By Peter San Nicolas
Lance Armstrong is taking quite a beating these days. His bottom is probably more sore from the last media enclave than it was after weeks on that skinny road-bike seat.
Vijay Sighn, prolific professional golfer, was recently reprimanded for unknowingly taking a natural supplement that contained banned substances. The reality of PED’s, or performance enhancing drugs, is more and more at the forefront.
Why is this so rampant? What causes these individuals to risk it all in order to win?
We do! We watch and cheer. We pay and promote. We drive the marketing that pays the money and gives the recognition to these athletes. We set them upon a throne to be worshiped.
It is their, and our, human nature to want to have that status and recognition. We support the marketing machine that pays the millions upon millions to athletes and stars in general.
No, I’m not endorsing, promoting, or making excuses for those who use PEDs. It’s wrong and against the rules.
I was at a crossroads when I was a 19-year-old bodybuilder. I was being groomed to become a professional bodybuilder.
I was given two paths. One, I could continue down the road of competitive and soon professional bodybuilding, ridden with steroids, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, synthol, diuretics and big prize money. Or I could choose a clean path of natural bodybuilding for health and well-being.
Fortunately, I chose the latter and my dreams of the professional circuit were ended by my own will. I competed one last time and earned top honors in the Musclemania World Championships of Natural Bodybuilding.
I urge you parents, coaches, and teachers to encourage and teach those you influence to choose the right path, no matter if the rewards and recognition are not as high and mighty as what Mr. Armstrong once earned.
It’s not enough to gain the whole world if you lose your soul and your dignity. Young people weighing your options on a professional career, strongly consider the consequences of your choices. Have you really given your best with what you have been given, or are you looking for a short cut?
Imagine if you make it big on the back of PEDs. Now imagine all your lies and cheating being played over and over again on national television, in the tabloids, and to your kids.
Is it worth it? Probably not, but what we all should fear is that some are OK with this.
Peter San Nicolas, owner of Ramona Fitness Center, is a certified fitness professional, CrossFit Level 1 trainer and certified golf fitness professional.