Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to the Future

Photo:  at age 40, 2 days pre-competition, back yard.  Where did I get those shoulders?

Back in August of 2001 I competed in my first, last and only bodybuilding competition.  This escapade was, in terms of physical demands (and I might also add intellectual and spiritual), the most daunting challenge I had ever undertaken.  Reducing from 240 pounds down to 200 pounds in 4 months with, of course, the underpinnings of intense training and diet, was brutal.  I was up every morning at 5 a.m. for an hour-long workout with weights, and returned to the YMCA (Baxter Street) before dinner time to burn an additional 500-600 calories on the stairmaster (a machine that was, back then, the most torturous of the fat-burners).  I completed this insane schedule without the aid of steroids, growth hormones, diuretics, or other aids . . . just sheer will and knowledge gained from reading hundreds of pages in the bodybuilding mags over the course (and training) of twenty+ years.

But this experience also provided a rich source of humor, too.

Following the competition, I wrote like a madman--substituting my two-a-day workouts for a two-a-day writing blitz (which has carried over to this day).  I ended up with several books and a cornucopia of articles for fitness magazines.  I also recorded my experiences for posterity in several memoirs.

Now, a full decade later, one of my little memoirs is up an running.  You can read it on BioStories (www.biostories.com).  

Be advised . . . this one is not for the faint-of-heart.  If you want to learn something about natural bodybuilding from an idiot like me, then please read it.  It's rather raw, but truthful and behind-the-scenes.  My essay is the first memoir on the web site version (just scroll down) and is entitled:

No Gut, No Glory:  My Adventure into the Underworld of Competitive Bodybuilding.  

I want to thank Mark for publishing this in BioStories (with photos).  And reading this memoir makes me realize that once was enough--I'll never step on stage again.  I will probably develop skin cancer later in life due to the many hours I spent in the tanning bed.  (Look at the photos and you'll see what I mean.)


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