"To me, okay... Ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. Now it's very difficult to do. I mean it's easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a feeling like 'pretty cool' and all that. Or I can make all kind of phony things and be blinded by it. Or I can show you some really fancy movement... But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly. Now that my friend is very hard to do." -@brucelee
Been looking at bodybuilding from a different viewpoint lately. @artemusdolgin and his words have started to resonate with me in regards to life, bodybuilding, and competing.
I started my bodybuilding journey in 2001 before there was a physique division and loved bodybuilding poses from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It was another way of expressing myself as an artist. I never saw myself big enough to compete in bodybuilding and I got thrown into competing in physique 3 years ago but I felt stuck with it's limited posing and boardshorts. Competing has now lost it's place on my list of priorities as I've lost the enjoyment in it. Competing is very demanding and I respect all who do compete. (Like legit compete, not show up on stage fat.)
My priorities have shifted and I don't want to give my family and friends hell during my prep anymore. I'm not the nicest guy when I'm depleted and relationships are more important for me now. I don't know how many more years I have left with my parents or even myself. I'm starting to realize the more important things in life as I get older and my philosophy on life revolves around death. Sounds like some dark sh!t but it's really not. You learn to appreciate the beauty of life.
I'm still in love with the art of bodybuilding and will continually to work on my proportions and lines as a heathly lifestyle. I want to improve my flexibility and hit a legit vacuum.
Let's just say if I do decide to compete again, it'll be in the classic division... and I'll be hitting the splits like @officialflexwheeler and with a vacuum so deep you can eat cereal out of it. No, I won't be competing to be Mr. Olympia, but out of enjoyment and art.
Ultimately, to honestly express myself.