What Would You do for a Klondike Bar?
We all move through life by making decisions. And we have to live with the repercussions of those decisions good or bad. Accept responsibility, own it. At the time that you make those decisions there are a million things affecting your thoughts most likely. Some decisions are made based on heart, some on facts, some on dreams or goals.
I used to want to be a parapsychologist. I think that stemmed from Ghost Busters. I went through a few different desired goals throughout life but nothing really grabbed me like powerlifting. My decisions to pursue powerlifting were deep and impacted a lot in my life. Nothing was as satisfying as hitting that next biggest lift. I would do 5 or 6 full power meets plus a bench only meet a year. I ended an 8 year relationship. I spent hours of my young children’s lives in the gym. I would make food ahead and let my daughter warm things up to feed her and her brother. I drove 1 ½ hours one way every weekend to train with my group. I cut off my braids to pay homage for my first 300 lb bench.
Years went on and what I was willing to give in order to keep rising the ranks grew. When I didn’t have a car I walked 45 min one way in the winter to get to the gym. Relationships were difficult because I didn’t have the time to give. The night I got a DWI (yea, I got one) I totaled my car (which was why I didn’t have one) and spent most of the night drunk off my ass at the police station. They dropped me off at home I have no recollection of when, and I still got to the gym for 10am bench. Equipped bench. Puking between sets, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to miss bench day.
Finally I found myself third in the world historical records for an equipped squat at 148. The jump from where I was to where I needed to get to was about 100#! That’s how most of the records worked. There was this gradual climb until BOOM! The last 2 or 3 were leaps ahead. I learned what that meant I had to do. A decision was required. I talked with my coach and really thought about what I was willing to live with and what I really wanted. Then I made the decision to “take the leap”. I decided to start gear. (that means steroids)
My coach told me the best piece of advice I have ever heard given to a female and I tell every woman that asks me the same thing …. No woman ever started down this road thinking “I want to look like THAT someday” … “that” being a woman with the squared off jaw, 5 o clock shadow, thinning hair …. I can tell you right now that when you are blinded by your goal, aka “in the zone”, you either don’t see what you don’t want to or it is way easy to accept it or explain it away. That’s my thought looking back at the big picture though. I did take it slow. And this is not a manual for women on how to take gear so I’m not going into specifics. But needless to say when I say “took it slow” it means like, 20mg of Var for actual cycles on and completely off for TWO YEARS before venturing on to anything else. Unlike women these days trying tren their first cycle. Just stop! SMH
The days did arrive when I was ready for more. More weight, more size, I wanted the top. Now, of course, this made my weight cuts harder as I put more muscle on. But the all-time records came. This was during a time when women weren’t lifting quite as much and steroids were still VERY taboo (I guess it is now too, but not as much). So when I broke my first all-time record, I broke it on my opening attempt, then went on to destroy it by 68 lbs. You don’t find that kind of destruction as much these days but that’s only because women are much more willing to make this choice these days so the bar is already set pretty high. Funny enough though, women are wildly to the extremes. They either are still embarrassed and lie about what they are taking or they think it makes them some sort of badass or defines their commitment and take way too much too soon too fast. Women still need better education on what they should be doing, why they are doing whatever and to get that education from other women that have done it intelligently. In other words, NOT THEIR BOYFRIENDS.
There are many things that I gave up to be on this path. Men found me intimidating, boyfriends felt inadequate. All I did was train and eat. I had to be careful with my diet to stay in my weight class since I was competing for all times there. So I ate clean, meal prepped, trained. This was my life. Not only was I hell bent on my competing, but I also just wanted to be involved. So I coached others, I helped at meets, I judged, I answered questions online. Powerlifting was my ENTIRE life. I had no friends outside of the gym, I dressed in gym clothes all the time. I talked about it all the time. I bled powerlifting.
The slope is slippery when it comes to gear. I am not immune. It took time but I fell in love with being muscular and being strong and I just wanted more. I went from a walk around weight of 140s to 180s (over 13 years) with aspirations of weighing 200 some day! My lifting goals were huge as well! Then things started tearing down. Shoulder surgeries, torn knees, bulging disks, tendonitis. You heal up, you rehab, you get back to it. And the gear changes. You take more, you stay on longer. Going off means taking a non stop low dose (well, you tell yourself it’s low). Now, if you are a guy you probably look jacked and sexy and younger. You go bald but whatever. Shave it off and it’s a “power” look. If you’re a lady … well, kinda the same thing. Now for someone like me, jacked is awesome! I think muscle is sexy as hell and I can’t get too muscular! It makes me feel great! Younger? Yes! I’m 46 and don’t look a day over 44 (haha, I look younger than that). But we get all the negative things too …. Hair falls out of your head and grows out of your face (and ass and shoulders), backne, scar tissue from shots, less patience, more aggression .. but hey! There’s no crying over chick flicks and tampon commercials!
You don’t just wake up and it happened either. It happens gradually. Every step of the way you find yourself stopping and thinking, “ok, do I back off? Can I live with this?” and almost always it’s, “I can still live with this. It isn’t that bad. It’s worth it). I’m a very lucky lady (haha, I call it lucky). My hair is a light blonde and red. I could have a short beard and you wouldn’t even see it. The thinning hair and receding hair line was easy to hide for a while. Then I had to go to hair pieces. That was awesome! Nothing made me feel prettier than fixing my hair! I didn’t even realize how much I had come to hate it till it was fixed and I felt so pretty! BUT it is also expensive!! Like 1800 a year plus a hair appt every 6 weeks! Hair kept thinning until there was absolutely no return so next step was to try a full blown wig. That is working nicely actually but it has it’s own cons. And I can’t go swimming with it. But it looks good and I can change to whatever I want whenever I want! That’s kinda fun.
Needless to say this all makes the dating pool quite small as well. Since I happen to be picky and most men feel intimidated (and honestly, these skinny dudes should feel intimidated. Stop the fucking keto and eat some steak and potatoes boys!) not to mention the sides aren’t always easy for a guy to look past, understandably. Plus the time it takes to prep for a bodybuilding show, train, run my business, it is a lot of lonely nights.
What is the alternative? I’m not giving up my physique. Quite the opposite, I can’t wait to get past this show so I can try a gear plan to get me to that 200lbs! I’m not giving up my business, I love my gym and I have a million plans to make it bigger! I’m not giving up competing. Sorry, not ready to give up on being #1. And to be honest, not sure I want to kick my dog out of my bed.
For me, a Klondike Bar is being at the top. Physically, mentally, emotionally, competitively. Do I have aches and pains? Yes. Do I wish I knew then some things I know now? Sure. But I don’t regret a single thing. I would choose it all again to be where I am. I own all my decisions and the outcomes of those decisions. But I also live my life on my own terms. The trade off is never giving up anything for anyone. The right people and the right circumstances will just fit in with the rest of the pieces. I know what I want and I will have every bit of it because I’m willing to work and because I believe in me.