Rewind to October 2004, I had just won the British Overall Championships as a heavyweight bodybuilder. I was the happiest person in the world, or so I thought; for I had just achieved one of my dreams – turning Pro in a sport that I was deeply passionate about. This meant so much to me, it still does. Pride filled me from head to toe & I was now able to represent my country on the International stage, how many athletes get to say that?
The next stage for me was focused on fulfilling my ultimate ambition, which was to stand on the Olympia stage. I proceeded to dedicate the next 13 years of my professional career into making that dream happen.
Obstacles were thrown at me left right & centre for me to stumble along the way; obstacles which I always found a way to overcome & used to think it was just another challenge for me to hurdle. I loved a challenge. I loved nothing more than proving people wrong & as the years went by, I still hung on to the hope that if I just keep pushing, just keep working my ass off day in, day out & give my all, then eventually I will achieve that goal. Along the way I had so many negative comments or more accurately those that didn’t believe I could make it to the top. Again, this was fuel to my fire & drove me even more to train harder, if that was possible.
Injures, illness, losing my beloved Grandad, losing my business; discovering that many people whom I called friends were not truly as loyal as I’d thought. But for every minus there’s a plus & I found out when I was down but not out, my true friends gave me their hands to help me up & I am blessed to have a wife, family & some amazing people who have stood by me through thick & thin & have shared my crazy journey.
So, here we are, just a few days away from standing onstage at the biggest bodybuilding stage in the world for female Bodybuilders. What was once known to the world as the Ms Olympia is now the Rising Phoenix World Championships held in Phoenix, Arizona. Same contest, different name & different location, however it is still the pinnacle of Women’s Bodybuilding with the same prestige & to say I am happy to be a part of it would be a huge understatement. Words can’t describe the feeling I had when I found out I had qualified. Suddenly, that impossible dream had been turned into reality. Not by chance, but by sheer will & perseverance, through hard work & determination. Finally, I feel like I have accomplished what I set out to do after 22 years of blood, sweat & tears.
It will be the proudest moment in my life standing up there representing my country & although the road that led to the final stage has been bumpy, it has made me a stronger better person. i always got taught nothing worth having comes easy & if I’d known 22 years ago it would have taken me this long to achieve my dreams with all the pitfalls along the way would I still have pursued it? Of course, I would.
It’s an individual sport yes, however, I don’t for one minute believe I could have done this without the support, wisdom & belief in me from my wife, friends & sponsors CNP Nutrition. So not only will I be standing up there flying the flag, in my heart I am doing it also for all these wonderful people who have carried me along the way.
A wise lady once told me “Follow Your dreams”. I followed them, now I’m living them. Never ever give up, for as you dream, so shall you become.