Fourteen months ago I sat down in the rec room of my mom and dad and I penned a short story entitled Comeback Kid. The short story was very simple and straight forward. To anyone who knew me and my ambitions, the plot talked about a twenty-nine year old personal trainer named Brock Patrick. Brock did everything in this world that I wish to accomplish. He became a very renown trainer on the Atlantic Coast. He won over a girl resembling my current celebrity crush (anyone who knows me knows who she is based off of), and most importantly, Brock remembered what it took to get to where he was.
After a few months I decided to turn this into a full length book, the second half of which is going to be released this week in conjunction with my own relocation into my very first apartment in the South Hills, located just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A little bit of a background on the subject of Comeback Kid: Comeback Kid is actually a combination of two plots I wrote up years ago combined into one. Brock’s second timeline and the end of the other plot were so very similar that I just decided to combine the two an thus, Comeback Kid was officially born. I will admit that I did change some elements of the original plots in order to fit the book (I need to quit calling this a book because in all technical terms, it is not a book, merely a series of episodes, but it could very well be recognized as a book and I may actually self-publish this one day as an e-book).
So what were these elements that were changed? I’ll give you a rundown:
In Comeback Kid, Brock is an extremely unsuccessful and unhappy thirty-five year old in the very first chapter. In the plot synopsis this was based off of, the main character who I never quite got around to naming was a thirty-five year old man married to a woman he loved only because he had two kids with her. He worked in a job he did not enjoy and never envisioned himself working in, and his relatives were basically doing the same things Jed, Lenny, Maria, K.J., Lonnie, and Riley were doing. I almost had Brock do this as well (a la Mindy in the first timeline) but I really felt I’d be insulting people who actually did lead these lives and thus, I wanted to shift from it.
What did I do? I did a little bit of brainstorming and went back to my middle school days. I thought about how very hesitant I was to do anything when I was younger and my parents had to literally force me to engage in physical activity (seriously), give everything I had in practice and in a game (seriously), and at times, force me to continue on with the sport or activity because I simply wanted to stay indoors and play video games (yes, seriously). What, did you think I was born holding a dumbbell or something?
So, I decided to ask myself what might have happened had I continued being “that kid.” Let me tell you something. To this day, I still have no idea what I would do if I weren’t part of the fitness industry. Sure, I love to write, but I also love modeling a lead male protagonist after myself. Why? Because he HAS to look as if he’s about to save the world (fictional world, since only Jesus can save our real world). So in all honesty, if I didn’t have my current bodybuild, I would be void of ideas because I just HAVE to put myself in the book under a different name, such as Brock Patrick, for example. So Todd the Writer could never exist without Todd the Trainer. Kind of weird, because they are two completely different mindsets. Todd the Writer shows off his artsy side. Todd the Trainer shows off his scientific side. Together, they’re unbeatable and a force to be reckoned with. Apart, they are nothing, nothing at all.
So obviously, with the above paragraph being stated, Brock Patrick is, well, nothing at all in the initial timeline. Why? Because he never found fitness and without fitness he never comes across being a writer, just like the man writing this blog! So when it came to what could have happened had I remained the lazy kid who never bothered to do well in school (because my mind was on video games), didn’t want to engage in physical activity (because my mind was on video games), and most certainly didn’t want a time commitment (because my mind was on video games), I had to really ask myself what the hell was I supposed to do to make a living (because my mind would still be on video games)! Are we having fun yet?
What did I come up with? Everything I had ever feared I would become had my mind remained on playing video games. Would I have cared about school? No. Would I have wanted a job that was going to cut into my video game time? No. Would I have wanted to do any kind of household chore that cut into my video game time? No. Would I have wanted to do anything that cut into my video game time? No. Would my parents have forced me to do something that cut into my video game time? Absolutely.
Enter Jay Patrick. The dad is always the tougher of the two parents if the kid is a boy. They always are. And vice versa if there is a daughter involved. In that case, mom is typically the greater of the two evils. So who is Jay Patrick? He has my dad’s personality, but an extremely exaggerated version of it. Other than that I completely made the character up from scratch. For instance, my own father never served in the armed forces, he’s much shorter than Jay, and my dad is not a used car salesman. But he is just as tough as Jay Patrick. And he would be more than tough on me if I were like the Brock Patrick from the first timeline. Jay loves to compare, or better yet, contrast, Brock from his cousin Lenny and brother, Jed.
Enter Lenny and Jed. So who exactly are these two? Lenny is based off of my own cousin who is around my age with many similarities and differences. For starters, my cousin who inspired the character is actually older than I am and he doesn’t work for an electronic store, but this was his dream for quite some time (video games, but in much more moderation). He’s also quite talented at pretty much everything, which made him a perfect example of what success looked like. I think every parent wants their kid to be like Lenny and rightfully so. Okay, so onto Jed. First of all, Jed is very loosely based off of my own brother and as a running gag, I have inserted the very same Jed into every single synopsis I have written for my own amusement. Jed is pretty much the middle man. Jed is successful and he’ll reach the same success that Lenny has achieved. Yet Jed tends to hang out in the background more than reaching the forefront while most of the animosity Brock displays during the first timeline is focused on Lenny (due to their age similarities).
Brock also needed a rival who would become everything he wanted to become in the first timeline. I wanted someone who was an influential leader who succeeded more than anyone who had ever graduated Thomas High School (a direct carbon copy of Edison High School). Yet he had to arrogant, self-righteous, and just downright unlikable since Brock displayed these characteristics in the first timeline. Enter Dale Detmer. Dale is a personal trainer living on the Atlantic Coast who is succeeding more than any Thomas High School graduate ever had. If he isn’t the most prominent then he is definitely up there in the rankings. He is someone Brock had always loathed and he is actually based off of a few former classmates whose names I won’t mention because I really don’t need any conflict in my life or accusations of slander. Let’s just be vague and say that Detmer is based off of three to four different guys I went to school with who thought they were God’s gift to Earth and leave it at that. Any Edison High School graduate from the Classes of 2008, 09, and 10 should get a hint on who exactly Dale Detmer is. But what good is a rival without a very nice sidekick who is the exact opposite? Enter Azula Skye von Beck, hailing from the great land of Switzerland. Just so you all know, Azula Skye is the name of my red Chevy Cruze. I decided to name her after Azula from The Last Airbender because I always thought the name was badass.
But what good are the characters without a damn good story line? So I thought to myself; what the hell would I be doing had I not entered the fitness industry? Enter Lucks Foods, based off of Riesbecks Foods. Just so the Riesbeck Corporation is aware, the Brock Patrick in the second timeline, and therefore the real life version of Todd Matthews, loves your company and there are nothing but good things written about it in the text. My very first (kind of sort of first) real job was at Riesbecks and my entire thought process here was that I’d probably still be working there today if I never found my fitness lifestyle to be so intriguing. Actually, I’d probably get fired for something, whether I was just moving too slow, being withdrawn from the customers, or something of that nature, so Brock gets fired and works for his cousin who is now the CEO of Victory Electronics. After Detmer intervenes as an inconvenience to Brock, he decides to beg for his job back at Lucks in front of Dale and Skye.
So why is it called Comeback Kid since Brock never really came back from anything? In fact, Brock was pretty much granted a cheat code to relive part of his life and change what he had messed up. I contemplated on a new title but in all honesty, Brock still had to mount a comeback to win the day. Put it this way: although he was given a new opportunity he was still the same Brock that everyone knew when he was in the eighth grade back in 2004-2005. In fact, I was an average, even below average student in almost every subject back in middle school. Both Brock and I never played any sports in middle school although we tried doing so but failed miserably. So with that being said, Brock really is the Comeback Kid. Because he was granted a new opportunity to live as a kid once more and mount a comeback in an attempt to prove everyone wrong in their initial perspective of what he would grow up to become. In the first timeline, Brock proves everyone right. In the second timeline, everyone is proven wrong. And that, my friends, is a Comeback Kid.
Who would benefit from reading this work? Literally anyone who is struggling in life, especially our younger generation. This book is actually targeted towards middle school students, and although adults may get a lot out of the book, it is our middle school and even high school students who will truly benefit from reading this. Comeback Kid is scattered across this blog and as mentioned previously, since the blog is rather small I may put this in ebook format and sell it for a few bucks. Nothing crazy, obviously, but it’d be sold more for convenience than anything else.
As for my people at Anytime Fitness, I wanted to give you all a huge shout out! Best of luck to your future endeavors and keep in contact with me! I’ll only be forty-five minutes up the road but I look for each and every one of you to continue your relentless quest for your own fitness goals. Best of luck and I’m excited to see what the future holds for all of us. Remember, we always need to move forward. The quickest way to the end zone is straight ahead.