During my contest prep for Masters Nationals, I told my wife, Pam, that this would be my last show. That I was done! She laughed at me and responded, “Yeah, right.” But I told her this several times during the prep and I meant what I said…
…until the show was over, of course. And as soon as the curtain fell, I knew I wasn’t done yet. Pam knows me well.
The thing about this particular show is that I left with a feeling of dissatisfaction that wasn’t necessarily related to my placement, but more about my stage appearance. I knew something was wrong backstage. I just didn’t look as full as I normally do. And I know for a fact I was lacking water; ample water and muscle fullness tend to go hand in hand. The photos proved I was correct.
This feeling of dissatisfaction is a good thing. It’s made me hungrier to get back on stage, and I love that feeling.
The day after the show, I was munching on everything I wanted and feeling quite magnificent from the pizza and cookies I devoured the night before.
But I asked myself what I learned from this show, and I came out with a pretty good list.
I won’t detail the entire list, but the main point was that I was done competing in shows with drugs. That I was going back to my roots — drug-tested shows.
The natural shows don’t get the visibility that some of the national untested shows get, such as Masters Nationals, but I don’t care. I compete for the love and discipline of it, and, well, I’m just a drug-free guy for life, so I might as well compete against a fairer playing field.
I don’t want this to be a takedown of those who decide to take steroids and other drugs because it’s not about that for me. I really don’t care who takes them because it’s a personal decision all bodybuilders make.
It’s that I simply just want to compete against others like myself, and if they beat me, then I can live with that.
I’ve already noted that there are more natural shows cropping up in Florida, which I’m pleased about. I’ll be competing in one or more of them, and I’ll be at my best, doing what I love to do.
December 6, 2019 at 7:23 pm -
Great article Raphael,
I am glad to see more natural bodybuilding competition and for all levels. Natural competitors should be like walking billboards inspiring everyone around them what could be done through hard work and done naturally.
I don’t disagree with steroid users, but they should be classified and all natural bodybuilding tested for the place winners.
December 14, 2019 at 3:32 pm -
Excellent post, Jose. Well said in every respect. You will be that walking billboard in 2020. Get ready for it.