The More Profound Truth

Interested Friends Gather

It’s Friday evening and I have friends gathered who are interested in The Eclipse. It has captured their attention and they’re realizing that they don’t have a full understanding of exactly what I’m doing. So they are asking me questions that I thought would be of interest to those who are following my quest.

The Conversation

Darin said, “I only have one question to ask as an outsider. Why is your story worth telling?

I said, “I really can’t tell you much about the Eclipse without you knowing the back story- otherwise I don’t think it will make much sense to you”.

D: OK go ahead.

C: Well I think the origins of the Eclipse has to do with making choices- 35 years ago, in 1976 I became aware of the fact that most of the bodybuilders I looked up to were using steroids, I decided to make a choice to train and compete drug-free. That decision would prove to have a price tag. First it would take me three years just to win the State Championships in what the AAU called the sport of physique, because drug use had streamed down from the professional ranks to the amateur in very short order. Then I would, for many years see men with drug enhanced physiques on the covers of all of the bodybuilding magazines at that time.

So after winning the State Championships there was really no where for me to go to compete as the drugs did give the users a decided 15-20% advantage over the non users. That statistic has escalated to probably 50% now with the new designer stacked injectable’s.

But by 1981 the physical culturists were fighting back with small organizations popping up with tested bodybuilding events. It looked like bodybuilding was beginning to take a turn for the better. I read about the tested events and I thought “This is where I belong”. So my training partner and I drove out to the mid west for the 1981 Natural Mr. USA which I won. Then five months later the same organization sponsored the Natural North American Championships, I won that as well.

Before long the Natural bodybuilding movement was struggling financially, as a result of  limited exposure and awareness, and there were no (to my knowledge) contests on a world level for several years. But in late 1984 it was announced that there would be a Natural-for-life World Bodybuilding Championships in New York. My training partner and I trained for the whole year in preparation for this contest and in December of 1985 I became the first Pro Natural-for-life World Bodybuilding Champion, and from there I retired undefeated in drug-free competitions.

Recently it occurred to me once again  that if I had “experimented” with the “sports drugs” I would have ended up like many of them- washed up. So the idea came to do the Eclipse- could I, because I didn’t do the drugs surpass my former condition? Could I be better than I was 30 years ago? What a crazy thought. Crazy or not this is where my blog takes a turn and begins to record my new journey.

The Eclipse

After this recitation of the back story, Tracy, another friend, began to ask questions.

T: So what exactly is the Eclipse?

C: It’s all about making quality choices- this is something we all can do. But it takes a commitment for the long term. Yet making the right choices will eventually pay off, and making the wrong choices will always have consequences. Don’t think for one moment that I didn’t initially admire these champions- I think everyone did. Was I tempted to go get some and do it their way- since “everybody was doing them?” Yes I was tempted- I wanted to be the best. I just didn’t want to do it their way.

T: So is the Eclipse about bodybuilding or is it about character?

C: It’s about character with bodybuilding as a vehicle. And this is where we landed after a series of questions I can no longer remember.

The Discussion

Saturday morning Sue and I talked about the session because she was unable to be there. We talked about the fact that it was a choice yet the interesting thing is that first you make a choice that is somewhat conceptual. But that’s just the beginning because if you make a choice every day you come up with 365 choices a year to resist the temptation. So that’s really 365 choices!

Then over the period of 31 years you have 11,315 choices! Now that’s more like it- that’s the real truth! It is really a series of choices- as I wrote, it is a daily recommitment.

And that sounded good, and I thought I would include that in our next taping.

But does it end there?

The More Profound Truth

Later on Saturday morning I went into the studio for my workout with all of these thoughts on my mind. And I found that I was making a choice to do each and every set of exercises.

Then the thought came to me:

“How many times a day can you be tempted? Just once a day?”

How could that be? Maybe 2 or 9 who really knows- I would guess it depends on the struggle. At this point we lose track of numbers because they become staggering, and should not be the focus.

What is important is that there needs to be a choice (or an acceptable answer) for each temptation, each time, each day, as many times as it comes. This is what “gets” us. We really aren’t prepared to deal with anything that will so relentlessly continue to pressure or pursue us. In reality this is what happens. Could this be the reason we sometimes fail? I think so.

What’s the “self talk”?

Making new habits requires that we find ways to stick to our plans- we may not be successful if we just attempt to resist temptation once or twice, or every once in a while.

To resist temptation without some type of reenforcement or replacement leaves the old familiar path open as an option- it leaves a void that needs to be filled- resistance alone will not work for the long term.

We can reenforce the new choices by practicing the new lifestyle and making sure that we have a mission statement to our vision. The vision is where we see ourselves- the mission statement is how we get there. This is what I did to become a world champion. It began in my thoughts as I went face-to-face with every fear, every doubt, every uncertainty. As I practiced confronting each, I became stronger in my mind and my choices became easier and more permanent as each day passed. Soon these behaviors became my new habits. I wrote all these “answers” down in my journal that I read every day. I read them over and over as often as I needed to, much like a perscription! Soon these answers became my default thinking, as a permanent residence in my mind. Then I acted on my new beliefs and began to see tangible results.

Conclusion

Armed with this knowledge we are better able to effect a more permanent change and transformation.
This then, is how we write our Affirmations and declarations and ensure that they are accurate and true.

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Once Upon A Time

I Was Angry.

So why do I even care? People do what they want to do- it’s a free country, right? I guess that’s true but when it comes to deception- what about that? Doesn’t that bother anyone?  And who the hell am I? Am I just a sore loser? Yeah- I didn’t make it on the cover of the best Muscle Magazines- but the steroid users did! Hey it was my choice- I chose to be drug free so why the anger?

Why the anger? Well..what about a misrepresentation of what is true and authentic- what about the classic Charles Atlas physique that just comes with hard honest work- isn’t that the premise of what this country was built on? Isn’t that what we all talk about? Work hard, pay your dues, follow the rules and you will get ahead young man. Isn’t that what we were taught in the 1940’ 1950’ and even the 1960’s?

Sure…. and just how naive are you? I would come to ask myself.

But I did win everything in my day. I was undefeated in drug free competitions. I did work hard and compete in 36 contests. Was anyone listening or watching? Not many- You know why? It was dround out by what the media placed in front of their eyes. The Mr. This and Ms.That- that as represented by the media got to the point that it wasn’t about hard work, dedication, and perseverance any more- it became a question about can you afford to do the “injectables” (drugs) and move up from the “orals” to become a “champion”.

How else can you become one of the big guys- one of  the freaks- yeah that’s what people pay their money to see.. both then and now.

So the whole sane drug-free movement of the 70’s and 80’s  goes virtually unnoticed. You know that you followed the rules, you did the “right” thing. Yet in doing the right thing and saying “no” to drugs what the heck happened?

What happened is the real life story I am telling. This is indeed why I decided to do the Eclipse. And the only reason I could even think that it would be possible. Why? Because of a choice I made 44 years ago when I was 19 and decided I would not bend to the “Hey, everybody is doing it” rational of the use and abuse of the “sports drugs”.

I wasn’t doing them, and that would be my theme song for many, many  years. So fast forward to 2011 and what’s happening now?

I have traded anger for the desire to understand. Now I think I understand why some chose to do the sports drugs. And there seems to be as many reasons as there are choices and individuals.

Not withstanding-  I am sure I made the right choice! Especially when you look at my contemporaries. Where are they now? You can’t fake it till you make it. Because the “it” factor of time has caught up to all of us.

 I have been promising that I would post a picture. So until I get the camera on a tripod and the right distance away- here’s my first photo taken by Sue at 31 days away from November the 19th which is to be my anniversary date of winning the Virginia State Championships and the target date for the Eclipse.

Can he do it?

So what are we looking at? Well the guy in the picture can definitely use a lot more color- that will make a difference. And it does look like maybe he has gained some size over the younger version of 30 years ago. That’s good news- but can he peak out and beat the young guy?

Is the Eclipse possible readers?