The life of a bodybuilder is so structured, we forget about life’s simple pleasures.


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Good read by Shawn Ray.

As a young upstart teenager, I had dreams of one day making it big in a sport filled with big boys! I dove in deep with both feet, abandoning a life long vision of playing football in the NFL one day. The further I got into the Iron Game, the more selfish I became in the ways of looking out for number one. Bodybuilding is so time consuming and so individual, that by the time I looked up, I was a 14 year veteran of the Pro stage and I hadn’t had a serious meaningful relationship in years nor did I develop the spiritual side of me I knew existed deep between my muscles and self centered ways of the sport. Sure, hindsight is 20/20 but when you get as deep into this sport as I have been, it is hard to see the Forrest for the Trees, as it relates to life’s simple pleasures.

The routine of preparing for competition then going on tour and repeating it over and over again, year after year, consumes Life at Warp Speed! Before you know it, kids that once admired my work as a young professional are now fathers with kids following in my footsteps. Where did the time go? Traveling each weekend to different parts of the country and later the world, would become a lifestyle for the rest of my 20’s and 30’s. I often wondered as time melted away, what happens when my time was up and there are no more tours? I mean, I have watched careers come and go while pursuing my own and yet, there are so many things in life I have yet to experience and do. I have seen nearly every country in the world and even more gyms than I can remember yet, I have a lifetime of catching up to do regarding family, friends and the Lord! I would like to make things right with the Man upstairs for all the blessings I have had throughout this journey of competition, while the nurturing of special friendships have been in a holding pattern for years.

In this Life or the Next, we all have to take time to LIVE!

Breath, take a step outside ourselves to see what the world is offering in the ways of “Simplicity”. You don’t have to be 300lbs to be respected. Nor do you have to be tested on stage, by being judged to validate your accomplishments in the gym. Sometimes, while I am enjoying my year off from competition, I find myself wondering if the One Dimensional drive of bodybuilding is even healthy for the fittest of individuals, while so many sacrifices for so little in return by comparison to other sports. I have a lot to be thankful for and not a day goes by that I don’t pinch myself to remind myself what this sport has given me.

That being said, Life is a precious thing. I have seen many guys shelf it in return for a shot a greatness in a sport as Unforgiving as bodybuilding to be spit out and chewed up by a system of opinions that rarely change and judges that have lifetime tenure. Sadly, the state of our sport as it pertains to representation for athletes, is in the dark ages with no relief in site. I would offer a friendly reminder to all those interested in chasing ghosts in the form of a Sandow Trophy. Time has proven that there can be only “One” when it comes to winning and holding the coveted title. Since 1984, no man has out right won the Mr. Olympia title from the defending champion, leaving some of our precious jewels out in the cold with out proper recognition for their dedication to the game:

Gaspari, Labrada, Wheeler, Levrone, Nasser, Cutler and of course, I felt I had at least two slip through the cracks!

If bodybuilding is your passion, pour your heart and soul into it and you will find it has many rewards. However, don’t let Life slip by you in pursuit of a dream that many may never reach in the chase for Sandow! The best you can do is what your body and soul will allow you to do. Do not let a contest or judge ruin your love for the game that brings us all together in search of physical perfection.

Life is living!

To be shared and enjoyed within the context of our other commitments. Do not exclude your loved ones and those who support you, for they are the backbone of Life. They will get you through the hardest part of Life when you need them the most.

While a bodybuilding contest is a subjective collection of opinions, Life and Love are both forms of unconditional support for all of us to be the best we can be. If you cannot find your best while here on earth, there is always tomorrow. We will be judged again by the character we have within.

Not by Man, who can be cruel and unforgiving but by God who loves us all!

Life is good, live it and you can make a difference.

Strength and Honor, is all we have in this business, lose sight of one or the other and your already dead.


Shawn Ray
i feel the same way and im a youngster too......buts it what i love to do...
I like what he said about the spiritual and the physical. We can't develop one and leave the other behind. But I find it hard to develop both. I find myself still struggling to do both, as I build one up I seem to leave the other behind.

It's a great read, now I know I'm not the only one with this struggle.

Excellent post. I stole it and posted it at EF but of course gave credit where credit's due. :)
I think that is a great reality check.......Between eating,lifting,and doing everything to get to the level we all strive to achieve it can be a difficult balancing act to keep the other important things in life in perspective..
Nice post
Although I can understand his view o missing out on life would he give up all the coin(and he has done well) tobe able to getbthose parts of life he supposedly missed. dont get me wrong but anyone who has been successful has given up alot to acheieve thier business goals. Christ my dad became a millionaire quite a few times over and it cost him 2 wives, 2 heart attacks, 3 back surgeries, and some fucked up kids but I know if I asked him he would not change a thing(meaning life is a one time shot do what you can), nor would I want him nor expect him to. I admire thetrait in ppl to go beyond what they beleieve but totally disrespect(ppl like shawn for example) who oce they have made it slam it. Point being fuck him if that means so much to him give me the money and the lanborghini I will live in sin of the "Lord"

Or at least if you8 feel that way donate all you made cept what you need fpr a normallife to ppl who dont have it.l Other then that I say buhllshit.

Sorry guys if I dont agree but read between the lines he is full of shit at least in my opinion.

Tghis makes mkre sense to someone who is an amateur and as no chance as a top pro then this guy who was on top all those years

I think the thing that bothers me about this and although