My Time Off
My three year layoff was time away for the stage I felt I needed to let my physique mature and allow it some time to grow. I stayed lean and monitored my calories keeping my weight about 10-15 pds above my previous contest weigh in. I trained hard and intense staggering heavy and light days with just enough cardio to keep my body running efficiently. I always keep a very detailed and precise journal that enables me to monitor my progress in this unique sport we all love. This information I write frequently allows me the ability of competing year after year in my best condition.
I mentioned earlier I took a break from the mental and physical stress of competition. My last weigh-in in 2000 was 185 at the collegiate Nationals. These 2.5 years I figured due to my intense training and precise diet I had packed on a few solid pds of muscle. A few solid pds of muscle is extremely difficult to pack on el'Naturel but I had hopes. So, November 16 rolled around just like any other competition day would. Two days out I had weighed 192, I was hard, full, and ready to hit the stage. Light heavyweight is 176.25-to-190. So, do I compete as a heavyweight being one of the lightest or do I drop a few extra pds of water and be one of the heaviest? Here is where the mental part of the game comes into play, my previous weigh in was 185 in 2000 so, I figured the closest I can be to 185 the better.
Some Taraxatone, started to drop the water fairly quickly but the day prior to competition I had still weighed 192. I thought the weight staying the same had something to do with the carb loading constipation factor. My body was not running efficiently anymore and I had not been able to drop ANY kids off at the pool. I had spoken to my trainer requesting some guidance as "what to do next." I mentioned hearing of some local bodybuilders using a sodium free fleet enema the night before to release some lower intestinal bloat. "I heard nothing but bad experiences with that shit, but give it a shot" replies Nick.
So, I found myself on my bathroom floor administering a fleet enema to myself, it was then I realized there isn't anything I would not do to be the best damn natural bodybuilder ever.
But anyway, the hopes of this whole uncomfortable process were to eliminate any intestinal bloat and drop a few extra pounds of water to make the light heavies. THE day arrived, November 16th. I woke up looked in the mirror and looked exactly like a baby's ass! Smooth, flat, AND dehydrated. A few veins floated underneath my skin but looked very depleted. Arriving in NYC I was still mentally focused on making weight. I stepped on the scale for weigh-ins and watched the needle bounce from 189-190. "NICE" I made weight.
But, I still looked like that baby's ass I spoke of. Time for light-heavies to hit the stage, walking behind the dudes in front of me I knew I was off and was wondering if I would even place. I wasn't very impressed with these guys, which made it worse. Monetti in his best condition would have made it extremely difficult for these dudes to stand next to him. If Monetti had been in his best condition that is ... IF!
A ninth place finish. The top 8 had their 90 seconds to entertain the packed auditorium. While I sat and watched I pondered my placing and began to daydream. I saw myself walking, sometimes running down that path of life. All my contests either won or lost had brought me to that infamous fork in the road ... THIS is where I stood for a while. It is one of those places that people speak of when you make a decision for which route you should take. The sport of bodybuilding has been very good to me thus far and has made me a top amateur.
Do I continue to compete as a top amateur and be one of those certain kind of people that you often hear being talked about. You know what kind of people I talk of, "GEE, Whatever happened to ... (Such and such) he could have gone places. What a WASTE OF TALENT" or, I make it a point to see the top 3 guys everywhere I go for the next 365 days that remain until the 2003 Amateur World Championships. I do this by placing a picture on my ceiling so I see them every morning, I do this by placing a picture on my mirror in the bathroom just in case I wake up on my side and I don't see the picture, in my car on my speedometer so on my drive to the gym everyday I remember why I am going to the gym, and again before I even start my session I put my favorite training hat on and there is a picture on the inside of the hat. Need I say which route I have chosen to walk? You should stand in front of this fork for as long as you need. But, I only needed to realize one fact, I was in the audience with my baggies and sweatshirt on while the competitors who looked better than me that day entertained and impressed the crowd.
So, I sit here writing to you trying to express the ups and downs of this crazy-ass humbling sport. I may come across a physically stronger person than me, but I will always be mentally stronger and more driven than my competitors. I have determination, I have a powerful drive, I have a deep desire to fulfill every expectation I have of myself, I may encounter a bumpy frustrating road but, I WILL never surrender my goals and aspirations due to a HUMBLING experience called NINTH PLACE ...