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Before I turn my attention to you guys, the Ab Salute gym members, let me wrap up my debut competitive season.I did not make the top six at the World Finals in Rome on November 3. I returned home empty-handed, aside from a certificate of participation and a few awesome photos.

“Did you win a trophy,” my hopeful six-year old daughter asked the morning after I returned.

“No sweetheart.”

“What about a medal [the ones they hang around your neck]?,” she continued.

“I’m afraid not darling.”

“So you didn’t get anything?” she queried, curiously, not fully understanding how months of hard work can result in nothing material to proudly display.

I expected nothing but experience. I got nothing but experience. So tell me – why do I feel so disappointed?

Perhaps it was because I was in the first call-out. This is where the judges have seen something in the first quarter-turns that they like. The top three were compared soon after. But I was first to be called out in the next comparison round. By this point, I started to believe that I could place as high as fourth.I was buzzing. What an achievement this would be.

But that bubble was popped when I was called with a handful of others to the side of the podium, having been deemed not good enough to finish in the top-six placings. Condition was, I thought, sharper than ever – and we were all told condition was key. Clearly, I just don’t have the size right now. Size that only consistency over time can produce. My plan to take 18 months to build 12-15lbs of muscle remains the correct decision.

I did everything right. But everything seemed so wrong in the days and weeks after Rome. It is a disappointment I do not intend on experiencing in the future. Perhaps the highlight was almost being thrown out of the Colosseum when a guard blew his whistle and demanded pictures be deleted after I removed my shirt to pull a most muscular while bellowing, “Are you not entertained?” I certainly was.

In the coming weeks, I intend to sit down with some of you Ab Salute members to chart your stories, your journeys through whatever goal brings you to the gym. Two very successful athletes have already agreed to be grilled by yours truly and their stories will feature soon.

I’m looking forward to it.


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