Bodybuilding is an individual sport. As a bodybuilder, your success/failure is determined by your individual effort, commitment, dedication, determination, etc… During your quest for perfection, you many times feel lonely and isolated from the rest of the world. Sometimes it is intentional. Other times it’s not. Although it may seem to be an individual sport, there are many other people who play a key role in your development (i.e. spouse, training partner, friends, colleagues, etc.). Unfortunately, these “other people” suffer through all the good and bad experiences right along with you. In this article, my wife has so eloquently expressed her thoughts during those “hard times” when I am, “The Good, The Bad, The Bodybuilder”!
“Honey, did you put any seasoning on this meat?” he asked. “Just a little meat tenderizer” I replied. He nearly blows his top, “I asked you not to put anything on the meat, now I can’t eat it.” I don’t get upset; I just put all the meat in a container in the fridge and start to prepare something else.
Before I can put the groceries down on the counter he asks me, “Honey, did you get the 98% lean ground beef?” He must have reminded me at least a dozen times before I went to the store to get 98% lean ground beef. Even though my mind is screaming, “YES, Dammit” I take a deep breath and calmly reply “Yes, honey I did.”
I sit on the couch and watch him patiently perform his evening ritual of preparing food for dinner and lunch the next day. I watch him dirty up practically every piece of Tupperware we own, not to mention pots, pans and silverware. I take special interest in this ritual because I know that immediately after he will need to eat and I will end up washing all those dishes.
I laugh out loud as I watch Sex in the City thoroughly enjoying myself. He strolls over, oblivious to the TV, me or my enjoyment and turns on the stereo. He then proceeds to stand in front of the fireplace, which he has turned into a posing station by standing a full length on the base of the fireplace, and begins his other nightly ritual…..posing. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing; however he’s blocking my view of the TV. So now I can’t see or hear the TV. Do I go mad and snap off the stereo? No, I sit there and watch him pose and help and offer criticisms.
As we lie down in bed to go to sleep, he gives me a quick kiss, rolls over and pulls the blankets up and lulls us both to sleep with a nice hot Dutch oven. If you don’t know what that is, consider yourself lucky, let’s just say way toooooo much protein.
Is my husband a mean, cruel, insensitive man? No, he is a bodybuilder on pre-contest diet! For those of you who don’t know what it’s like living with someone on a pre-contest diet, let me tell you, it ain’t fun! My sweet, considerate husband slowly turns into a…… well, let’s just say he can be a bear at times. Over the last year I’ve watched him go from Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jekyll back to Mr. Hyde and let me tell you, it’s enough to make you want to kill them both.
In the beginning I wasn’t very involved in the whole bodybuilding thing and I often wondered, “Why anybody would want to put themselves through the torture and is it really worth it?” My husband is a hard worker and puts 110 percent into everything he does and bodybuilding is no exception. I began to notice how dramatically his body changed and improved after each show and how his hard work was paying off.
As I have become interested in bodybuilding it has become part of my life too. I know now why it’s crucial that he follows his diet down to the last calorie and why he poses for hours on end. Knowing doesn’t always make it easy to tolerate (especially dealing with the AWFUL gas), but it helps me to overlook a lot of his actions and attribute them to the pre-contest diet monster.
So now I’m sitting on the edge of my seat watching him and the other winners of their weight class vie for the best spot and lighting on the stage during the pose down. I’m shouting to him all the things I remembered from his posing sessions. I proudly watch him give it all his got and see how his hard work and dedication have paid off. The music stops and the contestants head back to their original positions and my heart is racing. My stomach drops and my hands are ice cold and I think to myself again, “Is it really worth it?”
Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the announcer shouts, “The overall winner of the 2000 Governor’s Cup is…….Delbert Hickman!” I’m so proud of him that I begin to cry and I think to myself, “YES, it is worth it!”
Well all, there it is. Thank you, my love, for the honest and heart felt contribution.
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Wife of Delbert
“Patience and Fortitude Conquer All Things.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson