The Steroid Story
By Lockflow.com Member, NoPain
People are faced with many choices in life. Different pressures growing up force us to face different choices and to make our choices for different reasons. While growing up I always dreamed of being big and strong. When I was 14, I got my first gym membership and began lifting weights every morning at 6am with my dad. My dad was tired of me being bullied and knowing that I was small, felt this was for the best. I had no concept of over-training or any experience in a proper training routine. I would go to the gym everyday and work the same muscles over and over.
Eventually, I began to understand how to do a basic routine from watching other people and I started making gains. After lifting for a few months I stopped making gains and began to get frustrated. I started trying all kinds of supplements that at the time were supposed to help you get bigger and stronger. I spent the next 2 years experimenting with health store supplements. I moved on from training with my dad and started working out at a new gym. The longer I worked out at the same gym the more exposed I became to the alternatives available for getting bigger and stronger.
Spending most of my life as a small kid, the thought of a quick and easy way to get big and strong seemed worth anything. I spent several years being bullied by bigger kids and would do anything to change that situation. I had heard very little about the side effects of steroids and nothing that I had heard was worse than what I was going through at the time. I first got steroids from someone in the gym and felt that now my life would be changed forever. Now I would be just like the big, strong people that I idolized so much.
The first steroids I took were oral steroids and I began taking them within 5 minutes of getting them. Over the next several weeks my body began changing drastically. The day that I started the steroids I weighed 152lbs. I had used every legal supplement I could find for the previous 2-3 years and had only gained 10 lbs. After 3 weeks on steroids my weight had soared to 188lbs. I could not believe it I had gained 36lbs and felt that my prayers were answered.
Suddenly people were much more cautious before starting trouble with me and I had a new found confidence. People also began talking about that kid who got so big so fast. My life then changed as I had a new label that I was not counting on. I was a steroid user and heard many comments. After 4 weeks, my supply of steroids and money were gone. I did not know the proper way to cycle off of steroids and had put my body in a bad position. My weight began to drop even faster than it had gone up. After a month I weighed 162 lbs and became depressed and hopeless and my life began to spiral out of control. I started using drugs and alcohol to deal with my feelings. I did not understand the chemical reactions going on in my body that were contributing to my anger and depression. I became very violent and rebellious and dropped out of school.
Steroids had thrown my life out of control. After 2 years of living a very unhealthy lifestyle, I found myself back in the gym trying to get back what I felt I had lost. I began training with a new passion and was getting strong quickly. The owner of the gym noticed my unusual strength and asked if I would be interested in competing in an upcoming Powerlifting competition. I thought it sounded interesting and spent the next 4 weeks preparing for the competition. After my first competition I was in love with the sport and began training with a national team coach using a specially designed workout.
My focus had changed and I no longer wanted to be the biggest, now I wanted to be the strongest. Over the next year I competed in 5 competitions and got 4th place every time. Frustration began to set in and the temptations of steroids began to seem worth it again. Within weeks, I was back on steroids and my quest for 1st place began. A few weeks later I did my first competition using steroids. I got 1st place and began to dominate everyone else. The stage was set and I spent the next 12 years doing Powerlifting Meets, Strongman Competitions and Highland Games most while using and abusing steroids.
Steroids enabled me to get to a level in competition that I would never have achieved without them. But where did it really get me? The sport provided little to no money for winning. I spent thousands and thousands of dollars putting drugs in my body that were not even made for human consumption. What kind of self absorbed athlete is willing to inject drugs into their body that come with a picture of a dog or a horse on the bottle just to have a big bench press?
Years and years of taking these drugs for long periods of time undoubtedly did damage to my organs that I can never erase. I have experienced nearly every side effect over the years and none of them were pleasant. Steroid use is a choice that many athletes face while training to become better. I would tell any athlete considering steroids that the long-term ramifications of steroid use, are not worth the short terms results that you are seeking. Steroids are illegal and you can go to prison for possessing them. As the sport of MMA grows, and the notoriety and benefits of winning increase, fighters will be faced with the same tough choices. Do the smart thing, stay focused on intense training and healthy eating, take vitamins and choose from some of the many supplements available to today’s athlete and you will achieve your goals, while preserving your health.