At one time, I had dreams of becoming a successful competitive bodybuilder. I was a young kid when I first picked up now a weight, but I loved the way lifting weights made me feel. I was extremely happy when I was training, and kept up that lifestyle for many years.
I say lifestyle because bodybuilding is a lifestyle. It requires tremendous dedication and self motivation. I cannot tell you how many times I did not want to train, and I went and did it with 110% intensity without the comradary of fellow team members or coaches. It is a really self centered sport and being a bodybuilder or weightlifting kind of leads you to become pigeonholed.
In order to really be serious about the process, it is important to be serious about eating, training, and sleeping. That becomes hard to do when all your friends are goofing off and eating and drinking all the normal everyday foods and drinks that are really not conducive to developing muscle mass and keeping fat accumulation to a minimum.
So, serious bodybuilders tend to hang out with guys and gals who do what they do. I never really hung out with the weightlifting crowd, so, I had a few friends who were not competitive but who lifted weights and helped me along the way. I had big dreams. I wanted to be Mr. America or at least compete at that level. I trained for many years and competed all through my teenage years. I was on my way, but an injury while training led me to realize that not all dreams will become reality. I had the surgery and took about 1 year to get in somewhat normal shape to be able to use my arm again.
While that was happening, I spent my time getting one of my college degrees. It felt good to get something done, but the dreams of that title always haunted me. I was honest with myself. I knew my biceps were never going to be full enough. I knew my shoulders would never be as impressive as the next guy’s. I knew one triceps had a little different shape than the other. You see, it is only a select few individuals who are that good to be at the pinnacle of the sport and that is the way it is- period! I accepted this even though I had dreams and saw myself on the stage winning.
I still trained during the years following the surgery, but on a different level. This is the only picture I have of my bodybuilding past. It has been hanging in my gym for over 20 years now. All the others were lost in Katrina.
I found powerlifting to be a haven for me. So I went back to it with a vengeance in 1992. It was easy because I could still lift weights, but I did not have to worry about every calorie or if I was balancing my shape just right. The most weight won. So nothing to be judged on except to say you actually made a legal lift.
Me at 15 years old deadlifting in high school. Aren’t the glasses cooler than heck? Someone should have told me something about that!
Anyhow, I have competed in powerlifting for over 30 years. I have lifted with some of the strongest men in the world and have seen some of the heaviest lifts ever attempted. It sure felt good to be part of that. Along the way, I tried my hand at a few bodybuilding contests-over 40 class. It was hard work. I started my program at about 307 pounds and in fairly good shape. I have pretty much always lifted and worked at hard labor, so staying in ok shape was not too much a problem. However, a bodybuilding contest calls for extreme muscle definition. I got down to 215 for the contest on the Gulf Coast and it felt great. It took 9 months, and I felt I was in my best shape of my life. I felt 19 again and I looked it. No one knew who I was when I walked into the room at gatherings, and they really treat you different. When I was big, they tended to stay away, but when I got slimmer, they started to ask how I did it and what was I doing.
It seems people really do judge you by your looks, and that was the first time I really noticed it because when I was young, I was always somewhat in shape, but as I got older, I was always really big, so I never got asked such questions. It felt good, but it also felt weird. Were they just talking to me because of the way I looked, or were they truly interested in me for me. Well, I think I know the answer.
Since my dad died, things have changed. I do not train very much and things have changed completely for me. I am back to the 300 pound Robert and 3x shirts are part of my life. Normal pants do not fit me in any way, shape or form. I am starting to hate every moment of it. I do not really have a whole lot of other people that I hang with other than my kids, my wife and my brother. Also, people have stopped with the question and answer sessions.
I am in the process of joining a gym right down the road, and it is open 24 hours a day. I hope to start training soon and getting back to my old ways. Not everything, but most of them. I have been saving and investing for quite some time with complete diligence, and it is time to put some effort into myself so that I will be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor if they ever come to fruition. I plan to start this journey by finishing this page and going for my first of many workouts. This is day one of my journey. Looking forward to hear from any of you who have similar situations and maybe we can help each other get to the next level.
Robert the DividendDreamer
Great photo. Holy crap your thighs are bigger than my torso.
Yes, they got really big when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. They were always larger than average, but I did tons of squats to the floor and they just blew up.
Thanks for stopping by.
Robert the DividendDreamer
I love GE too.Im 74 yrs old and still hitting the gym 3 times a week.My heavy weight days are over but working out is where I mediate and get in touch with my higher power.Im coming up on 29yrs of 12 step recovery and working out has been a important part of that along with going to meetings.Good luck
Looks like we have a lot in common. My heavy days are behind me, but I still have a bit of fire left in the furnace. I have been really aching to get back to 100 % training, but life has its little ways to sabotage some of my efforts. Although I do not drink alcohol or use any chemical substance, I am addited to other things just the same. My biggest addiction is food. However, for most people, being addicted to food is met with comments like, “Oh, he just has a big appetite.” I get the same high from food as others get from drugs and alcohol. Good luck to you, and you should be proud about your almost 3 decade freedom from use. Keep work I ng out because it definitely keeps you young. Stay in touch.
Robert the DividendDreamer
I just stumbled upon your blog, it’s so awesome to find another bodybuilder-investor! This was a great read, and damn are you swole bro! That pic of you as a teenager…you were the biggest 15-year-old I’ve ever seen, haha!
And your portfolio is equally massive. The amount of passive income it spits out is staggering! Seems like you’ve built muscular and financial fortresses for yourself, which is about as good as it gets 😛
I hope someday I can become even half as jacked as you are :and build a portfolio even half as big as yours!
I look forward to following your progress.
Thanks for all the compliments. Weights were a big part of my life early on. My best advise for anyone who is young and starting out is to invest in companies that pay nice dividends and reinvest the dividends into more shares. Make sure you keep putting cash towards your future, and put off buying things that you want because they will cost you tremendously in future retirement savings. Keep plugging at it, and keep in touch. Good luck.
Robert the DividendDreamer
AKA — Seeking Dividends
Follow me on Twitter– Seeking Dividends@DividendDreamer
Wow – are you really 15 years old in the bottom picture?! That’s a lot of weight – you can even see the bow in the bar! I don’t think anyone can say anything about your glasses is you’re lifting that much weight.
Yep, that’s me. I had a pretty big deadline as a young guy. The first time I went to the YMCA, I pulled over 350 at about 12 years old. One of my very best friends was made that day- He called me the scholarship boy with muscles ever since that day. Yeh, the glasses were really cool-let me tell you.