority. Nevertheless, he knew in his gut that powerlifting was more important than football. Aside from that, he had a wife and son that he needed to support. 

“That’s why I love APEMAN so much,” Adam said. “I first felt the impact and motivation when I read the GHOSTS description. I had high hopes for myself, my family had high hopes for me… but I kept falling on my face. Everything I never accomplished haunts me. Sometimes it gives me panic attacks. The desire to be great keeps me going, though. Every time I walk in the weight room, all my fear and insecurities are gone, and they're replaced with dedication to be one of the strongest men to ever live. I know it's a long shot, but somebody has to do it. Why not me?”

Adam’s GHOSTS motivate him. They remind him of how far he has come. Adam credits the GHOSTS shirt for helping him understand that even though he is alone in his community, there are thousands of people wearing the APEMAN logo who feel exactly as he does. 

“I feel I’m destined to be great,” Adam said. “I'm supposed to be extraordinary and I've been gifted with the drive and determination to make a difference in my community and let people know that you don't have to be born into money or follow the family path to be successful. You can make your own way.”