To be born strong and healthy and to have a good solid upbringing doesn't guarantee you a job anymore. It takes something more. You can be the best person you can be, and someone else can waltz along and defeat you. You can walk into a room and you are just another person.
Out of this equality has borne a desire to be a pioneer, a dictator, a don. Men feel they want to stand out, and some do something about it. They work their muscles, make themselves hurt. They grow, and as they grow they demand respect. And the more they grow, hunger for size grows alongside.
You can accuse me of extreme cynicism, but the real answer to those two questions would be "Anabolic steroids" and "Definitely." What if you asked any old Joe on the street, "Would you take steroids to become bigger than anyone else in the world?" It is likely our good friend Joe who would answer in the negative.
The dangers of steroid abuse are very public, and to the general public it is pure insanity to trade one's health for gargantuan muscle gains. Also, though not entirely recognized by the public, even with the aid of anabolic steroids the road to muscular domination is a long and hard one.
You don't inject yourself and sit back while hard, strong muscles come out from nowhere. Anabolic steroids are a means to an end, though definitely not the only one.
Do you love it when someone says, "You must live in the gym" or "I bet no one messes with you"? I sure as hell do. And then I sit down and watch Arnold Schwarzengger and Franco Columbu (see pic at right) compete for the 1975 Mr. Olympia, the most sought after bodybuilding title on the face of the planet.
When you compare yourself to a champion, you hunger for their size. It's a perfectly natural thing to do; most people would do the same. The hunger is a great motivation. But the way you go about filling that void is where the problems lie. We all want to get there, and we all have our goals. The difference is how we get there, subjectively or objectively. In simple terms, you have to ask yourself if the end justifies the means.
I've already said I believe that the world's top bodybuilders use anabolic steroids, although they would deny it vehemently. In their denial at least, they are being partially responsible, in that through denial they prove that steroid use is not the way to gain an edge.
In saying that, I would like to add that with the current level of bodybuilding and technology in the field of performance-enhancing drugs, it is virtually impossible to reach the level of the world's top bodybuilders without some artificial hormone assistance.
Illegal Steroids: A Moral Decision
This statement alone gives some people reason enough to employ the use of illegal substances to get ahead. This is another human flaw, also perfectly natural. To want something so bad, no sacrifice is too big.
It takes moral strength to sacrifice. It takes greater moral strength to sacrifice your desires. I'm not going to get too deep into the moral arguments of performance-enhancing drugs, because a moral decision is one that is personal and I don't feel I have the experience or the words to convince people not to take steroids.
In fact, that's not what I set out to accomplish by writing this article. I purely wanted to evoke some thought. I find that the best way to convince someone of something is to present an opinion.
I thought about quoting some facts in this article, such as the results of the Bodybuilding.com poll on anabolic steroids. However, I decided that I'd rather look into why someone would use the substance in the first place. I think we all know people do, and we all have a general idea about what it does to them. But the 'why' can offer a difficult problem.
Why? Because the nature of us gym jockeys is to conquer the world. The strength culture in which we interact calls for forward motion, ever onwards and upwards. We want to find something beyond tribulus, beyond creatine, beyond methoxyisoflavone.
How far can we go before we have gone too far? And just how far is that? The finish always seems to recede into the horizon with every step forward, so how do we know when we have crossed the point of no return? How far are we willing to go? What extent, what price, what sacrifice?
I'm writing this in the year 2001. We are not children and ignorance is not a defence. The game calls us to step up, to be islands among men, and strive for more. The game calls for players with balls, players with drive, and players with strength.
How are you going to play? My advice is play hard, and play smart. Don't dive into the deep end. Slide in the shallow water and swim your way up. Exercise your mind, exercise your morals, and then exercise your muscles.
Now get back to work.