I’m a big fan of bodybuilding, I suspect it was Arnold Schwarzenegger films that got me into it, perhaps Jean-Claude Van Damme as well and Sylvester Stallone. Needless to say I’m a big fan of 80s and 90s action films. But also I’m a big wrestling fan, and grew up watching Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker and all the others from the attitude era battling it out with their monster physiques.
But it was not just seeing these Goliaths on film and TV battling it out that got me into the gym, it was also my experiences at school. I was a tall and superslim teen, and was bullied frequently as a result. Therefore seeing these Goliaths on TV gave me the idea that if I looked like that no one would ever be able to bully me again.
I first hit the gym at sixteen, and the more I learned about training the more my love for bodybuilding grew. The discipline, the commitment and dedication, the sacrifices that top end bodybuilders showed, I could not help but form an unbelievable amount of respect for them.
From the amount of knowledge that was needed about training techniques and diet, to the amount of time they had to commit to training in the gym and to dieting correctly. The way I saw it they were turning their bodies into works of art, that to me makes bodybuilders artists, and their bodies are the canvas’.
In fact, their bodies are their Michelangelo, and they spend every single waking moment of their lives chipping away at their physiques trying to perfect them. For that they deserve the utmost respect, and to me that puts them in the same bracket as all artists who spend their lifetime’s perfecting their craft. Michelangelo turned marble into masterpieces, Arnold Schwarzenegger turned his body into a living masterpiece.
In terms of my own bodybuilding endeavours, I’m a creative person hence my love of writing and photography along with other creative outlets, and my body was simply another form of creative outlet. I wanted to create a body that I was proud of, a body that one day I could look back at and say yep, that was me. I looked like that.
I did a one point wish to enter a natural competition; however, injury and illness over the years has simply made it impossible for me to find the required level of consistency with training to be competition ready, and to me entering for the sake of entering is not what I want, if I’m going to enter I want to win. But who knows, maybe one day it will happen.
If it does not, which due to my present injury situation, there is a chance it may not, then I will not be sad, the reason being I’m immensely proud of the physique I achieved over the years. It was my own living canvas, and though I never achieved the heights I wanted due to the said reasons, there were many times over the years when I looked in the mirror and was very pleased with what I saw, my only regret is that I did not have more professional pictures to remind myself of what I looked like.
But I did take some over the years, after all, the way I see it if you’re going to work to get a great body, and you’re not going to take pictures of it, then what’s the point in working to have a great body?
With that said, here are some of my favourite pictures of my physique from over the years. And I should add my favourite is not a professional one, it’s a bathroom selfie. If only I had taken some professional pictures taken when I looked like that, but alas a couple of bathroom selfies are the only record I have of my physique at its best. I will include these pictures along with the professional ones.
And I just wish to add remember, your body is your own, make it look how you want, hit the gym or hit the pies, if you’re healthy and happy it doesn’t matter which you do all that matters is that you’re doing what is right for you.
That’s all from me today. Stay safe and always be true to yourself.
Number of writing competitions entered: 26
Number of winning entries: 3
Number of times shortlisted (exc winning entries): 2
Number of literary agents and publications reached out to: 20
Number of acceptances: 0