I have thought about competing in Bodybuilding more over the course of this 2-year offseason than I have probably ever thought of bodybuilding as a total. It is not just the concept of bodybuilding and competing, but how it fits in with the rest of my life. Two years ago, I was just upon becoming a Dad for the first time. I was three years into a fitness business that was going ‘nowhere’ despite my best efforts, where I finally chipped-in by trying an expansion and revamped business model. I was full of anxiety and did not yet know how to handle it. I was 207 lbs. onstage and disillusioned at what it would take to grow into a Superheavyweight (i.e. fill out my damn frame already).
During these two years I saw my wife give birth to our first son. I experienced a ‘blink’ of hope in business only to encounter the pandemic and shutdown and again search for answers. I faced my anxiety head-on through professionals and medication. I fought back against the Universe to keep my fitness business alive. My wife successfully became pregnant and recently gave birth to our second son. Business survived 2020 and is now on the door step of stabilization. I am currently 260 lbs. with my body composition in (relative) check, and wondering if I have achieved the ‘fabled’ status of Superheavyweight.
274 words have been written with the sole purpose of suggesting that not only have I tried to ‘win’ my next competition in the offseason, I have tried to ‘win’ in all measures of life for these last two years. And then through all of the contemplation a thought struck my mind the other day. A rather brilliant thought. Why not make this next competition ‘interesting’ and put the results on the line? In watching my beloved Houston Rockets go full-tank mode this year, I began to relate and appreciate the fact that sometimes you can put everything on the line but simply not be good enough. At least not to win it all.
‘Badansazi ta omri baghist’. These words are inscribed in Farsi in my gym just above the mirrors overlooking the dumbbell rack. It means ‘Bodybuilding for life.’ This does, and will always remain in my heart as true. But, so does Family for life. Coaching for life. Rockets Basketball for life (perhaps I’m not that devoted to Rockets Basketball. Yet.) I cannot take all the measures I do and sacrifices I do if I don’t win. It’s not for a lack of passion, it’s for a lack of reward.
So, what is this brilliant thought I had? I begin my 2021 Bodybuilding contest preparation with the stipulation that if I do not at least earn 2nd place within my weight class, then ‘all bets are off’. I will forfeit competing all together. Sure, I know I can play ball. But there’s no sense in hanging around the league if I can’t even make the playoffs. I am winning championships in other aspects of life. Is this my last competition? Let’s find out.