Imagine writing a simple multiple choice test. No trick questions. Straight forward questions. Questions you know the answers for. A test you can ace with your eyes shut.

Then, imagine failing the test. Bombing it.

Then, imagine getting the test returned with red marks circling the wrong answers with the right answers spelled out. No tricks. The correct answer spelled out in front of your eyes, for your benefit.

Then, imagine thinking, “What the F is wrong with me? I knew the answer but I still bombed the test? Am I F’d up or what?”

Then, imagine being given the luxury of a makeup test. The exact same test. A second chance. Then, imagine handing in the same wrong answers. Imagine getting the test returned with red marks circling the wrong answers with the right answers spelled out.

Then, imagine getting another makeup test. A third chance. Same test. No difference. No trick questions. Straightforward. Then, imagine handing in the test with the exact same wrong answers again. Imagine handing in the test with the same wrong answers.

Who do you blame? Is the test good or evil? Is the test being given over and over again for your own good or is this some kind of sick, twisted joke from some kind of demon that’s escaped from hell trying to mess with your head? Or are you just plain stupid?

This is what I’ve experienced every May for as long as I can remember. I wasn’t born in May. I’m a Leo, not a Taurus. But Taurus seems to be the month that bugs the hell out of me. I’m on a streak of May hell. Exact same test, exact same wrong answers. I’ve stumbled and bumbled through the exact same test, answering the same wrong answers, and received the right answers marked in red. But I never pass the test the first time. I receive the answers but can’t pass. History repeats itself and I repeat history.

I used to believe that bone-head decisions are evil’s secret weapons. I used to believe that every dumbass move I made was the work of the devil. The devil-made-me-do-it was always my alibi. Now I believe that evil simply presents the opportunity and we have the free will to fall for it or not. I make the exact same jackass decision over and over and over. It gets to the point that I’m not sure which side is actually responsible.

I now believe that bone-head decision are the product of bad conditioning that leads to poor exercise of free will. Horrible fitness. The failure to exercise free will positively is a matter of choice. All evil does is call a play and asks you to respond to it. The month of May is the chosen month for me, the one where I’m asked to do spring cleaning but I make a clutter instead.

I haven’t figured it out yet. I can’t solve the mystery. I used to believe evil was behind the launching of my May attacks. Now I’m confused. Maybe it’s the other side testing me to make sure I’ve got the answers straight before I can move forward. But I know one thing for certain – failing the test is hell. And, there’s a difference between hell and pure hell. One you can escape. The other you can’t because you’ve accepted your place in it. Accepting a seat in hell means you’ve stopped fighting to escape it. You’ve lost hope for a rescue. When you resign to any level of hell, it becomes pure hell.

I’ve never read the Dante’s Inferno in its entirety because I believe that it’s as depressing as it gets but I quote it a lot. Especially the part of multi-levels of hell. The book became a big hit, a timeless classic. It’s the Purple Haze of literature. I understand the basic message of the book and I use it as back-up motivation to escape the hell that never stops following us around. But, to be honest, I learned the true secret of motivation long ago from the best motivational speaker and teacher I’ve ever heard. He taught me the First Law of Survival – you don’t get a free pass from hell, you have to escape it. It takes effort. Heavy lifting. Running from hell won’t work out. You have to fight it and fight through it. But never let hell win by default. Never forfeit. Escaping hell isn’t easy but it’s worth every drop of sweat, blood, and guts you have to spill to escape hell.

I believe that we’re not alone in our collective effort to escape hell. It starts with one conscious decision. One exercise of free will is all it takes but it won’t happen on its own. Each exercise of free will takes a conscious effort. After free will is exercised, I believe that a team effort is mobilized where a lot of people are assigned parts to play, to help you make the right call and then execute the play flawlessly.

There’s good news and bad news when evil escapes from hell and comes after you. The good news is that when evil comes after you, you must have a big assignment ahead of you even if you don’t get it at the moment. That’s what I believe. When evil lines up and sends waves of pressure, I believe it’s an attempt to throw you off-track from something big. I believe that evil has one objective – to stop you from your calling. Your mission. Your next assignment. The bad news is that when evil escapes from hell and comes after you, you better be in shape to last the fight. Because if you’re not, you’ll get flattened. Torn apart. Eaten alive. It’ll leave your carcass for vultures. There’ll be nothing left of you except pieces of your former self.

The Second Law of Survival is simple – we make our own hell. Stop making your own hell and the need to escape it disappears.

I’m including this in another new book that I started writing two days ago because I had a poweful feeling that it’s a message that needs to be heard worldwide. I’ve tolerated mediocrity from myself with enough bone-head decisions. It’s time to stop. Or at least try harder.

Here’s a link to Purple Haze. It’s been one of my Top Ten Workout songs for decades. Keep lifting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4913gaj0_4w

Peace.

Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3
owner – X Fitness Inc.
head coach – Niagara X-men football team
author – Soul of a Lifter