Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope this blog finds you feeling fit, faithful, and flu-less!
Today I’m going to share a wonderful “memoir,” if you will, by a friend and guest writer for this blog, Jim Schultz. His passion, in his own words, is to educate, entertain, and inspire you to reach your personal goals in the areas of fitness and finance. He earned his Ph.D. in finance and is currently a professor of the subject at Winthrop University as well a motivational speaker… and even an amateur bodybuilder (a natural bodybuilder, I might add!). (Check out the first post he contributed here: http://www.dianafit.com/a-defining-moment.)
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did! And for my female readership, please don’t stop reading after paragraph five; even though he’s a bodybuilder, I PROMISE this blog has relevance for your life, so stay with it! 😉
“Just five more seconds!”
One – two – three – four – five – relax.
“OK, just 15 seconds on this last one,” I muttered to myself. Staring at myself in the mirror, I grimaced while counting to fifteen. Finally, the time expired and I let out a huge gasp. Tonight’s session was over.
In severe need of something to drink, I left my bedroom to head into the kitchen to slam a tall glass of water. It was a quiet night at the apartment as my one and only roommate was gone doing some sort of journalism project in an audio lab halfway across campus. I normally was very careful about coming out of my bedroom after a posing session if I was wearing only my trunks. I tried to be respectful of my roommate Anthony, or anyone he may have over if I thought there was any chance he might be home. But, tonight I was certain he was gone.
That wasn’t the case several nights prior. I was in my bedroom knocking out another posing session as I prepared for my upcoming bodybuilding show that was only a matter of weeks away. As soon as I was finished, I had to pee so badly I was certain I wouldn’t make it. I dashed out of my room, across the living room, and into the one and only bathroom in the apartment with little regard for the fact that all I had on was a pair of posing trunks. (If you’re not sure what male posing trunks look like, think female bikini bottoms [insert tasteful joke about a man wearing said outfit here.])
As soon as I hit the bathroom, I didn’t even bother to close door. A few seconds into the relief I hear, “Thatta boy. J. Schultz rocking the manties without a care in the world.” Anthony was heckling me from his room, which I passed on my way to the bathroom.
“Manties?” I flushed and went back out into the living room to get a formal definition on what a mantie was.
“You know, those man panties you slip on as soon as the sun goes down.”
We both burst out laughing at this newly discovered term to describe my posing wardrobe. Anthony’s girlfriend happened to be sitting right next to him and she laughed too. I felt a little strange standing there in front of both of them sporting only my manties, but believe it or not that was part of the training process too.
If you’re not familiar with competitive bodybuilding, then this will seem very strange to you, and rightfully so. But, ask any bodybuilder about what it’s like to be on stage wearing nothing but what amounts to a fig leaf and they will all agree that practicing your posing is absolutely critical. Part of that practice is becoming comfortable in your trunks.
When you finally get on stage and are asked to show off all of your hard work when it really counts, you won’t feel the least bit out of place. At that point in my bodybuilding career, I had only competed in one bodybuilding show, but I certainly knew the importance of spending at least a month’s worth of evenings in my manties working on my poses. I wouldn’t stop practicing until I felt as comfortable in my trunks as I did in any other piece of clothing.
So, you might be thinking, ‘Where is he going with this’? Well, in my first official bodybuilding show, about six months before this night in the apartment, I showed up on the day of the event absolutely certain I was going to dominate. I had trained extremely hard for the previous three months, completely transformed both my body and my mind, and couldn’t possibly fathom too many other guys coming in ahead of me. Well, that night things went a little differently…
My class had nine guys in it altogether and relative to the other guys on stage I got absolutely crushed. To say that I placed last would be an understatement. Instead, I looked like I had never even lifted a weight in my life compared to my competition. It was like they just pulled some random dude out of the crowd to see if he wanted to compete that night and that dude was me.
It was quite an eye-opening experience, and that night taught me a lot of things. The most important thing I learned didn’t come to me until I started to prepare for this next bodybuilding show. It was a day in August and I was looking at the rest of the year’s competition schedule. There were two shows in November and it appeared they fit nicely into my schedule, so I put them down as the next time I would step on stage.
The very next day I was a changed man. My training, nutrition, and all-around preparation over the next three months made my first go around look like a vacation. Once the day was set that I would be in front of hundreds of strangers in nothing but my skivvies, I made a commitment to myself that I would not embarrass myself like I did the first time. When the day finally arrived, I didn’t win, but I didn’t really lose either. I competed hard and looked like I belonged up there. It was an extremely rewarding moment in my life.
So ever since Anthony coined the term “mantie”, I’ve gone ahead and dubbed my own version as the Mantie Motivation. Having competed in over ten different shows now at the age of 31, the Mantie Motivation sets in every time I pick my show date. It’s pretty easy really. I sit down and pick the day, go grab my favorite pair of manties (I’ve stockpiled like eight different pairs now), and simply stare in the mirror clutching my trunks.
“There’s no way I’m getting up there in these, looking like this. I’ll get laughed off the stage!” And, right then and there I cancel any upcoming lunch dates at CiCi’s.
Immediately, the next few months become fueled with an uncompromising passion and desire to be the absolute best I can be on that one day. It’s incredible what having a fixed goal in front of you can do for your attitude, psyche, and overall levels of willpower and determination.
So sit down, look at your calendar, and find your ‘day on stage.’ It doesn’t have to be in front of strangers wearing just about your birthday suit. It could be a wedding in the near future, or maybe just the first day of summer when you know you’ll find yourself poolside sooner or later, and you want to look your best.
Mark down the date, grab your metaphorical manties, and commit to yourself to finally get the body you’ve always dreamed about!
Check out Jim’s website, www.fitnessandyourfinances.com, and follow him on Twitter @JSchultzFF!