Bodybuilding…New World, New Words, New Experience.

As writers we have to acknowledge that our writing journey will require a certain amount of commitment, determination and focus. Yes, knowledge in the craft of writing is also important, but we should remain aware that learning is always and forever present in our lives. We should never stop the act of acquiring new knowledge or skills. Expanding our knowledge base as writers is critical to developing new thoughts and ideas. All too often as writers we sit alone in our office and forget to experience life. We think logically, gathering research, formulating our plot, characters and setting, but are we missing a key ingredient in life? Doing!

In 1999, Richards J. Heuer Jr., explained that: “Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But like many other skills, such as riding a bike, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.

“Psychology of Intelligence Analysis”, Richard J. Heuer Jr, published by “Center for the Study of Intelligence”, 1999, ISBN 1 929 667-00-0

Knowing something in theory is fantastic but experiencing new sights, sounds, smells, tastes and even feelings is critical to our human development. Engaging with everyday people has provided me with real moments in time. Moments Can Shape Lives can be found here.

These moments have had a huge impact on who I am today. Those experiences brought an understanding of characterisation, knowledge, compassion and empathy into my everyday life. I don’t mean just going out with friends or networking with other writers or people in your chosen industry. I mean talking to someone you don’t know, doing something new, something so foreign to who you are or what you know that it scares and excites you at the same time.

Currently I am training each day to ensure I am fit enough to trek to Everest base camp next year. I train with a personal trainer once a week and I’m lucky enough to have a highly qualified personal trainer at that. This weekend I went along to support my trainer Oskar Sarkans and his team as they competed in the Southern Hemisphere Bodybuilding Figure and Fitness Championships. The bodybuilding world was completely foreign to me. Put me in the pop culture world or comic universe and I feel completely at home, but the National Amateur Body Builders Association (NABBA) and World Fitness Federation (WFF) world, well, I knew nothing about this kind of universe (so to speak). Of course, I did what I always do when I’m in a new world. I take notes.

I heard new combinations of words like “Front double bicep… and strike” and then “ ¼ turn to your right… and strike” and then “abs and thighs” or “most muscular”. The competitor’s professions ranged from, super mums (true on every level), teachers, painters, motor mechanic, dog trainer, civil engineer, homeschooling teacher, flight attendant, fire fighter, massage specialist and personal trainers just to name a few.

As the body builders posed the audience would shout out  words of encouragement like “come on girls” “69” (competitors number) “size matters”, “go Mandy”,  “beautiful Megs”  “tighten it”.  The competitor’s music ranged from mainstream (a few oldies but goodies), movie theme songs, independent artist’s songs and there was a couple orchestral arrangements with violins and chellos.

Competitors were asked to hold each others hands in the air for photos of 1st, 2nd and 3rd. As a complete outsider to this sport it was wonderful to see this true reflection of sportsmanship and these visual moments leave me with a lasting memory of the sport itself. Pats on backs as others left the stage and the women were seen to give a hug here and there. It was also nice to see women supporting each other in the sport.

The level of dedication and hard work these men and women subject themselves to every day is simply amazing. You soon learn that diet plays a huge part in this sport too. Nutritional needs that often require a supporting environment and in some cases serious sponsorship. So it’s not just about hitting the gym for hours. Like many other sports there is a real science behind these men and women achieving success.

I can honestly say the day was filled with lots of new experiences. I do feel a body builder may find a place in some of my writing in the near future. 🙂

If you would like to find out more about bodybuilding the National Amateur Body Builders Association (NABBA) and World Fitness Federation (WFF) can be found here

For the ladies who have emailed me asking about the gym I attend.  You can find World Gym Ashmore here

So until next time. Be brave and bold in your chosen field of creativity. And never be afraid to explore new techniques.


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