Tattoo Thoughts - CoryG Fitness

*Originally written in May 2020

What my tattoos represent

For me, the forearms represent the hard work. The forearms are what I remember being blown up when I was shoveling coal underground. The forearms are one of the first things you see within the blue-collar community. The forearms are strong and reveal the numerous hours of work put in. The forearms represent a daily motivation.


My Right Forearm

My right forearm has “Old School” written in old English, with the coalminer’s crest. The Coalminer’s Crest consists of a hard hat, with the shovel and pickaxe crossed. This logo actually used to have a skull under the hard hat, but I couldn’t get down with that. This tattoo is a depiction of family pride and shows the realness of where I come from.

“Old School” is a mentality. Yes, it’s a gym, but at the core it’s how I operate. I needed this mentality to keep me grounded, especially when things got out of whack in different areas of my life. It served as a constant reminder of where I came from, how hard I worked, and kept myself in check.


My Left Forearm

I was able to link up with Jimmy Blu, who is the tattoo artist for both Lebron and Joe Hayden. I told him that I have a 1935 photo of my great grandfather, Joseph Boone, who died in a coal mine explosion with his brother.  He was the first-generation coal miner and weightlifter in my family.

Joseph is the father of my now 93-year old grandfather, who is ultimately responsible for teaching me how to lift weights. My grandfather lost both his dad and uncle in the same coal mine explosion, two weeks before Christmas.

The chalk bowl at Old School Gym is part of his barbell set. The lineage of coalminers, lifting, and hard work is four generations deep. To me, that’s historic. I wanted to show my grandfather how much I respect, believe and appreciate what he did for me. In my opinion, the best way for me pay back was to memorialize his father, forever.

My grandfather starting crying when he saw this 1935 portrait of his father on my forearm. I’m talking about a 6’2, 245-pound WWII veteran, and overall great person that I completely idolize. This was the best way I could try to tell him thank you.


My New Tattoo

This Abraham Lincoln quote is incredibly meaningful to me. On the pursuit of trying to accomplish something, no one can see it but you. No one can believe it, but you. No one else can make it come true, but you.

Faith is what gets you through. Belief gets you through. That is the sauce. When you can’t see or touch it, but know it’s possible, everything changes. This is why these words are meaningful to me. It can’t ring truer.

As much as I hated living in the 1970’s trailer I lived in from sixth grade to when I graduated high school, it forced me to break out of that lifestyle. I still can remember my mom struggling to pay $150 for the rent each month. Living in that trailer changed everything.

Our life is completely different now. All of us. My sister, mom and the rest of my family. How we operate, what we talk about, and the experiences we have. It truly is staggering. I don’t know where I’m going to put it yet, but I know I want to see that quote and trailer each and every day. To think when I lived there that I would tattoo this on myself is comical.


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