Bodybuilding is an individual sport. As a bodybuilder, your
success/failure is determined by your individual effort,
commitment, dedication, determination, etc... During your
quest for perfection, you many times feel lonely and isolated
from the rest of the world. Sometimes it is intentional. Other
times it's not. Although it may seem to be an individual sport,
there are many other people who play a key role in your development
(i.e. spouse, training partner, friends, colleagues, etc.).
Unfortunately, these "other people" suffer through all the good
and bad experiences right along with you. In this article, my
wife has so eloquently expressed her thoughts during those "hard
times" when I am, "The Good, The Bad, The Bodybuilder"!
"Honey, did you put any seasoning on this meat?" he asked.
"Just a little meat tenderizer" I replied. He nearly blows
his top, "I asked you not to put anything on the meat, now I
can't eat it." I don't get upset; I just put all the meat in
a container in the fridge and start to prepare something else.
Before I can put the groceries down on the counter he asks me,
"Honey, did you get the 98% lean ground beef?" He must have
reminded me at least a dozen times before I went to the store to
get 98% lean ground beef. Even though my mind is screaming,
"YES, Dammit" I take a deep breath and calmly reply "Yes,
honey I did."
I sit on the couch and watch him patiently perform his evening
ritual of preparing food for dinner and lunch the next day. I
watch him dirty up practically every piece of Tupperware we own,
not to mention pots, pans and silverware. I take special interest
in this ritual because I know that immediately after he will need to
eat and I will end up washing all those dishes.
I laugh out loud as I watch Sex in the City thoroughly enjoying myself.
He strolls over, oblivious to the TV, me or my enjoyment and turns on
the stereo. He then proceeds to stand in front of the fireplace, which
he has turned into a posing station by standing a full length on the
base of the fireplace, and begins his other nightly ritual.....posing.
This wouldn't be such a bad thing; however he's blocking my view of the
TV. So now I can't see or hear the TV. Do I go mad and snap off the
stereo? No, I sit there and watch him pose and help and offer criticisms.
As we lie down in bed to go to sleep, he gives me a quick kiss, rolls over
and pulls the blankets up and lulls us both to sleep with a nice hot Dutch
oven. If you don't know what that is, consider yourself lucky, let's
just say way toooooo much protein.
Is my husband a mean, cruel, insensitive man? No, he is a bodybuilder
on pre-contest diet! For those of you who don't know what it's like
living with someone on a pre-contest diet, let me tell you, it ain't
fun! My sweet, considerate husband slowly turns into a...... well, let's
just say he can be a bear at times. Over the last year I've watched him go
from Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jeckyl back to Mr. Hyde and let me tell you, it's
enough to make you want to kill them both.
In the beginning I wasn't very involved in the whole bodybuilding thing
and I often wondered, "Why anybody would want to put themselves through
the torture and is it really worth it?" My husband is a hard worker and
puts 110 percent into everything he does and bodybuilding is no exception.
I began to notice how dramatically his body changed and improved after each
show and how his hard work was paying off.
As I have become interested in bodybuilding it has become part of my life
too. I know now why it's crucial that he follows his diet down to the last
calorie and why he poses for hours on end. Knowing doesn't always make
it easy to tolerate (especially dealing with the AWFUL gas), but it helps me
to overlook a lot of his actions and attribute them to the pre-contest
So now I'm sitting on the edge of my seat watching him and the other winners
of their weight class vie for the best spot and lighting on the stage during
the pose down. I'm shouting to him all the things I remembered from his
posing sessions. I proudly watch him give it all his got and see how his
work and dedication have paid off. The music stops and the contestants head
back to their original positions and my heart is racing. My stomach drops
and my hands are ice cold and I think to myself again, "Is it really worth
Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the announcer shouts, "The
winner of the 2000 Governor's Cup is.......Delbert Hickman!" I'm so proud
him that I begin to cry and I think to myself, "YES, it is worth it!"
Well all, there it is. Thank you, my love, for the honest and heart felt
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Wife of Delbert
"Patience and Fortitude Conquer All Things."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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