Written on the 14th December 2015
We last left off with my not so great test results. Since then I have been feeling a lot better. It’s amazing what 25000ius of vitamin D twice a week, getting some sun and keeping your liver and kidneys in a constant state of detox can do for you.
I feel a lot more energetic, motivated and responsive to training it would seem. In January I have a check in with my endocrinologist and blood tests to see how my body is faring internally since the start of my prep. I have however, been doing a lot of thinking though in these last 2 months. As I wrote last year in my closing blog for the year, there are people in our lives that help us along this journey and that we should value them.
My year has been filled with ups and downs. My bulk was going really well to hit my target of 105kgs. I had gotten to my heaviest that I had ever been in my life at 94kgs. After all was said and done though with my health issues and having taken a number of weeks off, lowering calories and detoxing my weight had dropped down to 83.5kgs. As I looked at myself in the mirror wondering where all the weight had gone I became really depressed. This is something I have wanted for as long as I could remember and I felt as though I was further than ever from reaching my goal. I was broken to say the least. Emotionally and physically I felt as though I had given every last fibre of my being to this pursuit only to be flouted over the years again and again.
So I decided to take stock and try to re-evaluate, re-prioritise and reprogram my mind and heart. In two days’ time (16th December 2016) I will have been dating my wife for 12 years. In my first two posts I covered how I had met up in an accident which resulted in cranial traction for 32 days, learning to balance and walk properly again and so on. But what I didn’t cover was that all through that time my then… shall we say friend (since we weren’t yet dating) was by my side day after day. I’m going to let you my readers in a bit deeper into my life than I think most people would, but for me the story of myself and my wife is one I am proud to tell. In the end I promise to get round to the point of this story so please bear with me for the lengthier than normal post. After all how can I be relevant to you if you don’t know at least a little bit of who I am?
I met my wife Debbie on the first day of high school in 1997 at Roosevelt High School. We were lined up one boy and one girl. The prefects placed copious amounts of hair gel in my pride and joy, eye length mushroom cut hair. I was extremely pissed! Damn Model C schools! But all that was about to pale in existence to the beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed pale face who’s hand I was instructed to hold. My heart was a flutter, my palms sweaty and “Dammit why would they do this to my hair!?!”
I was captivated in a moment and lost in the biggest blue eyes I had ever seen. Debbie by the way still struggles to remember the first day of high school which pains me to this day. I mean like how can you not remember the moment some skinny Indian kid with and awesomely styled mushroom cut fell for you?
Fast forward a few angst filled and dramatic years to the matric ball night after pussyfooting around each other and Debbie dating someone else, I told her how much I loved her to which she was absolutely stumped since, she was dating someone at the time.
I moved to Cape Town to study did some dating but eventually came back to JHB. This brings us up to the point where my first diary entry started. Before my accident we were seeing each other, and she’s probably going to kill me for writing this but each time I’d drop her home and kiss her good night she would tell me “This is so weird”. I was highly offended and heart-broken at the time but it seemed in the end that we had been friends for so long at that time it was actually weird for her to be kissing me.
After all these exclamations of weirdness I decided well “Whatever, I tried!” so I bought her a big bunch of yellow roses and delivered them to her after varsity workplace at Cresta shopping centre to represent my intention to be friends. You guys knew that yellow roses represents friendship right? I left it at that and didn’t see or speak to her for a few weeks since the first time I had met her.
Then on the 14th of November 2003 I met up with the truck that would bring us back together. After my traction was placed on my skull and things had quietened down in ICU my cousin came to me and asked who he should call. Debbie was the first and only person that came to mind.
The next day she was there to see me and almost every day after. The nurses had gotten so used to her being around they no longer kicked her out after visiting hours which resulted in her falling asleep on my hospital bed a few times. In fact she spent so much time with me they allowed her to order meals in addition to my own at no extra cost. She was my sanity and my hope even though she was really bad at feeding me. I was released from hospital on the 16th December 2003. She took me home and officially met the parents. They had seen her character in the hospital, so any worries we had regarding the colour of our skin wasn’t even a consideration.
And we lived happily ever after…
Well not quite. I am not perfect in any way. We are both human and it turns out when you know someone for so long and date you end up with a lot of baggage so our relationship wasn’t the smoothest but eventually after splits and getting back together, counselling I eventually proposed (which is a story in itself) we made it to the altar. We then learned that even though you may have lived with someone for a while before getting married you really do only get to truly know that person when you do tie the knot. Then came a baby who was colic. So learning to be parents wasn’t the smoothest process either. Through it all though we are here 12 years later of dating and 18 years of knowing each other. One baby and a blog later. I am a firm believer that everything in life happens to teach you a lesson you haven’t learned as yet. We just had a lot to learn I suppose, and will continue to do so till the day we pass on from this world.
So when you receive a report that states that your kidneys aren’t in ideal shape all this history goes through your mind and you eventually ask yourself “Is this really all worth it?” “My body is trying to tell me something, maybe I should listen?”
Over the years many bodybuilders have paid the ultimate price for the pursuit of a fleeting moment of perfection. Do I want to be part of that statistic? More importantly do I want to leave my wife and child in a position where they would have to live with either a sickly or absent husband and father?
The truth of the matter though is this. Bodybuilding is like breathing to me. I can no longer sit on the side lines and not join you guys up there on stage for that fleeting moment. Debbie has always told me I live life in extremes and that there is no middle ground for me. She is right. The times I feel most alive is when I closest to death. From car accidents, motorcycle racing, to scuba diving against my dive doctors wishes. I don’t know how else to be. That being said if I receive some really negative feedback from my check up in January I will make a call since my family also make me feel just as alive. This sport is all about risk reward. Never forget that we put our bodies through inhuman levels of stress and dehydration and expect it to always stay healthy. I’ve learnt that you should never be afraid to take time off. Never be afraid to focus on other things and never be afraid to admit to yourself when things might have gone too far. In the end, as I was told by Andrew Hudson “Dubs, bodybuilding is what I do, It’s not who I am.” Always keep that in perspective.
In an effort to still live my passion though I have decided to get involved with the administrative side of the sport. I’m not saying that I wont compete again, in fact I think that will be highly unlikely. I’m just saying I will have to be far more selective and smart about how and when I compete. For those of you who don’t know SASCOC has placed stringent requirements on the IFBB regarding structures and the federation has been working their butt off to implement them. I have chosen to be part of this team to help realise this vision. All this work does have a great outcome. The IFBB is now the only federation that is officially recognised as the bodybuilding and fitness federation which you can get SA colours for. For those of you that remember, at the Mr Amateur Olympia Africa last year IFBB International President Dr Rafael Santonja announced that IFBB was very close to securing Bodybuilding as an Olympic sport. This means that we would be able to compete in the colours of our country on a stage never seen before. It actually makes me giddy with excitement at the thought.
I digress though. In closing, I hope that in the time that I have been covering shows and getting out there meeting you all I have always given you the time and attention you deserve. If for some reason I seemed aloof or disinterested please forgive me. At times I have a lot going on in my mind so I am easily distracted.
I hope I have conveyed your appearances as athletes on stage as honestly and constructively as you would have hoped. Before you think this is starting to sound a lot like a goodbye…its not!
I will still be out at shows meeting and greeting and reviewing. Yes I will be joining the IFBB but I am a fan of Bodybuilding and Fitness. In the time after my last entry and now, I have decided to expand my team. You have already met Duan and I will soon be introducing the rest to you and their roles within the website. My intention is to attend the Judges course so I can develop my eye as well as my official skill level on the matter of judging and understanding decisions. In the end I wish for my personal development to benefit you the athlete and hope that you will still see me as approachable and a source of honest opinion.
I will be involved with the Gauteng Westrand district but most likely supporting the rest of the Gauteng and National body when I can and when needed. I can tell you that next year is going to be a bumper year for bodybuilding and fitness in SA.
So to answer my question. Is this all worth it? To me… Yes it most certainly is. I love the sport of bodybuilding as much as I love my wife and child. In fact I see it as a child that is now in its formative teenage years being sculpted and maturing into the adult that it will be for the rest of its life. It’s an exciting time for all disciplines and federations and the strength and success of each will not only be built on the quality of you the athletes competing in your respective federations. It will be built on the men and women behind the scenes and structures that you all make use of in the coming years. Through their blood, sweat, tears and valuable time (no one does this as a day job) will enable this sport will grow to new heights in SA.
I wish you all well over the festive season. Please be careful out on the roads and responsible with your celebrations. We have lost some stunningly talented athletes this year for various reasons. I look forward to seeing you boys and girls out and about and on stage. Always feel free to have a chat if you see me around! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support thus far and in the future. If I had to include all the images and people from the past year and a bit this would be a novel, so please know that if you came in contact with me this past year I am grateful to met you.
Below are some images that I have selected of moments from the past year!
Your Brother in Iron