Slaying The Dragon aka Reaching IFBB Professional Status

This was from 2013 Team Universe where I finally attained IFBB Pro Status...after 14 Pro qualifers, folks!

This was from 2013 Team Universe where I finally attained IFBB Pro Status…after 14 Pro qualifers, folks!

Last weekend Gary Udit’s NPC Teen, Collegiate and Master’s Nationals took place in Pittsburgh, and many top notch national competitors graced the stage in hopes of slaying the dragon and going Pro. I cheered for my friends who have been competing at the national level for far too long, eager to get through the bottleneck and finally feel the exhilaration of becoming a Pro. I felt the pain of every seasoned competitor who walked away from the event without hitting that pinnacle. I know that feeling all too well since it took me 14 tries before I finally got my Pro Card. Anyone who thinks it’s easy to get onstage over and over again and get VERY close to winning a class without earning IFBB Professional status has no idea of how much it can rend someone’s spirit. Sure, there are always more contests, but it can be very difficult to re-ignite the fire after walking off the stage with yet another “almost”.

To those of you who have been hunting down that Pro Card, especially those of you who keep getting great placings, remember WHY you compete. Remember the drive and determination which got you to compete in the first place. Think of the family members, friends, coworkers, fans and followers who believe in you and regard you as a champion no matter what. The quote which kept me going, and which keeps me going with everything I tackle in my life, is:

“FALL DOWN SEVEN TIMES, GET UP EIGHT.”

If you are a seasoned national level NPC competitor and you get smacked down again at a Pro qualifier, you will probably feel dejected and pissed off to the point of saying, “F*&% this!”. The best thing you can do after an outcome like that is to give yourself time to calm down after the blow and dust yourself off. Believe me, I have been there before. I have hidden in my hotel room post-contest, stuffing my face with contest-busting foods, feeling sorry for myself and letting loose a barrage of cuss words. So I completely understand how it feels to miss the mark.

If you choose to get back on the horse again, do it for YOURSELF, not for the judges, family, fans or whomever. If you choose NOT to get back on the horse, make sure that decision is made when you are thinking clearly. Whatever you do, don’t walk away from the competitive life with your tail between your legs! Channel your energies into other areas of your life and know that stepping onstage takes tremendous courage. And YOU DID IT.

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