The THOUGHT that took me to TWO IFBB Mr Victoria titles
It's a feeling that I most likely will never be able to replicate. Well.. Possibly on October 29th.. but lets leave that for another blog post ;)
Standing there, centre stage in front of family, friends and my peers, holding the IFBB Mr Victoria title in both hands. This was a moment that lasted all of 10 seconds although it took 13 years to get there for the first title and 18 years for the second title.
It was a goal I set myself 18 years ago to win the Mr Victoria title in an open category. There had been one thought, one vision that had continuously played on my brain for 18 years. Let me take you back to October 22nd, 2005. IFBB Victorian championships. My very first show. Skinny little Ryan weighed in at an unimpressive 71kg and not in condition at all. I was excited for my very first competition. Nervous as hell but they were 'good' nerves. As I was backstage pumping up this unimpressive 71kg rig, I was chatting amongst some of the other competitors talking about training, food, the usual stuff backstage at a bodybuilding show. I then approached another athlete.. I will reframe from revealing his name, so let's just call him 'Frank'. Now 'Frank' was in the super heavyweights, a very well known bodybuilder at the time in the Melbourne community and was very successful. I was just in awe, eyes wide open thinking, WOW! what a physique! Something this small unimpressive 71kg rig could look up too. I approached 'Frank' and said 'Hey mate, I'm really sorry to bother you, but do you think I need a little bit more tan?' 'Frank' then looked me dead in the eye and said 'Who the fuck cares, you look like shit anyway, you shouldn't even be here' ... Let that sink in for a second... Here I was, excited about my first show, excited seeing so many other athletes that shared the same passion I did, wide eyed at the enormous amount of muscle that was in front of my eyes, and then I hear that. I was in shock, I was upset, embarrassed and scared, I took myself away from the crowd and just sat in the corner. I put my clothes back on, had packed my bag and was ready to do a runner out the back door. So upset at what I just heard, I was faced with two decisions, go home, or compete. Obviously I stayed, picked myself up, reapplied some tan, knowing how 'shit' I looked and how I 'shouldn't be there', I went out and competed anyway. I came last. But that didn't matter, I had achieved so much more in that moment that I could have ever imagined. Belief in myself and NEVER letting anyone deter you from your dreams or desires. This was also the last time I ever came last..
For well over a decade, training in gyms all over the state and country, I would regularly picture 'Frank' repeating those words to me over and over again, it was such a huge motivator for me. Really I should be thanking 'Frank' He did light a fire cracker up a small unimpressive 71kg rigs backside. At the time of meeting 'Frank' I was upset, angry, scared and embarrassed, though now I am grateful for it did assist me in becoming IFBB Mr Victoria.. twice ;)
From a small, unimpressive 71kg rig on October 22nd 2005 to a much larger, confident, 99kg rig holding aloft the 2017 IFBB Mr Victoria title. To now just a short few weeks ago holding up the 2022 Classic Mr Victoria title as well. Since then I have competed in a total of 16 bodybuilding shows. Placed first 8 times, second twice and third 3 times. I often think back to that day in 2005 and think what would have happened if I had packed up and gone home. Would I have somehow found my way back to bodybuilding? And if so, would I have had the success I did? Would I have ever become a coach? At the end of the day, we are always faced with decisions in life and our path is created by the decisions we make.
Now, onto October 29th 2022, as a try to take GOLD in the national IFBB Classic Open class. My final goal in the sport, my final target, my final destination. Classic Mr Australia. What a way to complete the journey. Bring it on!