I have been weight training and competing in Natural Bodybuilding for 17 years. I started weight training at 18 years of age. My past accomplishments are listed below.
ANBC 2001 Mr. Massachusetts "Men's Open" Overall Champion
In December 2000, I was inspired by a friend to compete in the 2001 ANBC Mr. Massachusetts Bodybuilding Competition.
At the time, I was weighing in at 212 lbs. 2000 had been a tough year for me personally and I needed a focus and a motivation to become the person I knew I could be. I had successfully competed in the past and knew I could do it again. Though I have been weight training for 15 years, I had not competed in nine.
I took the challenge and started training in January 2001. By the end of February, I had lost 18 lbs. and I really started to get hooked on the belief that I was going to go the extra mile and pull it off. I focused my thoughts on paper and came up with some strong motivating words in support of my goal to compete again:
Weight training and indulging in some serious cardio at Super Fitness in Watertown, MA became a daily routine. I was also modifying my food intake by gradually eliminating all the bad but satisfying junk and really monitoring my protein and carb intake. 1-½ gallons of Water, 12 egg whites and 2 cans of tuna fish became staples in my diet daily.
At the same time, I also started to incorporate Power Yoga into my workouts. Baron Baptiste Power Yoga in Cambridge, MA became a weekly or biweekly ritual. In addition to the obvious benefits of stretching, the most powerful tool I learned from practicing Power Yoga is full body breathing, a technique that I applied to my weight training. It is amazing how much energy is generated by a simple focus on breathing, allowing for that extra drive.
Months passed and I could see results. My friends continued to be a constant source of support and I know I could not have made it through to the end without them. Training became therapeutic and a sense of peace settled over me. I continued to focus on my goal.
By June 2001 at the ANBC Mr. Massachusetts Bodybuilding Competition, I hit my competition weight of 176 lbs. I competed and won the Men's Novice Division, Tall Men's Division and the Mr. Massachusetts Men's Open Overall title. Friends, family and my photographer, John Mitchell attended.
That day, John captured that moment, in some tremendous photos. We've worked together in the past and I did not hesitate to call him again for this competition. He is always willing to travel, is extremely responsible and knows how much time and pain I and the rest of his clients go through both mentally and physically to get into shape. He also respects my sanity when taking pictures. I have to fully credit him with his professionalism and responsiveness to my sense of taste and desires in my request for ultimate bodybuilding pictures.
My dream has been fulfilled and I would like to leave you with a powerful thought: Have fun, believe in yourself and live your identity.
At the end of my 2001 season, I reflected on my accomplishments during the year. I felt that I sacrificed a lot my social life to compete in 4 bodybuilding competition, spanning 4 months including an 8 month long strict health diet. I was very proud of my accomplishments, but on the other hand I felt that my social and personal life was at a stand still. During the spring of 2002 I felt like something was not complete and had a desire to compete again and give another try at the 2002 INBF super pro qualifier Muscle Mania Nationals in September. As I looked at the INBF calendar, I notice that there was the "New England Championships" competition 1 week prior to the Nationals. I felt it was in my best interest to do both competitions using the New England Championships as a warm up for the Nationals. I felt that if I could lean from any bit of mistakes or flaws from the New England Championships, I could be at my best at the 2002 Nationals.
During the middle of May 2002, I started my training and diet for the INBF New England Championships. Again, I was accepting the fact that I would have to sacrifice most or all of my social life during the summer. I realized my goal was to compete again in the super pro qualifier and not to have fun or broaden my social life. The time was now to train and compete, and later would always be around for my social life.
At the INBF New England Championships on September 14, 2002, I won1st place in the light heavyweight class and The "Most Muscular Man" of New England Award. I missed the overall title by 1 point between a panel of 7 judges. I was disappointed at myself for a moment, but stayed focus and determined to compete the following week. A lot of my fans and friends that witnessed the competition came up to me and congratulated me but were also disappointed in that I should have won the overall at the New England Championships. I had told some of them that the results of the competition did not madder so much to me as staying focus for the Nationals next week. I got exactly what I wanted out of the competition. Not winning the overall at the New England Championships kept me hungry and focused for next week's Nationals. I took full advantage of the opportunity during the week approaching the Nationals to correct any bit of posing flaws and/or stage presents.
I felt confident going into the National, but needed to be aware of my present on stage at all times and never let my guard down. The INBF Super Pro Qualifier Muscle Mania National on September 21st is the biggest amateur Natural Bodybuilding event of the year. Each class winner would be eligible to receive a WNBF Pro card, and be eligible to be invited as a walk-on and compete as a Pro in this year's 2002 WNBF World Natural Bodybuilding Championships. I won 1t place in the middleweight class, and placed 2nd overall out of 44 competitors in the 2002 INBF Super Pro Qualifier Muscle Mania Nationals. A couple of days later, it finally hit me that I am a Pro Natural Bodybuilder, and that I had reached my ultimate goal for the year and the greatest accomplishment of my life.
By the end of the competition there was an unbelievable amount of energy running through my body along with others. All the class winners were informed that they were eligible to compete in this year WNBF Worlds Championship, which is the biggest Natural Bodybuilding event in the World. I accepted the challenge, and to extend my diet and training in order to compete in the 2002 WNBF World Championships. I am honored and extremely happy to be able to have an opportunity to just to step foot on to stage with the best Natural bodybuilders in the world. During the worlds, I placed 10th out of 16 heavyweights. 32 total men competed; light & heavy weight classes were divided. I weighted in at 180lbs Friday afternoon, but was more like 177 lbs Saturday morning at 9am. Just for the record. I was very pleased and excited to able to place in the top 10 in the heavyweight class, and to meet some of my new fellow competitors. 2003 will be an off year, and have a goal set to compete in the June 2004 Mr. Universe. Stay tuned?
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