Sometimes I am asked how I got into bodybuilding. It is a difficult question to answer and an easy question to answer at the same time. The answer is a little complicated, but not entirely unique.
Throughout my life I admired the physiques I would see in bodybuilding magazines. I can remember looking at older copies of Muscle & Fitness magazine and wondering how I could look like the guys in the magazine. I would dream about it.
At some point I decided the gym was for me. I believe it was around the year 2000. I would lift weights for health reasons, trying to “get in shape”. Over time I fell in love with the gym. It became my sanctuary from everything bad in the world. Still, I never dreamt I would step on stage one day.
In 2011, I met Chris Albert. He was co-owner of Metroflex Gym in Long Beach, California. We worked out a deal where I would help him with the website and he would help me get in shape. Together we decided upon a rather radical goal. We decided that I would pay for and enter a bodybuilding competition. I was to tell everyone in the world that I would be up on that stage–in shape or not.
This crazy and bold goal activated something inside of me. I started training very hard. I ate clean. Everything just fell into place. I went from 290 to 240 on my own, but with Chris I dropped from 240 down to 210. I stepped on stage at 210 lbs and about 11% body fat. Not exactly a shape to win, but something I was quite proud of.
I actually did another show a few weeks later. It was an outdoor show. I got a standing ovation when the announcer told my story. It was quite the emotional experience.
So, the answer, in case you haven't figured it out yet, is that I have a passion for bodybuilding–both as a spectator and as a participant. I love the feel of the iron. It gives me peace in a crazy world. That's my trip down memory lane.