Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Movement on the train...

I've been reading this book on the trains in the morning (another perk of the commute...I get time to do those things that have always slipped by.....).
The book is called Muscle by Jon Hotten (I know, how predictable) its a fantastic, enlightened uncynical and open eyed look into the sport I love and live by.
Suddenly I got to a part of this book about muscle, roids, sacrifice, competition and narcissism and hit this passage.... I cried. A grown man crying on a train, hiding behind his Diesel sunglasses....

I hope you read this passage and understand the story, I hope you read the passage and get an insight into the sport which changed my life and a sport that dictates so much of who I am.... I understand that some people just don't get bodybuilding, I hope this is one insight they may understand and empower them to see into the passion in my heart.

**And a cheat note so you understand what happens at the end Dexter Jackson, Chris Cormier, Dennis James and Ernie Taylor are in the top 6 bodybuilder in the world at the moment. The top of the sport.

"Backstage, another bodybuilder was pumping up. I'd seen him earlier and hadn't thought anything of it. He looked pretty much the same as all the others - big guy, warm-up suit, moving slowly (perhaps even more slowly than the rest) - but he wasn't/ He was there to guest pose. Kerry introduced him to the crowd during the break between the free-posing round and the announcement of the top six finalists.
'When I first knew Simon Robinson, he was a lad trying to get a pro card,' Kerry said. 'He used to drive all the way from Mansfield to my gym in Manchester so I could check him over. Late one night I had a call from Simon's brother asking what time Simon had left the gym. he hadn't com home. Turns out there'd been a very bad car accident, and Simon was in a coma. Doctors had to amputate his right leg below the knee. A few days later, he had problems and it was amputated above the knee. His other leg was broken in nine places, and when it healed, it healed crooked so it had to be re rebroken. He had broken ribs and internal injuries. When he came out of the coma, I had to tell him that he'd lost his leg. I said to him, "Be strong. Your family is outside and they need you to be a man.: Simon looked up at me and nodded.
'When we first started running this Grand Prix in Manchester three years ago, Simon came to the show in a wheelchair. Two years ago, he came in on crutches. Las year, he walked in unassisted. Tonight, he's guest posing...Simon Robinson...'
It was an astonishing sight. He appeared from the back of the stage, swinging his hip to lift his artificial leg up the steps. As he neared the stage front and began his routine, everyone in the room stood up and acclaimed him. There were tears on his cheeks as he struck the poses. What a moment it was. His body was a marvel, even in a hall full of them. The circumference of his left thigh visibly exceeded that of the artificial one. His waist was tight and his shoulders and chest broad and thick. His arms were smoking. He was dry and hard and vascular. He was in contest shape, but he's already won all of his contest. This was his valediction. The ovation went on long after the music stopped. Plenty of people in the audience were in tears along with him. They understood enough about training to know one thing: that they could never really understand what it was to be Sion Robinson.
That understanding was important - without it, it would have been just another made-for-TV moment. Every time bodybuilding challenged me to call it small-time, and irrelevant, and worse, it threw up something funny, or mad, or touching, or even redemptive, and this was one such thing. Unprompted and without prior arrangement, Dexter Jackson, Chris Cormier, Dennis James and Ernie Taylor walked onstage and stood in line with Simon in the middle, the highest position. Kerry called them through the seven compulsory poses, and that night, Simon Robinson's circle was squared."

Fuck, why is everything blurry again.... no really, I just have something in my eyes....


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