ANBC Pioneer Valley Natural

ANBC Pioneer Valley Natural, April 13, 1996

I never had much luck at winning in athletics. It all stemmed from my little league coach when I was about 7 years old. Never could throw a ball–still can’t. But this bodybuilding stuff seems to be a little different. I won’t go on quite as long as my last post, but a few highlights.

The “Pioneer Valley Natural” ANBC contest yesterday was not as well attended as hoped for, but there were a couple of veterans with a rich history of success, along with a few newcomers like myself. There were a few newcomers who were like I had been two weeks ago–a touch green around the gills, wondering the whole time what was next. Women were better represented this time–six competitors, but I could see that for some it was still early in the season. As for my plans–diet and hydration status–I was right on. My striations now had striations, and I had to keep applying lip balm to keep my lips moist.

The night before this contest was different from the first one–I had house guests from Ecuador–a doctor, his wife and daughter, my hosts in Ecuador–and we were having a party for them–at my house!! It was supposed to end at 8:00, which I knew it wouldn’t. When everyone finally left a little after 10:00, taking my guests out on the town, at my request, I was able to start the “tanning” process. All of this went a little quicker this time. I didn’t apply the solution to my face until morning, so my color was less frightening, and I had fewer splotches. My guests were back and up in the morning, and they were awed by my transition. I had forewarned them, and they were rather fascinated by the whole process. I have no doubt that I’ll never hear the end of it when I’m in Ecuador in two weeks.

The trip to Amherst, the registration, the pre-contest meeting were uneventful, except that we were told that we could cross over into the Men’s Open, since there were fewer competitors than hoped for. This resulted in four competitors in the Masters, and five competitors in the Men’s Open Tall class. I had determined that I hadn’t pumped up enough last time, so I tried to be a little more aggressive with my pump up this time. It was warmer in the pump up room, and my vascularity came out a lot better. It was very hot on stage, but again, I think that except for sweating, that may have been somewhat advantageous to keep the pump going. It seemed like minutes between posing for the Master’s and the Men’s Tall. It all went quickly, but I felt like I could pay attention better this time. I was really glad I had done the previous contest, just so I had a sense of what was going on. Though the crowd was smaller, a familiar voice shouted to me at the beginning of the first round of poses–“Alright, #12 (my number again!)–you did your homework!! Great shape, man!”–It was the stranger from Fall River, who had made me feel so much better two weeks ago. The poses suddenly became that much easier…

Jimmy, my “coach”, had driven out with Nancy, a friend from Worcester who was judging, and the three of us went for some lunch after pre-judging, leaving my strategically prepared chicken and couscous in my car. This, I think, was perhaps a defining moment in bodybuilding history. We went to a Malaysian restaurant, Rasa Sayang, where I had the “Hot Pepper Chicken” in all of its sodium and spice laden glory. I didn’t have it dissected or modified–I ate it the way it appeared on the plate. I confess, though, that I only ate half of it, because I didn’t want to be bloated when it came time for my abdominal roll during my routine. The remainder I had packed for lunch the next day. I did, however, eat the complimentary tapioca dessert–my first dessert in about eight weeks.

In the end, I was not hurt in any way by the decision to eat this lunch–In fact perhaps it helped me. It seemed that after lunch, I looked even harder than during pre-judging–and certainly more vascular. Perhaps the extra sodium load in combination with the hot spices….Who knows?!! The routine went off like clockwork–including the brief segment toward the end, the timing of which had caused me so much difficulty before. Again, the abdominal roll was the signature move that got the crowd roaring. I managed to hold the crab most-muscular long enough this time, and then I headed back stage to watch the remaining competitors.

After the intermission, we were reassembled for awards. I was informed again of having won “Best Poser” in the Masters, and the remaining results were somewhat overwhelming. Because of the cross-over, I found myself with more than a handful of trophies, including an “Overall” trophy which can double as an entertainment center, and more importantly, qualification for the Nationals in either Masters’ or Men’s divisions.
My objective between now and November, other than to put on some size, is to find a good Malaysian restaurant in Boston. Hmmmm…

Thanks to everyone on the list–especially those of you who have sent me direct e-mail and those of you whom I have met in person–for your incredible support. What a great way to meet new people!
I’ll leave you all alone for a little while–don’t like to talk with my mouth full, and I have lots of eating to do….Good luck to everyone else doing contests this year–Have a blast!

Rick Silverman, M.D.
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Worcester, MA 01655

“What a man puts foremost in his life will tell you not only where he is going but about how far he will go”. –D. Ralph Millard, Jr., M.D.

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