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22 March 2016

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
― Bruce Lee

It’s been 6 days since my last entry. If the Inboxes and Whatsapps I have received are anything to go by, I am pretty sure that I last left you most likely feeling some sort of pity for me. Firstly to all of those who contacted me, whether we know each other personally or not, YOU are appreciated! More than you could ever possibly realise.

I can’t say I have completely cooled down. (Anyone who knows me for a length of time will tell you I am a hothead. So that takes a while). I can’t say that I have dealt, BUT the last few days and your reactions to my entry have given me some insight. That insight has been into myself. Let me explain…

I have always believed that I have come to this earth for a larger purpose than myself. The times I have felt most at peace during the course of my life are when I am pursuing my dreams actively. That could be prepping for a show, riding my superbike at the race track or on a long Sunday ride with friends, but also giving of myself for the purposes of education, guidance, motivation and emotional support. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I studied Child and Developmental Psychology or maybe it has to do with the fact that it is in my genetics. My mother has been and still is a maternity nurse and has brought thousands of babies kicking and screaming into this world over the course of her 40-year career. My dad, though he has never been in any sort of health profession, is known for his ever helpful and giving nature (sometimes at his own peril and my mother’s horror). Something that really resonates with me is a clip from a Jim Carey speech I once listened to. Please check it out here to get the context.

Anyways, this past weekend on the 19th of March 2016, I along with my IFBB Gauteng West Rand team hosted our district’s first ever bodybuilding & fitness show. During the course of the day not only did I find myself performing the various organisational tasks that needed to get done, but I was also approached by first time athletes requesting information and even having deeper conversations during the break about the larger picture of the sport and their places in it. I have mentioned before that due to my mechanical issues I would most likely not compete all that regularly or for all that long and that eventually I would most likely pursue the administrative side of things and hence my crossing over into the realm of administration in the IFBB.

So as I sat there discussing all these things with both first timers and in actual fact some more experienced athletes it slowly started to dawn on me that all this was rather fulfilling. When the show was over and I finally had a chance to put my feet up and see my daughter, who I had not seen the previous two days, I decided the beginning of my calling was to continue down this path.

The night after the show I left for the Western Cape, long drives seem to be a good place to have conversations with yourself specially when your co-pilots are sleeping.

I am currently sitting in the Western Cape at my parent’s place, in a small town on the Boland as I write this. I have been taking some time out with my family and actually trying to give

my daughter some of the attention she truly deserves. This coming Thursday night I will hopefully go on the date I have been meaning to go on for the last few months with my wife but never had the chance to. Being here has put my life into a bit more perspective than I have had living in the concrete jungle up in JHB.

I will be going for my next round of blood tests when I get back to see if there is any sort of recovery with regard to my kidneys. That may give me hope or it may once and for all crush any remnants of hope I may have had of ever getting on a bodybuilding stage. Either way I have resolved that my passion WILL NOT be stopped or curtailed into a quiet corner of my life that when I am 60, I would sit with my grandkids and tell them about how I ALMOST was a bodybuilder. My passion will be directed into running the BEST damn district within the IFBB/BBSA space. This will be achieved by working within the ambits of the constitution set out by IFBB International as well as BBSA, but also trying to bring my own flavour, expertise and youthful energy along with that of my team to our events. I have much to learn in regard to running a district but I can tell you that thus far the support of my colleagues within the federation has been amazing and unwaivering.

I am young and I have a whole life left to dedicate to the thing I love just about as much as I love my wife and baby girl. To all athletes, officials or persons on a journey of self-discovery reading this, regardless of federation or affiliation i.e. If you are a lover of the sport and process of bodybuilding this indirectly means that “I LOVE YOU!!!”. Just as I watch my little girl grow and develop, I see the district and yourselves as something to be nurtured and cared for so that both can be allowed to grow and develop to the best that they can be.

As for me and my dreams? Well as Bulk Hudson once put it to me. Bodybuilding is what I do, it’s not who I am. Unfortunately what I do is extremely ingrained into my being which means it may border on who I am, but then again as I sit here in one of the most beautiful parts of our country surrounded by picturesque mountains draping my skyline, my eyes are falling to my daughter reminding me that I am a dad first. I would like to be around to see her grow and find out the results of my parenting. Perhaps the greatest journey taken is not the pursuit of trying to sculpt perfection but rather watching the perfection you have already created, sculpt itself.

My process of emotional healing has only just begun in my opinion. Getting everything off my chest and admitting to my feelings openly were the start of me moving forward. I have realised though that no trophy is worth your life.

I have decided that I will continue these diary entries. I may not be having a journey to stage. But I am starting a whole new chapter on my path. Even if I am the only one who comes back to read it, it doesn’t matter to me. After all it’s my diary right?

Let me say though, you can’t keep a good man down! If there is a way I will find the way and you all will be the first to know when I am ready to share any competitive news with you all. In the mean while let’s start a new era and a new chapter together. I would like you to think of me as your friendly neighbourhood bodybuilding guide. Let’s negotiate this treacherous landscape together. So feel free to ask me if you need clarity on anything you may have a question on. If I do not know the answer I will find someone who does and it will help me to help you as well as the next person down the line who may need the same advice. After all the slogan of this site is “All things bodybuilding!”

I will dedicate this site to being an unofficial online encyclopedia of collective knowledge to assist the novices, guide and inspire the lost and hopefully eke out secrets from the experienced.

Someone on Facebook commented on my last entry and told me “You are bodybuilding personified”. For now I will disagree and say “The personification of bodybuilding is not about perfecting your body. It is the lessons we learn from that process and how we share that with the rest of the world. You are all ambassadors of the pursuit of artistry, beauty and perfection, which are some of the best traits of humanity. So don’t forget to be human first and let it be reflected in your actions.”

And in the end all I or any of us in life can do is be water… so be water my friends!

It’s the beginning of the season boys and girls! I’ll be watching!

And as my coach always says,

#Leggo #Take_Everything_Leave_Nothing!!!

 

Some Images from our time away for you…

Sincerely,

Your Brother in Iron

TheLayman

 

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