Challenges in Training Are What Make Us True Champions


The challenges that we face and overcome are what make us truly successful in anything we do in life.   There are so many misconceptions that people have when it comes to my training and my career.  The dieting, training, discipline, and all of the components it takes to succeed are just as much of a challenge for me as anyone else.  I think people seem to think I am this robot that lives perfectly every single day.  The fact of the matter is I am human like anyone else and I have everyday challenges like anyone else.  Sickness, financial crisis, career challenges, stress, deaths, and all of the struggles that we all face happen to me as well.

In a fantasy world, I would have all the money and sponsorship in the world to compete to my utmost potential.  I can only dream of having fresh imported delicate berries flown in straight from South Africa or fresh Alaskan sockeye salmon everyday for a post workout meal.  I would train in a gym filled with Hammer strength machines and dumbbell weights going up to infinity with heavy metal blasting until my ears are bleeding.    Trainers, massage therapists, posing coaches, and all the essentials it takes to be the best would be at my side on an everyday basis. 

The reality of it all is that more than likely this will never happen.  The dreams and goals are what make us succeed and strive to evolve to become better people.  I never had the mentality going into a show that I am competing just for the trophy.  If I feel that I can not get better each and every time I am on stage then I will force myself into an early retirement.  I never have competed just for the trophy, which is nonsense.  Not only do I want to get better at being a bodybuilder, I want to become better at everything I do in life.  I want to be a better son to my father, a better Christian to the church, a better trainer to my clients, and a better writer to you all.

The biggest challenge in my career and bodybuilding occurred very recently.  I won the heavyweight division at the NPC Bill Grant Classic in July of 2009 and the struggles came right after this.  This was the last show my mother ever got to see me compete in.  My mom was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer in early 2009 and started having severe health problems in late October of 2009 at the age of 47.  At my show, my mother was going under moderate chemotherapy treatment and showed no signs of health struggles other than her wearing a wig.   In late October my mother’s cancer started attacking her aggressively by taking her vision and shortly after that the use of her legs.  From that day forward, my father, my brother and I took care of my mother at home and in the hospital bedside for a year until she died this past November.  

Most people don’t know what stress and challenges are until they deal with something like this.  I gave up everything that was going on for me, including my training and career, to be by her side. I spent two weeks in the hospital feeding her, changing her, talking to her, and being there for her.  My mother did these things for me all my life, so I considered myself fortunate to do the same.  There would be days that I wouldn’t sleep or eat due to the ungodly amounts of stress I was under.  I remember when my mom would sleep I would do pushups and situps crying until I couldn’t anymore at 3 a.m in the morning.  I didn’t have a gym to go to, a dime in my pocket,  and I would get the nurse to write me out a slip to get hospital food for recovery.  Needless to say I wasn’t looking like a top level NPC bodybuilder.  These are the times when you build true strength and character, not the 12 weeks before a show when you feel you want to snack on a cupcake when you’re starving yourself.  To me, that’s part is easy.

I have a good friend who is a fantastic bodybuilder and he ran into some serious health complications himself.  I pray for him every night and check on him as much as possible as he is on his way to a long intensive recovery.  I keep telling him to never lose hope and keep fighting, and that I have no doubts he will be back on stage.  If there is one thing I have learned from all of this is that when there is a will, there is a way.  You’re going to have challenges and struggles regardless. Whether you think it’s fair or not, it’s life.

Despite your views on life, whatever it may be, I do believe we are always rewarded for hard work, determination, and doing the right thing.  When I left my career to take care of my mother, I didn’t know what I was going to do to get back on track.  I would sit at home and feed my mom and listen to “The View” everyday with her.  Needless to say I was going insane!  All of my clients were texting, emailing, calling me about what they could do to stay on track as I stayed home with my mother.  My superstar client UFC fighter Tim Boetsch was prepping for a fight, and it killed me that I couldn’t be there with him.  This is when a light when off in my head about doing an online consultation business (Precision LLC)  The “c” in precision is highlighted in remembrance of my mother.  If all of these things wouldn’t have happened I never would have thought of establishing the business.  When I started researching different things, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to get more education and obtain my Masters degree before I totally went at this.  Well like anything that I do in life I just went ahead and did it (no regrets).

On top of that, I started communicating with ProSource, a company I was always a big fan of.  I always used ProSource supplements when I competed, so getting a response from ProSource was a dream come true for me.  I was selected as a ProSource Featured Athlete and I am now proud to say I am a part of their team writing blogs for them.  While I was putting the pieces of the puzzle back together with my career, I communicated with a great new friend, Kelly from Prosource, via email who could directly relate to what I was going through.

Believe it or not, the Supreme Protein bars were one of the only things my mother would eat before she died.  Her white blood cell count got really low and the doctors were concerned with her protein intake.  She didn’t want to give up on eating and if she didn’t, we wouldn’t.  My mother literally would not eat anything at all because her taste buds changed dramatically from the chemotherapy.  Nothing tasted right to her and it really upset her.  I would make her some Whey Isolate protein shakes that she would drink once in a great while but she soon stopped that.  Kelly was generous enough to send some sample protein bars and my mother actually really liked them and ate them all the way up until she got pneumonia.  My dad and I were in total shock and needless to say her white blood cell count went up significantly.

No matter what the challenge is in your life, never give up on your dreams.  I know that whole message always sounds so cliché, but it’s really the truth.  I had a great friend tell me the only reason I am successful is because I’m too stubborn not to be.  I agree with that statement.  I am not successful before I am success-driven; I am just too stubborn to lose or quit.  You get one shot at life and that is it.  I really do pity the person who says “I wish I would have done that, I should have done this.” 

After this entire past nightmare my family went through, I am back on track and better than I have ever been in my career because I weathered the storm.  I wanted to get my Masters degree just to market myself better initially, but I can honestly say that I am learning so much more about physiology and training concepts.  I truthfully can not believe I am doing half the stuff I am doing in my training regime now, but I like it because I am evolving and getting better.  My Master’s degree professor has become a role model to me.  I have not been this intellectually stimulated since my undergraduate degree when I was ignorant and figured I learned it all.  Professor Wendy Batts has actually been on Dr. Oz doing fitness routines and works for the team of Dr. Oz fitness affiliates implementing virtual training programs.  To me you can’t trump credentials like this, and it shows that I need to work on getting to a status like that. 

Professor Batts was generous enough to guide me in a webinar meeting to hear the fitness team talk about Dr. Oz fitness virtual training and I told her I want in on that.  I want to be a part of the best group there is.  I want to know as much as everyone else does in the field.  None of this would have happened if I hadn’t faced the challenges before me.  So my philosophy is train hard, dream harder and be the person you always dreamed you would be.

I am thinking of getting on stage for a pro-card, all natural show in May, but I did see that the NPC has an all natural Pennsylvania championship in late October.  Another Mr. Pennsylvania state division title just maybe in the works?

God bless you all, go out and make it happen.


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2 Responses to “Challenges in Training Are What Make Us True Champions”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Your inner spirit has brought you this far and will take you much further. The love you displayed as you and your family faced the months of agony with your mom is really a model that every mother would hope for. Not many show the devotion you did.
    love, Kathy and Ted

  2. Rao v?t nhà ??t Says:

    Rao v?t nhà ??t…

    [...]Challenges in Training Are What Make Us True Champions | ProSourceblog[...]…

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