New Year!!! New…Me??? Naaaah just a better me!
Well it’s been quite a December for me I have to say. My “holiday” was spent getting a surprise phone call from our real estate agent telling us our transfer for the house we purchased had gone through even though we only lodged it like 10 days ago (that was on the 16th December 2015). So at that point I had just started prep and we had to move house in a hurry. Fortunately I have an amazing wife who while I was still at work and working out would pack up the house, handle my daughter and still get all her 3 magazines to print by the end of 2015.
So as if prepping was not hard enough, in the evenings after work we would move house, trying to get it all done by Christmas so we could have our traditional family Christmas lunch. I still have a lot to do in the house and we are slowly getting settled though. I decided to start prep a bit earlier out since after all my issues I felt I needed the time to not have to push as hard as a 12 week prep would have been to preserve my body and mind for the final days. That being said I have tried my utmost to up my training intensity.
A week ago Coach Earl and I decided I could go for broke and do the max that my life allows. So currently its 2 weights sessions a day 2 cardio sessions and 30mins of posing a night. While I have been prepping I have learnt a lot about where I thought my limitations are and what they are. I can confidently say on a regular basis my focus is to smash through them.
I am constantly reminded of a conversation I had with Joe Manjoo – i.e. reminded by myself – since I promised myself I would never forget his words. When I asked him the question as to why to do some guys not come in as conditioned as they possibly can? His answer was simple “They’re afraid of pain Mubeen”. I vowed that day that I would overcome any pain on my journey no matter what.
I have been reflecting a lot this past few weeks of early days of prep. If I think back to the first blog release after the Olympia 2014 and taking my decision to compete and try one last time I am convinced now more than ever that it was the correct choice. Not only do I have an avenue for the release of my passion in regard to the blog but I have met and made friends with some truly wonderful people who would never have enriched my life. If anything this has been worth all the pain and suffering I have put myself through. What pain and suffering I hear some of you ask? Maybe you’re just starting to get to know me or of me. In a nut shell messed up spinal disc at L4/L5, previously fractured C2 spinal vertebrae and all the challenges that come with those injuries.
I was sitting with my wife and reflecting on the journey thus far. Recently she has also decided that she would pursue a more, shall we say structured approach to her eating and training. She complained to me that it was so hard. I thought back to all the times that I thought “This is too hard!” “I’m too sore!” “I can’t anymore”. But each of those times I pushed on. One of my worst days was being down in DBN and getting a chance to do a training session with Andrew Hudson. According to him this was a light pump session. Those words immediately instilled fear in me. I know my body and I was out of alignment and already in a bit of nerve pain before we started the workout. By the end the pump was most certainly not the cure. I had such a huge pump from the training my body had pulled out of alignment even worse and it seemed like my disc was protruding even further than normal onto my spinal cord. We finished the workout, I smiled and greeted Andrew. Too proud to ask for a lift to my accommodation literally about 200m to 300m across the road from the gym, I took the decision to walk back. 300m took me 30 minutes to cover.
I held on to rails and anything else I could to get back. Now knowing Andrew he would have told me I am too soft but as soon as I got back to the BnB I fell onto the bed and cried till the anti-inflammatories and scheduled painkillers I keep for such emergencies kicked in. It took me an entire day to be able to go out again on what was supposed to be a getaway with my wife.
There have been many instances like this to be honest since embarking on this path. Along with Joe’s words I constantly remind myself of the first time I complained to Coach Earl that the workouts he is giving me are hurting me too much. He would constantly ask me to carry on and eventually one day we had a conversation which went something like this:
Earl: “Dubs, you have studied physiology and anatomy. Tell me, when does the body change?”
Me thinking: “This guy isn’t listening to me! I have anatomical issues which cause this! Why isn’t he listening?”
So I said not thinking clearly: “I don’t know Earl?”
Earl replies, and what follows is what I call my first Earlism: “When you stress it Dubs. But don’t annihilate, stimulate my bru.”
I dismissed part of this message and assimilated part of it. Slowly he would change my programs and slowly I began to understand. My body had become so weak and deconditioned in the core area that it couldn’t support itself or the growth path. But as time went by not only through core training but deadlifts and squats and other compound movements we were reconditioning me. I am at the point now that this prep, with the exception of a niggling groin issue due to the bulging disc causing rotation in my sacrum and hips, I am in relatively less pain. I squat 140kgs I deadlift 210kgs for both for 6 reps. I can tell you without these 2 as my bread and butter I wouldn’t have been writing this and would have given up. Do your staples boys and girls!
That constant pushing through the pain barrier, crying in BnB rooms and at various gyms on machines seems to all have lead up to this point where I am as ready as I’ll ever be for a prep.
Yes I have pain in every session. My legs burn like hell on leg day due to the irritated nerves but I’m not going to be one of those guys that was afraid to suffer! I am not going to get up on stage and present anything less than what I think I am capable of and beyond. Judging from the response I got from you all when I published my intention to do the Millennium Gold Plate, it seems I have made the cardinal mistake of “having and voicing an opinion”.
So what this means is that I cannot present anything less than the quality that I have asked of all of you on stage. I am now in the 12 weeks out from show day and more than ever I am determined to bring not only my best but also THE best! I don’t know as yet what line-up I will be doing as we are not playing a weight game but rather a look game. I will arrive on the day and depending on my weight make that decision when I fill out my registration forms.
I sincerely wish all of you the best for your competitive year ahead and hope to meet you backstage or on stage. You all inspire me to keep going. I’d also like to take the opportunity to announce that I have grown the team at The Laymans Lament. I will be officially introducing the new members/contributors of the site in due course.
We’re all so quick to call ourselves “Hardcore” but do you really have what it takes when your body is fighting your mind? I know I do!
I’ll see you all in the posedowns boys and girls!
Your Brother in Iron!