This was a personal post that I did on my Facebook account at 3am, when doing a test run carb-up/drying out and I couldn’t sleep. I thought I would post it here:
It is 3am, after rain this week there seems to be a never ending squadron of baby mosquitos (the ones that make you really itch). Every time I am woken, due to my spitting headache (from dropping water), it takes me a while to get back to sleep.
I am unable to drink water as I am ‘drying out’ in the final test phase of a sequence of phases that started almost 1 week ago.
It is times like these (when my head hurts like I have a hang over) in spite of the pain that I am again reminded why I love bodybuilding so much and why I have so much respect for bodybuilders and the scarifies involved. I of course use the term ‘bodybuilders’ in a blanket manner to refer to any of the competitive athletes who seek to gain muscle then strip off the fat to bring their best to the stage and compete (bikini, fitness, physique, or any other category).
People often ask what sport I follow, what footy team I follow, and what sport I train for and they are surprised (and usually give me an odd look) when I say none and that I follow bodybuilding. Some people seem to think it in not a sport. By the oxford dictionary states: “Sport – NOUN – An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”. Thus by definition, bodybuilding is a sport and I would like to address what makes it the best sport of all:
1. It is monastic by nature (monastic: relating to monks, nuns, or others living under religious vows, or the buildings in which they live) – the sport requires ALOT of sacrifice, can be fairly isolating at times and you will never get back for all that you sacrifice and put in. Late night/early morning exercise sessions, forgoing temptations, eating different food from everyone else, choosing not to party and drink and always pushing yourself on all fronts, means that it can be somewhat of a lonely road. Such sacrifice and focus can take it’s toll on relationships (work, friends, and your partner) and these combined (and many more) elements is why I say it is monastic. It is essentially you Vs yourself, armed with nothing more than belief, determination, love (maybe some hate) and a goal.
2. From feast to famine, to drought: Overeating, even when eating food you love soon loses it’s appeal, as when you are full everything tastes like crap. If this isn’t enough you need to switch gears and diet. Under-eating be it carbs or whatever your diet calls for is always challenging and like everyone else we have cravings too, but long term goals must always trump short term temptations and this is at the very heart of this sport. But the worst comes at competition time. Imagine how thirsty you must be when dropping water, that after 3 months of strict dieting you no longer care about food, carbs or sugar instead all you want is a drink of water. Worse is knowing that even under serious dehydration all you can have is the tiniest sip.
3. Training to death: Then of course there is the training, going in numerous times a week to whop your own ass, like you are your worst enemy. This takes balls and determination. Plain and simple. There is this love/hate feeling that all boils down to respect for the process and how heavy weights are just ever so humbling.