(Written 16 March 2016)
I keep asking myself this question. Over and over! Once again I am presented with uncertainty. For the last 12 years since the day I broke my neck everything has been geared towards recovery and getting back in to decent enough condition to live a more active life and compete.
Not once in the last 12 years did I lose sight of the vision of myself on a bodybuilding stage in fucking great condition! Not once did I think I can’t do this. Yes there may have been times that I have found things hard and been in absolute pain, but I always told myself “Keep the end game in mind Dubs”. I visualized myself constantly on stage knowing that my thoughts would become things if I just keep focused.
I think from the tone of this you may already have an idea of what this is all about. When I started prep I published my blood results. I also promised both you and myself that I would be totally honest regarding my future blood results. So here goes.
In week 11 of prep I picked up a flu virus. After doing my usual Vit C, Zinc and other high dosage vits which normally help me kick the flu in a matter of one or two days my flu was still hanging around. I didn’t think anything of it. I told myself that my body is hugely stressed out so it may take a bit longer. But after five days of being sick I decided to go the doctor. I was just feeling really weak and sluggish, to the point where I would literally get stuck on the couch due to exhaustion. I am generally very in tune with my body so I went to the doctor. She prescribed me anti-biotics which I had not taken since about 14 years old (Don’t believe in them. I food medicate usually) and we had a discussion around my bodybuilding and previous bloods. I decided it was best to do my bloods which I was supposed to check in on 2 weeks earlier but hadn’t had the chance.
24 hours later I got a call from my GP telling me she is concerned about my filtration rate and we need to talk. I informed the doc that I work with a specialist and that I will come collect the results. I hadn’t seen them and she hadn’t told me what they were but I knew what the issue was. I am a hugely impatient person so I got the results and sent them to a scientist friend of mine to have a look at before the specialist had a look. She confirmed my fears by calling me and telling me “Dubs stop what you are doing right now!”.
My filtration(eGFR) had dropped below the minimum acceptable filtration rate of 60CKD-EPI-mL/min. At the start of prep as I said I promised that I would be honest. And I told myself that if I dropped below this marker on my bloods I would stop. Well that time had come. I was sitting on 56 with raised blood creatinine levels indicating the kidneys of a person in early stage kidney disease.
My results were sent through to my specialist who got back to me a few days later. I had just arrived home after work and not training for 10 days. I was hoping for a solution. I was praying there was some way that we could work around it. But all I got was “Dubs… it’s not looking good”. I don’t really recall the rest of the conversation because all I could hear was myself in my head trying to make sense of what I was being told. But in there somewhere I was told that I am presenting as someone who has an underlying hereditary condition. We mulled over my history, realizing that I have had a raised blood pressure since I was 16 years old as well as various other signs that would indicate some sort of renal issue. I ended the call and sat in the car staring into space. My mind was blank and it felt as though all the emotions of the suffering I had been undergoing for the last 12 years hit me all at once.
I put my head in my hands against the steering wheel of my car and cried. I would liken the pain I felt and am still feeling as I write this to having your heart broken by someone you love deeply. Debbie eventually came out to the car to look for me since I was taking a little longer to come in. She knew I had been waiting for the call so she just helped me out of the car and walked me sobbing into the house.
To some of you, I may come across as soft or overly sensitive. But try to understand this sport is more to me than some sort of pageant or way of gaining popularity or financial gain. I FUCKING LOVE BODYBUILDING! Every last aspect of it! Had I not had the accident and my challenges I was purposeful and deliberate about what I wanted to be in the sport when I started out at 13 years old. I was GOING to compete in the IFBB and I was GOING to earn a Pro Card!
I look around at social media and I see so much complaining about rules and criteria and just about anything that can be complained about by athletes and I think to myself, “If you all only knew what I would do to be in the position you are in!” It angers me! It angers me deeply! Some of you might say I’m a sore loser or don’t take bad news well. I will disagree. I rolled with the punches, I have rolled with a broken neck, I have rolled with messed up discs, I have rolled with nerve damage. My mind is very willing but it seems my body is never.
Bodybuilding is not a sport that you pursue to gain popularity or a contract or a sponsorhip. It is a sport that lives in your bones. Those that do it for the wrong reasons quickly fall off the wagon and will give you excuses like “Oh it’s not worth it, all that effort for a few minutes on stage.” What? Are you crazy? I would give anything to be on that stage for those few minutes with you. Real bodybuilders are attempting monk like levels of discipline to attain God like physiques in a world of excess and moral corruption.
Do you want to be an average Joe in this world or do you want to be extraordinary? Do you think Usain Bolt says “Ey maaan dis be not worth it for 9.58secs of glory maaan!” No! He trains 4 to 6 hours a day for 4 years at a time to peak for 9.58secs of his life at the Olympic Games, so he can be the fucking best! And that’s all I wanted to do. I wanted to present something that was going to be so hard earned, so fine-tuned and so brilliant that the only possible critique of my package would be “Imagine what he could do if he didn’t have all that shit happen to him”.
For those of you who follow me regularly and read my entries. Forgive my tone and language thus far. But to be honest and frank I am still reeaaaally angry! I am angry with life, I am angry with my body, I am angry with God/the Universe/Destiny/take your pick. But mostly I am angry with myself and the crappiest part is I don’t know why.
In fact I’m too angry to finish this diary entry. I thought I was accepting of what my lot in life is but writing this is just getting me riled up all over.
I will continue this when I have calmed down in my next entry.
NB. To confirm I will not be competing at the Millennium Gold Plate. But I will be there to support my friends and all of you going for your Arnold’s entry.
To Be Continued…… (Or not who bloody knows???)