My journey into bodybuilding started almost exactly 7 years ago. As with all things in life, it has been a cyclical journal that never truly ends.
I've gone from skinny for a normal person, to muscular for a normal person, to skinny for a natural amateur bodybuilder, to muscular for a natural amateur bodybuilder, and here I am, once again, skinny.
However this time, I'm skinny for a natural professional bodybuilder. To get here I had to use the muscle that so far has gotten me the farthest: my heart. Thus far, my love and passion for this sport and my willingness to push myself beyond anything I thought I could ever push through, stand, stomach, endure or survive has gotten me here. That, along with using the strongest organ of all, the mind, is what I credit to being able to achieve my goals thus far.
I have learned to find happiness, balance, and success in this sometimes crazy sport, and best of all I have met so many kindred spirits and genuinely amazing, kind hearted, good people who I now call family along the way.
Just one week ago today I won my first overall title and became pro qualified through the PNBA at the INBA Team Nevada Natural Bodybuilding Championships. 3 seasons, 9 shows, and 7 years of lifting. It was my second show of the season, only one week after taking second to the overall winner and winning best poser at the INBA California Natural Bodybuilding Championships. The season started like my last season ended, getting so close to the overall win, but once more playing bridesmaid.
The following week when I did pull off the win, I did not see it coming. It was an incredibly difficult victory as I came from behind after everything going wrong for prejudging. I nearly lost to a behemoth, huge, muscular bodybuilder in my height class who was beating me by one point in prejudging. I managed to edge him out in the finals after further comparisons and a pose-down, if he'd been leaner I would not have stood a chance. Then I would go on to face a stellar 19 year old with superb conditioning and muscularity who I would have to beat with posing and stage experience, because this was the only place I had him, as he was leaner and about my equal in size if not bigger.
In the end I was the last man standing. I displayed a lean, balanced physique, and I perfected my presentation and I beat competitors who were bigger than me and leaner than me by doing everything in my power to maximize my potential.
But now...I have to contend with pros who have fantastic work ethics, fantastic genetics, immense stage experience, and often times have been in the gym since they were teenagers and are now in their primes competing in the pros in their mid thirties to early fifties. I have my work cut out for me if I plan on getting on stage next to Kiyoshi Moody, Phillip Ricardo Jr., Michael Waddington, Warren Clampit and the other top PNBA and NGA pros I'll likely be facing when I take the stage again.
But when will I be taking the stage? Well, actually I'm 6 weeks out from the last show of the season. But this is really a show for fun, to compete with the rest of the Team 3DMJ coaches, we're all doing the NPC San Francisco, a local non tested show where we'll all be in the same weight class. I'll be at the top of the middles, the boys at the bottom and we'll get some fantastic shots and have a blast! But, as far as competing on a natural pro stage? That won't happen until likely 2015 or 2016.
This is for two reasons, the first is necessity: I am starting my Masters and PhD overseas in New Zealand in the summer of next year to study muscle growth (check my signature for more info and please donate to the research fund!), and that will be a 4 year process most likely. The second reason, is truly also a necessity: Let's be brutally honest. I didn't get my pro card because of my size. I was not big compared to other natural amateurs, I got my pro card on conditioning, posing, balance and good lines. Compared to the pros I am not just "not big" I am downright small! I am giving up about 15lbs-20lbs of stage weight to most guys at my height who compete shredded. And after 7 years of being in the gym, it's going to take me 4-5 years to get on that level, no two ways about it. So that is my Everest, and I can't wait to start climbing!
First though, we gotta have some fun at the NPC San Francisco on Oct 1st!
Then the climb begins...