Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sherri Gray Photoshoot at Masters Nationals

Here is a video of NPC competitor Sherri Gray, shot at the 2011 Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh, where she took 2nd place in her class.  The video is by Sherri's husband, who took it during a photo shoot by the legendary Gene X Hwang.

Sherri's website is here, and she has training and diet plans available under her "Store" link.

Bodybuilder Contest Prep "Evolution"

This (admittedly somewhat crude) time-lapse video shows the effect of a well-executed bodybuilding contest prep.  I think what he did was to shoot one still photo each day of the prep and then string them all together in order.

(Video embedding disabled, so click here to watch on YouTube!)

What you notice is that there is seldom any noticeable improvement day over day.  But, over the course of weeks?  Magic!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Incredible Difficulty of Everything.

I am coming to the conclusion that almost everything is incredibly more difficult than we believe it to be.  I am starting to see it from two sides at once:  from the perspective of someone who has succeeded at something difficult, and also from the perspective of someone totally "lost at sea" and unable to achieve something I did not expect to be so hard.

I know with a pretty high degree of accuracy what it takes to get the human body in a certain kind of muscular shape, at a certain relatively low body fat level.  And I see all kinds of clueless people in the gym, nominally with these same body transformation goals in mind, but unaware that they are completely doomed by their misguided efforts and lack of intensity.  Year after year, they work out in the same way, at the same very low intensity level.  If they are expecting to grow, they are disappointed, because year after year they look a little softer and a little smaller.

Sometimes I just want to shake them and tell them:  That's not going to work!  You're doing it wrong!  What do you expect to achieve with that miserable effort?

I watched an old episode of Hoarders last night on Netflix, with my daughter.  I like the show, because I am basically one of them.  I am not as bad off as most of the people on the show (or am I?).  But I have definitely been lying to myself about the level of dedication and effort it is going to take for me to shake myself loose of all the junk I've accumulated over the years.  My new efforts at cleaning the basement, for instance, come in fits and starts.  I will have zeal about it for a day or two, and then apathy takes over.  I somehow think that my tiny, miserable, sacrifice-limiting efforts will result in the removal of my basement clutter.  But in truth, I am making neglible progress.  At this rate, the basement and garage will not be clean ever in my life, not even if I live to be 100.

Any normal person would look at my basement, and shake his head in exactly the way I shake my head at clueless gym members.  Right now, I don't have any answers to this, just the single observation that everything is way harder than we had anticipated.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New IFBB Pro Bodybuilders Crowned at Masters Nationals

I had a great trip to Pittsburgh, PA, for the NPC Teen, Collegiate, and Masters Nationals this weekend.  This year, they divided the contest so that all the women's events were on Friday, and all the men's events were on Saturday.  I think it worked really well.

I was really happy to see Janet Kaufman win her class and turn pro!  I interviewed Janet for this blog last year.

I was also glad to see Bonnie Pappas turn pro.  She and her family sat next to me and my son at the men's pre-judging on Saturday morning.  She seems like a really great person.

Pittsburgh was delightful.  We didn't wander too far from the host hotel (except to visit Allegheny Cemetery), but it was great to spend Saturday night down by the river, with the colored fountains and the fireworks from the ballgame across the river.

Sunday, we attended church again at Grace Church, Mt. Washington, but that is a subject for another blog entry.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2011 NPC Teen, Collegiate, & Masters National Championships

"Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. ... Even those who travel to attend physique competitions are under considerable economic stress in this period in history."

Yes, I have had to skip a few bodybuilding shows already this year, and won't be making it to many more.  But, I will be attending the NPC Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh.  And one competitor I will be excited to see onstage again is Sherri Gray.  If her conditioning in this video is any indication, I think she is going to do really well!

A while back, I interviewed Sherri for this blog.  And posted this entry also.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Daughter's Christian Kitsch Art!

I blogged earlier about the Christian "kitsch" art of a lady named Flo Boatright.

A few months later, I think it was for Father's Day, my daughter made me very happy by crafting a similar piece of art for me.  I couldn't be more pleased with it.  Well, maybe I would be slightly more pleased if she had used more than two dogs.  But I love it; it really captures the spirit of the work of Flo Boatright.  And, thus, I am going to "pull rank" this Christmas, and demand that this be hung on our tree in a prominent location!

The story which inspired this work of art is, of course, found in 2 Kings, the 9th Chapter:

And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?
And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.
And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.
And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter.
And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: