The glimmer was that the physical improvements I had made during the last year were extremely positive and I had access to the most prominent bodybuilding gym on earth - Gold's Gym in Venice, California. On top of that, the Mecca has an array of restaurants that serve various healthy choices to suit the bodybuilder's nutritional needs.
The glossy side was polished by the fact that also within my ten-month relocation to Venice from Sydney, Australia, I had secured a Weider contract as a photographer and writer for Flex Magazine International and was being flown around the country being paid to shoot athletes and contests which I would probably do for free. Things couldn't be better!
The reasoning behind Ron's email was to inquire if yours truly would be interested in representing Australia at the FAME Natural World Championships in nine weeks time. "Can the Springboks play Rugby?" I asked. Of course, the honor to represent the country I adopted and competed in for five years would be too good an opportunity to miss. Without hesitation and nervous excitement, I agreed.
It was time to throw out my weight gaining powders and dextrose and replace them with flaxseed oil and L-Carnitine. I had never used a fat burner before, but then again I had never dieted over such a short period as nine weeks.
My friend Kelly Colkin had raved to me about this wonderful new fat burner that was on the market called Tetrazene ES-50 by BioQuest. It had sat in my cupboard for a couple of weeks but if there was a time to test its worth, now was the time.
For those preparative weeks, I dieted with such desperation that I would have eaten a scabby cat if it would help me lean out - but only if it was legally permitted that is!
8½ Weeks Later...
Wednesday, June 13, 2006
I arrived in Toronto, Canada with anticipation on how my opposition that were representing seventeen other countries would measure up, and more importantly discover if I was in fact out of my depth here as I was a virgin to the world stage of bodybuilding. At the registration and drug screening process that was to follow the next day I would hopefully get some answers.
Thursday, June 14, 2006
Today I had to complete my last 20 minute cardio of my preparation. So upon hearing that the venue was only a 25 minute stroll from my hotel, I decided that I would walk there and return by the comfort of taxi transportation.
45 daunting minutes later I was still hiking the calorie-defying trek and could see the venue in the distance... But I was here in Canada about to compete amongst the best natural athletes in the world - and I wasn't going to allow anything to get me down from my high that was up there with a Bee Gees chorus.
Finally, I made it to the distant destination. I, amongst others, was subjected to a mandatory drug screening process in front of a panel of judges that required us to follow through some strange poses that had us looking like we were mimicking the alphabet for a Sesame Street audience.
At the conclusion, I was asked to return to the room in a couple of minutes whilst they talked amongst themselves. I was then asked to hit a couple of muscularity poses to which I obliged with precision and intensity so not to embarrass myself. Again, I was asked to leave momentarily before listening to their predicament.
When I returned for a fourth time, I was informed of their conclusion which was that they thought I was a user of growth hormone amongst other anabolic substances. Initially I was quite taken back and slightly offended at their accusation, but then I decided to take this as an enormous compliment. I admitted that the most anabolic substance I had ever taken was my Ventolin inhaler medication for my asthma.
Although I show no signs of gyno or distention, they said that my muscle density and condition I possessed had no place on a natural athlete, and win or lose I would be tested over the weekend. With that, I carried my Ventolin enhanced physique to a taxi destined for my hotel where a salutatory feast of dry fish and Tetrazene fat burners were awaiting my disposal.
As soon as my fish had partially digested and I could feel the effects of my fat burner make itself known, I proceeded downstairs to the hotel gym to put in my last workout before the show. Upon entering the fitness facility, I concluded that it looked as if a yard sale investment had just taken place and the newly purchased equipment had been strategically placed in a single file around the hall way of the third floor.
Anyway, I was able to use my initiative and put the multi-station to good use before concluding my all-over body workout with an additional 20 minutes on the cycle whilst watching the soccer World Cup on the TV screen before me.
Friday, June 15, 2006
Today was Media Blitz day where athletes were encouraged to board designated buses that toured required Toronto destinations for public appearances, media interviews, and public signings - not to mention a whole lot of fun.
A crew of ripped, healthy and topless physiques grabbed the attention of the Toronto city slickers like Markus Ruhl inconspicuously conducting a rain dance amongst a tribe of pigmies, and pee stops were required as often as Shawn Ray's verbal diarrhea.
This was a great way to spread the wonderful word of bodybuilding to the general public, as well as encourage the athletes to work together in order to further the sport's future. I think it is in safe hands with the expertise of the FAME crew.
Saturday, June 17, 2006 - Judgment Day
At 3:00 a.m., I awoke from my carb-depleted slumber to inflate my muscles with enough glycogen to dry out the PowerAde Corporation. This carb loading process continued every two hours to the tune of responsive, smiling taste buds and appreciative muscle bellies.
| What Is Glycogen?
Glycogen is the principal stored form of carbohydrate energy (glucose), which is reserved in muscles. When your muscles are full of glycogen, they look and feel full.
At 11:00 a.m., it was time to rock the house. I stepped on stage as excited as Jim Carrey spiked on my Tetrazene fat burners hoping that my physique would carry as much persuasion with the judges as OJ Simpson's defense. The crowd was responsive to my confidence which fueled my passion that only competitive bodybuilding can feed.
Pre-judging was a blast, but hardly a walk in the park. The judges had us work hard for our prime positions and I remember trembling as I squeezed every muscle within my body.
every muscle within my body."
Walking backstage, I was pleasantly confronted with a blast from the past. I bumped into an old friend whom I had met six years ago whilst in London. A Canadian named Jason from Calgary who was also competing. He was a roommate of mine when we were staying at a London YMCA completing product training prior to embarkation on cruise liners around the Caribbean as Massage Therapists.
This was the first time either of us had heard or seen each other since 1999 and of all places it was backstage at a bodybuilding show on the other side of the planet. We were to later catch up on old times because at this present time we were here for war.
During the afternoon, as I taste tested an array of protein powders and bars, I was congratulated by many who as it seemed predicted a win for me later at the finals. Not one to count his chickens, I welcomed their acknowledgement whilst subconsciously thinking to myself, "This could be it. I, Kris Gethin, could be crowned Natural Bodybuilding Champion of the world."
Prior to this event, I had competed in four other natural bodybuilding shows and had finished second in all and incredibly missed first by one point in all also (!), but maybe this was finally the time to put my echoing haunts of "first place loser" in to the trash and step to the platform to which the victor goes the spoils.
Later that evening after our posedown, I stood onstage applauding the athletes being positioned in the top ten until my heart started to race and second place was about to be announced.
"In second place is..." The emcee paused what seemed to go on as long as a Ronnie Coleman victory speech... "Number 190" and before the emcee had the chance to bark my name, I knew it was I that was to be doomed as #2 for the fifth consecutive time.
As we, the top 3 were ushered off stage we were escorted to the nearby studio for a brief photo shoot for the newly formed FAME publication.
Initially, I was disappointed with this placing, but later that evening as I let it sink in with my rack of tender ribs that nourished my sorry cravings, I realized that I had just secured my authority on the International stage.
I have what I consider to be the best occupation in the world, and I live in Venice, California! Basically I was as happy as a fat kid whose best friend was Willy Wonka!
In summary, it was an event that was extremely well-organized that had staff as young and enthusiastic about the sport as its athletes competing.
If you are one of those individuals who sits on the sidelines at shows and wonders or predicts how you would look on stage, don't just think it, don't say it... do it. Don't live life, love it!
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