With great power, comes great responsibility. Arnold Schwarzenegger can teach the world a lesson or two about influencing people to go in the positive direction.
Known as an iconic actor and body-builder, the Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger is receiving massive love from the netizens for his heartwarming gesture towards a fan fighting with depression. His decades of dedicated work on health, fitness, and body-building has made him an undisputed role model for numerous fitness enthusiasts around the world. So when a die-hard fan of the former Governor of California asked him for some motivation, he could not let him down.
A Reddit user and a fan of the famous body-builder, Ali (user name - u/0770059834333178), messaged Schwarzenegger, requesting him to say some motivational words that would help him kick off his laziness and hit the gym. Ali also explained that he has been suffering from depression and stopped exercising.
To his surprise, former Mr.Olympia Schwarzenegger replied to him in a heartfelt message that not only motivated him to get out of bed but also motivated other people to be kind to themselves and handle one day at a time.
In a conversation with BBC, Ali, who lives in Quebec, Canada, said, "I was just lying in bed and feeling down, when I decided to send the message. I had been feeling bad for about three months." However, he would have never anticipated a reply from his role model. Schwarzenegger's reply could warm the coldest of hearts. He showed that it is important to not loathe oneself over something we are failing to do. We should instead, take one step at a time and keep trying.
The legendary bodybuilder had this to say: "I'm not going to be that hard on you. Please don't be hard on yourself. We all go through challenges, we all go through failure. Sometimes life is a workout. But the key thing is you get up. Just move a little. Roll out of bed and do some pushups or go for a walk. Just do something. One step at a time. I hope you feel better and get back to the gym. But don't beat yourself up, because that's just useless talk. It doesn't get you any closer to the gym. And don't be afraid to ask for help. Good luck."
Ali admitted that Schwarzenegger's reply instantly pumped him up and he felt positivity rushing through him. "I jumped out of bed and thought what's the quickest way to the gym? I used that motivation and went straight there. It was crazy," he said.
This positive exchange between the star and his fan proves that words have the power to heal and motivate. Screengrabs of their exchange are making rounds on social media and inspiring people to love themselves and speak their truth. The conversation has received over 70,000 upvotes. Many Reddit users have come forward to share their stories related to mental health and its struggles.
Ali said that triggering a dialogue around this sensitive topic is the "best part about all of this."
One Reddit user wrote: "I've been in a personal crisis myself, haven't been to the gym in two years. This legit makes me want to cry."
Ali responded, saying: "Let your bad feelings out and cry if you need to, holding back emotions is the easiest way to go further into depression. Don't give up!"
Another user replied to Schwarzenegger's message to say that she had "extreme anxiety" after the birth of her son, and was struggling to leave the house.
Criticisms have also surfaced after the thread went viral. While people have been calling this an amateur and irresponsible way to deal with an issue as serious as depression, Ali has come forward to defend his stand by saying that Schwarzenegger's reply proved to be a "huge huge boost for him" and it got him "amped up to hit the gym."
"Obviously depression can't just be 'cured' that easily. In my case, I needed a push to do the one thing which I know helps me when I'm feeling down," he said.
What happened next came as a delight to Ali and all Reddit users. Schwarzenegger posted a video giving a shout out to Ali for having positive interactions with those who were struggling.
"Pumping up other people that have depression and encouraging them and giving them positive reinforcement. I love that," he said.
In a world where people are too consumed with themselves to feel empathetic about others' struggles, this gesture from a superstar for a fan is definitely a silver lining.