For as far back as Adam can remember, life has always been tough.
“I grew up in a very poor household with four brothers, a father who grew up experiencing physical and mental abuse, and a mother who thankfully doted on her kids and did the very best that she could,” he said.
But those experiences led to fear at a very early age for Adam. He struggled being at school and around people. He always felt disconnected, and never fit in. Without much confidence or self-esteem, he spent much of his time alone.
It got worse before it got better.
“I found out my eldest brother passed away,” Adam recalled. “I was just seven-years-old. Almost 23-years later, I can still see the impact it has had on my family and me. That single moment caused a devastating impact on us all, and from there I became more shut off, more afraid, more confused about life.”
Over the coming years, his father’s mental health declined massively and he tried to end his life a few times. His brothers began lashing out at school, his parents argued every night. Needless to say, feeling alienated and lacking stability, Adam’s home life was a living hell.
“Once I was old enough and was in a relationship, I moved out of my home but the impact of all that happened followed me around,” he said. “I struggled to function around people, my abilities to hold down a steady job were poor, my relationships suffered because I had no idea what a functioning relationship even was, I struggled with self-harm, suicidal thoughts and binge drinking. I was temporarily homeless a few years ago after a relationship breakdown and then fell into debt and had to sell absolutely everything that I owned. I slept on a broken sofa for 10 months.
“Life has just always been very, very dysfunctional and it’s only really been in the last two years when I have slowed down and started to come to terms with all that has gone on in my life and understand who I am and why I have done things the way I have.”
Things started to improve when he took up powerlifting in 2015. It was a way for Adam to channel all of this dark energy he carried around, and use it as fuel and anger to continually get better.
“It has changed me both physically and mentally,” he said. “For once in my life, I have begun to see my potential and my abilities. I have more self-discipline, more structure, more self-awareness, more drive, more understanding of my body and mind and what can happen if I get the two of them to work together.”
When everything else in his life feels chaotic and dysfunctional, he knows that lifting will calm his mind and focus him in ways that nothing else can or will. Adam thinks back to the awful things that have happened in his life, and sees how much he’s overcome.
He’s still here, and has the power to become all that he wants to be.
“My proudest moment so far took place last year in December,” Adam recalled proudly. “This was the moment when I managed to deadlift 240kg. I’d had a terrible 2017 due to having my appendix out in February and had a difficult recovery from it, which included four months off of lifting. Thankfully with work and patience I regained my strength and gained a new PR. In that moment before my 240kg deadlift, I imagined my mother standing in front of me with the brother who had died in the distance. I told myself that if I can get this lift then my mom will be reunited with him. I never lifted anything with as much conviction as I did that day.”
Adam’s favorite APEMAN saying is GHOSTS, for a profound and poetic reason.
“I remember reading the message behind it during a difficult time in life and I related to the words 100% and still do,” he said. “Growing up in poverty and seeing family members succumb to and accepting a life spent in misery made me want to achieve something meaningful with my life … to make something of myself. I have watched many hopes and dreams crumble and have become tempted to succumb to the misery. But there’s something deep inside of me that refuses to let that happen. The Ghosts meaning reminds me that it really is never too late to become all that you want to be.”
Adam still struggles with anxiety and depression, but it doesn’t consume him any longer. There is a desire deep down to see how far he can truly push his lifting capabilities. It has become a source of hope and direction.
“The whole mentality behind APEMAN is something that I hold dear and channel when I lift,” he said. “It’s amazing to know there is a brand that is sincere, genuine, and greater than popularity and social media likes and shares. To me it’s a movement, a mindset and a comfort to those of us who have seen, heard and experienced things that will haunt them forever. From the bottom of my heart I am truly
thankful for APEMAN.”