Monday, July 4, 2011

Are We There Yet?

Nineteen. That's the number of days left until the moment of truth. Weighing in at a crazy 182 and cutting up pretty good. These last few days will be tricky. Through experimenting, I don't think carbing up too much will be a good idea. But, its hard to tell, since the diet switches up so drastically. Sodium loading may be a factor as well. I've found that cutting carbs ultra low has me super shredded in the mornings, which is when I want the shred the most. We'll see.
     I'm nervous as hell. It's been a long time since I've gotten on stage and I know that there's gonna be some wicked competition. That's cool. Like I told a friend. If I win, cool. If I place, cool. If I don't do either, at least I'll walk off that stage stronger and smarter... and a step closer to a box of glazed fried bread. That's a win/win in my book. Either way, I need this show, the experience. It'll be sure to light a fire under my ass so that I can focus more on competition training versus just working out. I'm mad at myself because I spent the last couple years "working out" when I should have treated it like PreContest training. My bad. No need in dwelling on it. "Why you gotta bring up old shit?!"
      This may be my only show for the 2011 season. But, 2012 will see me on stage in different parts of the southeast. So, you guys wish a brutha some luck. Pray for me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Patriotic Nerdship

This one's a special edition.  Not talking about competition, diets, training, yada yada ya... but, our troops, the United States Military.  Get this, it's inspired by a video game I just finished... yeah, I know.

     The name of this 1st-person shooter is Medal of Honor, a long time franchise that's been over-shadowed by the beast that is Call of Duty.  I played this game as a fill-in and time-killer, waiting for the recently hacked Playstation network to rebuild it's servers.  Medal of Honor, as it turns out, has been one of the greatest games I have EVER played.  I'll tell you why...

     Realism. Granted, I am not a military soldier. I have never seen war first or second hand. I have NEVER even considered enlisting. My honest thought process on ME going to war-- maaann, f*ck that... Which leaves me to love and respect our troops as much as I do. My favorite movie genre, war films. Platoon, Hamburger Hill, Full Metal Jacket, Born on the 4th of July, Glory, Black Hawk Down, even Braveheart and Shaka Zulu... I have been watching these movies since childhood.
     This game, Medal of Honor, was constructed based on first hand accounts from actual soldiers in our country's military.  Before it's release to the public, Medal of Honor, was scrutinized and picked apart by the government. Why? The game takes place in Afghanistan, against the Taliban, searching for Bin Laden. Yeah. For online play, players were allowed to choose between playing as an American soldier or a Taliban soldier. Absolute uproar by the government masses and tender-hearts. Cases have been filed in the courts against the powers that be that are challenging video game creators on their content.
     After SOME adjustments, the game was released and got NO good reviews due to the negativity brought upon it by it's content. A. Damn. Shame.  In playing this game, the intensity had my on edge.  The missions, the dramatics and theatricals, the situations you're forced into... so realistic.  The ending is a shocker and at the same time, the ending isn't an ending at all... Before the credits roll, a message written by a soldier was shown on the screen. I read it... and teared up. For real. A video game.
     Look, as of May 1, 2011, it was announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Our nation celebrates, yet, our men and women are still in the heat of war. My bestest friend, Terrance, is scheduled to ship to Afghanistan in July, and my heart breaks when I think about it and I think about it every day. I don't think Kristi has ever seen me get THIS emotional, THIS often... damn. Lucky for me, she says it makes me even more a man to be able to express my feelings, but personally, I'd much rather get up under 900lbs of weight to squat than to let anyone see me cry... anyway, that's a different blog, altogether. Back to the subject at hand... although we have crossed a milestone with the recent deaths of Bin Laden and Saddam, etc., NOTHING has changed. For every tyrant we eliminate, there are 10+ more, born and raised to be even more sinister waiting in the wings for their time to "shine".  NO President can EVER take credit for our military's accomplishments and victories. It's the troops. ALWAYS has been, ALWAYS will.  These suits are in air-conditioned offices talking strategy with no true idea as to what it's like on the ground. Our TROOPS are the ones defending our certain freedoms.  ALL CREDIT TO THE TROOPS!
     Yet, here we are... bickering amongst each other about who our president is, his birth certificate, his color, his political views... Here we are shooting each other in the streets, robbing each other, destroying families. I've said it before, I'll say it again-- SHUT. UP!! As random as my thoughts are here, the bottom line is this: Medal of Honor is the poo and OUR MILITARY IS THE GREATEST! Thank a soldier today!

     That is all... for now. God bless.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

     I'm 5 weeks away from a bodybuilding competition. Two and a half years have passed since my last visit to the stage where I won 1st in my class, as well as the overall title, earning me my first Pro Card. After pushing through the sudden loss of my step dad 3 months later, dealing with horrible relationships, family issues, job changes, etc, I grew into a habit of saying, "I'll compete in the next show when my head's together..." Keyword here being 'habit'. The next show would come and pass and I wouldn't even be in the audience nor onstage. Instead, I'm either at the gym compensating for knowing I could've competed and had a damn good chance at winning but decided that I'd take more time to get bigger or I'd be on the couch sulking and feeling like an absolute failure, engulfing honeybuns and chugging Diet Mt. Dews. Either way, I'm still saying, *next one's mine*...
     Two years passed, and here I am... 5 weeks away. Granted, this scheduled event is such a sudden decision, that I didn't take into consideration the things going on around me. Originally, my fiancee and I agreed that a contest in July would be perfect. The timing, like all things in competitive bodybuilding and I'm sure even in figure comps, is CRITICAL! In the past, my support system seemed to be more like an entourage, a cast of friends, family and even fans and it made me feel like Superman! The motivation was ALWAYS there... the training was precise, the diet was airtight and the results of it all was me earning that Pro Card in just a single year of competing. Timing.
     Most people don't realize what goes into preparing for a contest. A lot of you think it's just about lifting, diet and cardio. But, you have to realize that the most important element to the equation is Mentality. Competitive bodybuilding is NOT an easy sport. The hardships of dieting after bulking, lifting and tearing your body down, the aches and pains, ups and downs, yada yada blah blah... It's not a sob story, its the truth. As a person living a healthy and active lifestyle, we've chosen to do what a large majority won't or can't. It may be because of the time consumption, the dieting, the work... whatever the excuses we've managed to supersede it and put it in the light for, what seems like, the world to see and judge.
     5 weeks... I reiterate it because I'm faced with a hard decision... As it turns out, that last week before stage time, my fiancee, my rock, so to speak, will be in Texas thru the Sunday AFTER my contest, my brother in Christ will be in Jersey preparing to ship out to Afghanistan with the Army and the other supporters and "helpers", well, they're just not here anymore, or at least, not in my current life... Which, ultimately, leaves me feeling a huge lack of confidence and terribly vulnerable, and knowing that I will be missing these KEY components, of course, has me feeling mentally f*cked!!
    I can't prep my own skin for the show, I don't have my physical and mental crutches... No blame targeted to my people, of course, it's just the timing. It's the timing that has me asking myself, "Do I wait and do the following show in July, when I know at least one of my cornerstones will be with me? Or, do I keep going in prep for these 5 weeks and pray God sends an answer... or at least some trusted hands?
     I could very well take the top prize in the upcoming show in June. But, i'm running out of time and I'm feeling out of my mind! I'm still pushing weight, slimming down hardening and cutting up... but my head... nah, it's just not in it. But, my heart IS. Yet, I'm a perfectionist... I want my color and oil to be precise. Mentally, I have to be sharper than my muscletone and stronger than my emotions. Still trying to figure that one out.
      My body is in it and playing for the #1 spot, but my head... I'm workin' on it...
*I just want a donut, just not as badly as I want that trophy. To be continued...