From a young age, I have always been pretty physically active. I began playing t-ball when I was 4 years old. Needless to say, hitting a stationary ball off a tee wasn’t really my thing. I wanted a challenge! My dad pulled me out after only one year and put me into a coach pitch league in another town. Although I was younger than most boys on that team, I wanted to prove myself as “top dog”. Growing up I played wherever there was a bat, a ball, and a group of kids. I quickly excelled and played throughout high school. After graduating high school, I was at a loss. For the last 14 years of my life I pretty much had been doing the same thing. Now what?
While in high school, I vividly remember my friends teasing me at the lunch table about becoming a bodybuilder one day. At the time, I really only bench pressed and curled every day with some of my friends in gym class, so I was far from a bodybuilder. I laughed at them and said there was no way I would ever get greased up and flex in front of a crowd wearing a Speedo. Well, the next year I did just that! I guess my friends were right after all.
While reading the newspaper one day, my dad saw an advertisement for a local bodybuilding competition and told me I should go and watch. I told him, “If I’m going; I’m going to compete!” The competition was in three weeks, and I was determined to prove myself to be a bodybuilder. After “prepping” for three weeks, I ended up placing 2nd out of 2 in the teen class. After excelling at just about every sport I played growing up, this was an eye opener. I soon learned what being a bodybuilder actually meant, and have since spent the past 6 years honing my craft.
Bodybuilding is unlike any sport I have ever participated in before. In team sports, if someone makes an error, the rest of the team can pick up that player, and get the next hit or out. In bodybuilding, you are the only one out there putting in the work day in and day out. Sometimes it can be a lonely road full of long weight training sessions and seemingly never-ending cardio sessions, but I love a challenge! I fell in love with not only the physical aspect, but the mental aspect of bodybuilding. You have to be physically strong enough to inflict pain upon yourself for hours a day 6 days a week for years, and also have the mental fortitude to “Put that cookie down”, as Arnold Schwarzenegger said in the Christmas movie “Jingle All the Way”, even when it seems to be the single item of your fixation.
Sometimes the things you are meant to do find you even before you are ready for them. Thanks to the constant pestering of my friends and the keen eyes of my dad, I am where I am today. It’s funny how everything comes together. I could not imagine my life any other way!