Not too long ago I told my wife that I have done everything I had ever felt called to do, everything I wanted to do, or at least everything I wanted to try. I told her that if I died tomorrow I would die a happy and fulfilled man. After making that statement I felt a little uneasy. I mean, I don’t want to die tomorrow. I still have plenty of years left on the earth, at least I hope I do! The vocalization of that statement made me think deeply. I may have hit all of the major stuff I set out to accomplish in life. But, what about the fun stuff? What about the new stuff? Most people understand the definition of a Bucket List. And, many people have constructed one. In case you don’t know the term, a Bucket List is a list of things you want to accomplish, or at least attempt before you die. So, I began thinking about my Bucket List – both past and future.
If you know me, you are probably aware that health and fitness are near and dear to my heart. I truly believe that we should all be the best that we can possibly be spiritually, emotionally and physically. I have battled the bulge and obesity my entire life. Growing up I was too fat, too weak, too clumsy and too out-of-breath to be successful at anything physical. I was the typical fat kid who was made fun of in school, in gym class and in the locker room because of my appearance. I was one of the last kids chosen when sports captains had to pick sides for teams at recess or in gym class. Those old scars run deep.
I have been working hard and entertaining the idea of bodybuilding for the past several years. I have decided that it is the next item on my bucket list. That will be a huge “haha” moment to show the world that I am no longer the insecure and fat little boy that used to be the fodder of fat jokes. It will show that I had a goal, a difficult goal, and I reached it! There have been many obstacles I have met in my quest for fitness. Well-meaning people have sabotaged my passion without being unaware. Statements like, “What are you trying to do? Have women hang all over you?” Or, “Those bodybuilders with muscles and veins look deformed and gross. You don’t want to look like that, do you?” Or, “If you show your body you are sinning because you may be causing someone who is weak to lust after you.” The list goes on. These opinions, coupled with a food addiction and past insecurities are all fuel for the fire of failure. But, no more entertaining the negative comments or allowing distractions. I met with my trainer this evening. After taking inventory of my physique he said I am ready to prepare for competition. I am going for the proverbial gold! I am going to compete!
What does this mean? This means 14 weeks of hard work and sacrifice. I have already lost 80 pounds from my heaviest. I now have six pack abs. I would like to lose another 10 -15 pounds to look really great shirtless. But, to compete you have to be about 20 pounds under your ideal "street" weight for your muscles to show. I will have to lose at least another 35 pounds. To accomplish this goal, it means a strict diet that can’t be varied. It means personally preparing and controlling every bite of food that goes into my mouth. It means no eating restaurant food. It means no alcohol. It means getting plenty of rest. It means 5 hours of weight training every week. It means 3-5 hours of cardio training every week. It means developing a posing routine and 2 hours of routine practice per week. It means shaving my body. It means getting spray tanned layer upon layer and oiled down so that every muscle glimmers in the spot lights. It means being exhausted and thirsty as the competition approaches. It means hitting the stage with 300 sets of eyes looking for any imperfection in my body on a stage along with a panel of judges. It means being completely confident while being 95% naked.
This is the next item on my bucket list. It matters not if I win. What matters is that I have had the tenacity, nerve and dedication to achieve the physical status to at least try what once seemed like an impossible endeavor for a fat, insecure little boy. I am going to need all of the support possible to reach this goal. Please understand when I have to say no to food or drink. Please be there to encourage me. Are you willing to be on Team Mike?