I always was pretty athletic in high school. I played baseball, football and basketball. I was pretty skinny, never touched a weight, and weighed about 165 pounds at 6'1". Our school didn't have a great weight room and there really wasn't a local gym near my home. Well after high school, I figured I better do something, so I joined a gym, gained muscle pretty fast, and became addicted. But this was during my college years, and my diet was pretty awful. I did gain muscle, but gained a lot of fat with it. I got up to 210 pounds with probably 16-18 percent body fat, I'm guessing.
I went on like this for about 10 years, got married and had kids, so my eating and training went downhill. I tried dieting a little, but never really stayed on track. I always wanted to be more defined and have the six-pack. I figured once I turned 30 that I'd just settle for what I looked like and maintain. I did keep lifting, but had to learn by trial and error what worked best for me.
It really wasn't until I joined BodySpace on Bodybuilding.com that I saw all these guys my age with before and after photos that really motivated me to work on getting leaner and maybe find that illusive six-pack. And you know what? After setting goals and tracking my progress on BodySpace, I can say I'm so proud of how far I have come.
I guess it is the never ending challenge to better myself. I feel better now than when I was 21! I do believe that the long-term benefits of keeping ones health really pushes me to keep going to the gym. I have seen so many of my friends my age stop being active or getting injured due to the fact they weren't in shape. I never want to say I couldn't do something because I wasn't in shape. I have four young kids and always run and play with them. I see parents who sit and watch their kids play. I want to be an example to my kids!
My motivation has changed through the years. At first, when I started working out, I wanted to have bigger muscles to impress the girls. I have always been a self-driven person and tried to better myself, whether it's working out or working on the job. I guess now it's more of a lifestyle. I go to the gym like I'm going to eat. The workouts feed and give me energy. They take away some of the daily grind.
There are a lot of people that inspire me on BodySpace. I see guys twice my age looking so great (OldButFit). I have no excuse not to get better. I see these unreal bodies that I know I will never catch up to, but I'm very competitive, so it gives me something to shoot for. There is this one young guy at my gym, I don't even know his name, who is a paraplegic and is at the gym religiously working so hard. How can I ever say I'm not able to go to the gym? People ask why I workout so much, and I always say, "Because I Can!"
I really do not have any set plans, but I'm trying to improve myself every day. Who knows, maybe one day I'll have the nerve to step on stage or maybe look into training others.
"Go in with a goal!" Have a plan, know what you want to achieve and have the knowledge and tools necessary to get you to that goal. I always hear guys say they want to get bigger muscles or get a six-pack, but then just walk into gym and have no real set plan on knowhow to get there. Believe me, I was one of those guys, but through reading and getting advice from others, I'm reaching my goals.
I guess my favorite bodybuilder would be Flex Wheeler. He is from my hometown and I remember seeing him when I was just starting at our Gold's Gym. I always rooted for him to be Mr. Universe.
As you can see from my previous answers, Bodybuilding.com has played a great part in pushing me to a higher level of fitness than ever before. I love the way you can track your progress on BodySpace. By just taking photos and posting them, it somehow made me see the gains even more clearly, as well as the setbacks.
I love all the people on here who are fitness-minded and willing to help on questions and give advice. The forums are great to find answers on certain supplements and training questions. I like browsing the photos to see people I want to look like and give me the inspiration to never settle.