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  • James Walton

The Cost of a Legacy

As a skinny kid, I hated weights class in high school. Being unable to do a pull up, and unwilling to discover what tortures awaited at the squat machine, I would slink about in the corners, faking an injury. Or, just wait till they had taken attendance, then skip class to go read.


That pretty much summarized my relationship with organized exercise until several years ago, when my wife found a used bench press setup on Craigslist.


"I think we should buy this."

"I think that's a terrible idea."


So we compromised and bought it.


We arrived to find the bench press was set up on the patio of the seller's house. The bar was loaded with weights, elevated on the rack above the bench.


Anyone who didn't skip weights class would know that the proper way to unload a barbell is to do so evenly, so you don't end up with all the weight on just one side.


That wasn't me of course, and so the instant I took all the weight from one side, the weight on the other side sent the barbell flipping up and over, with the exposed end of the barbell smashing into the side of the house, ripping into the exterior siding like a chain saw through a Coke can.


I came to buy exercise equipment and left behind a 12-inch gash in the side of their house.


"Don't worry," the seller said, unfazed. "We're just renting. Next month we move."


It's easier, granted, to take on the mentality of a short-termer. Uber works because you pay for the convenience of a ride from A to B and nothing more. There's a lot of situations where this is the best option.


But if it's impact and influence you're after, the dedication of ownership and long-term thinking is the price you pay for leaving a legacy.