I have to admit that I haven’t always been great at finding balance in my life with bodybuilding, but I’ve learned how to get better through the years. It’s not an easy thing to do when you’re competing to be the best at something. I’m pulled to capitalize on every minute of every day to set the standard of what it means to be the best bodybuilder in the world. When I “give up” one day of training, I feel like it’s one day I’ve lost. I constantly think about how I can be better today for tomorrow.
The best way for me to find balance is to remember how much support I’ve been given. I recognize that my sacrifices as a bodybuilder also affect the people around me, so I have to decide when it’s necessary for me to be selfish and when it’s time to give back to the people around me. When I’m competing or getting ready for a show, I’m fully focused on me. I never allow outside distractions to affect me. People can either get on board with me and be part of the journey or they can stay home. Those who ride with me and truly support me through tough times will get my full attention, love and support right back when “game day” is over.
Once my goal has been accomplished, I always give my all to the people closest to me. When I say “people closest to me,” I mean everyone who genuinely cares for me. These people want me to succeed in bodybuilding and in life with happiness, health, and longevity. The bodybuilding aspect is one part of my life. Yes, bodybuilding is WHO I am. And my “circle” understands that—they support it.
I take notice of this. I never take people who want the best for me for granted. When the competitive season comes to an end, it’s time to give my all to my relationships. Spending quality time with others is so important to me. It’s actually important not just on a personal level, but professionally as well. I always perform better and see better progress when I’m content and happy in my relationships.
As humans, we are meant to support each other. I don’t believe any one person ever created a legacy for themselves on their own. Rags to riches doesn’t exist without help and support from others. It’s easy to want to give back when you can recognize and appreciate the people who have helped you along the way.
Having balance between bodybuilding and relationships doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice one for the other. For me, there’s a time and place where my full focus and attention needs to go. When I’m 4 weeks out from the Mr. Olympia, I’m going to give my all to bodybuilding. When I’m in my off-season, I’ll continue to live the bodybuilding life going to the gym, eating a ton of food, and consistently doing cardio. But the people in my life will also get a lot more of my attention. Those who support me in my time of need will get my full support in return. I wouldn’t have it any other way.