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  1. #1
    JohnnyB's Avatar
    JohnnyB is offline AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
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    Shawn Ray speak out.

    Posted by THE BOUNCER at Steroidology

    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.

    Peace,


    Shawn Ray

  2. #2
    palme's Avatar
    palme is offline Rosie Member
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    Very good read! Atleast i thought so.

  3. #3
    monstercojones's Avatar
    monstercojones is offline The Anabolic Assassin
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    i like it. to the top.

  4. #4
    Whoisdaman is offline Senior Member
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    I didn't think Shawn was that depressed, sure shows the side you never see on stage.

  5. #5
    jssmc's Avatar
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    Very interesting!

  6. #6
    ripsid's Avatar
    ripsid is offline Senior Member
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    You know at first I expected sour grapes and a "wo is me attitude" from Shawn, but what he said was true. I mean how wrong is he that the ifbb puts it hat on someone and rides them till they retire. I mean I believe Ronnie is the biggest and baddest, but I also believe he was beat my Jay and could have been beat by Kevin. That the politics are killing the sport, by politics I say Weiders.

    Good VERY good article!

  7. #7
    JohnnyB's Avatar
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    I thought it brings a side to BB that we don't see on stage.

    JohnnyB

  8. #8
    nj_'s Avatar
    nj_
    nj_ is offline Senior Member
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    Very good read.

  9. #9
    iron4life79's Avatar
    iron4life79 is offline Retired Moderator
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    a lot of people dont care for s.r. that much..........im not one of 'em.

    i think he's a class act that speaks his mind, no matter if it hurts him in the long run or not.
    all the bitching about the judging in the IFBB aside, i think he's learned a few things since he's spent his time in the bb'ing game, and one of them is to be true to yourself.

    nice post johhnyb.........


    peace IFL79

  10. #10
    JohnnyB's Avatar
    JohnnyB is offline AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
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    I hear you Bro, about being ture to yourself.

    JohnnyB

  11. #11
    wood's Avatar
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    this is a great read. Even though I'm not involved in competions I've been around a few people that have and I've seen what they've been through. Its sad how they can lose loved ones and things that they really cared about but were blinded at the time. That was some good stuff.

  12. #12
    anadrolavenger is offline Junior Member
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    as a competator i would have to say that many people get cought up in looking out for #1, hell i have been guilty of it time and time again. hell this time last year i was put on probation for bringing gear back across the border. i didnt do it to sell them ,but to feed my own fire for bbing. i have lost alot of time and money to acheiving the body i have, but when i look at the picture as a whole i can see what shaun is talking about..... i know how it feels to lose the respect of loved ones, to be turned away from jobs because they heard i have a rep with juice! we put ourselves through hell several times a week, and for what? to look good? to be strong? all might not agree with shaun, but i certainly do. this article was a real reminder of all the things i have sacraficed! i knw i will be wiser in the future about how far i go!

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