There was a day late last march, I was sitting on a tram in a corner, hiding, silent tears rolling down my cheeks. It was 8 weeks after my 2nd shoulder reco, and in the space of 2 days, I’d had blood injections into the torn tendons of both my elbows, blood injections into the torn tendons of both hamstrings and double cortisone injections into both hips. This was round 2, groundhog day of round 1, 3 weeks earlier with hip xrays thrown in for good measure. The doctor had said to me ‘see how the cortisone goes but we may have to consider hip surgery, in the mean time I recommend you stop this activity, your body can’t handle it. Don’t do anything, not even walking. In fact don’t even get out of bed if you can possibly avoid it, in case you break something else’.
He was only half joking.
It was a bad day.
A few days later I broke the news to my trainer that I had to stop training and probably had to give away the bodybuilding. I was crushed, having found a sport that it seemed I was perfectly suited for, my goal of building on my unexpected novice success and aiming for the pinnacle of Natural bodybuilding – a professional card at Natural Olympia turned to ashes at the end of a (several) bloody needle. Now we would never know, and possibly always wonder if I could have been world champion.
It was then that my trainer did something extraordinary.
He stepped off a cliff.
He backed himself and his training methods completely, staked his professional reputation and committed absolutely to the process of getting a broken down 43 year old not just back on stage, but back on stage with an eye popping, A grade physique. I was doing a profile on him at the time and had asked if he thought I could continue with bodybuilding. These are his exact words:
‘Seriously if Sarah can get her troublesome shoulders sorted and the rest of her body that is not working at the moment, there’s no stopping her. As we all know, one of the biggest things in this industry is mental strength and Sarah’s got that in spades. She’s genetically got the potential to put on a lot of muscle, so I suppose she can take this wherever she wants…it depends where she wants to go – I’m prepared to go there with her, alter the training and push you as far..we can go anywhere as long as we can get your shoulders sorted and build up your upper body…
big big potential ..big time…that’s the only thing that you were lacking last year…you had the pins.. you had everything, you had the shape in your upper body, the symmetry but you were lacking a bit of upper body size and that was down to the fact that we didn’t have enough time to build up much muscle in your upper body for one and the fact your shoulders were restricting the movements we could do…’
I was stunned.
And he was right.
I think the above shows just how much is possible with great team work, absolute commitment to a process, complete trust in each other, patience, vision, determination and hard work.
For me though, the greatest achievement of the last few weeks, is being able to repay Aiden for having the courage to take that leap into the unknown, put his professional reputation on the line and validate his belief in me as well as his own ability, no matter what obstacles we have had to overcome.
I will be forever grateful that.
I won’t be going to Olympia this year, I am not ready yet. We have more work to do, weaknesses to fix and we now have a great foundation on which we can build, as well as a totally repeatable process that delivers results.
I can’t wait to get back to the gym tomorrow and get started.
2013 Competition Results:
WNB Victorian Titles:
- 1st Masters o40
ANB Victorian Titles:
- 1st Masters Figure o35
1st Short Figure
Overall Victorian Figure Champion
ANB Australian Titles:
- 3rd Figure Short
INBA Australian Titles:
- 1st Physique Intermediate
2nd Physique Open class 2
IFBB Victorian Titles:
- Open Figure DNP