I am often disappointed by the attitude of natural bodybuilders. They come out of the gate with a limiting mind set that blocks their full potential.
I can't tell you how many times over the years people assume that the top drug free guys/girls are lying and cheating just because we've achieved a level of development and conditioning that exceeds what they've been taught to believe is possible or what they themselves have been able to achieve.
If I would have taken that mind set, I would have never achieved IFBB pro status, let alone win 3 Team Universe titles.....period.
I wrote an entry a few days ago about picking your role models carefully. That is exactly what I did.
I chose Skip LaCour because when I was trying to make it to my goal of being Team Universe champion and ultimately IFBB Pro he was at the competitive level that I wanted to reach. Skip kicked everyones butt at the 1998 Team Universe, including mine so I went home and went back to the drawing board. I did not assume Skip was cheating just because he was better than me. Instead I decided to learn from him. It was an obvious choice to me. Apparently he must know some things that I don't based on his level of success. So I contacted Skip, invested in a phone consultation and ultimately that proved to be a turning point that elevated me to elite natural bodybuilding status.
When I took 4th at the 2003 USA championships (a non-drug tested show) that sealed it in many peoples minds that there was no way I was drug free. That was said to be one of the most competitive Light Heavy divisions in USA history. The only 3 guys that placed ahead of me (in a class that had more than 25 guys) all went on to earn IFBB pro status and all 3 went on to qualify to compete in the Mr. Olympia contest. And the person who placed 5th behind me was 2nd at the USA the year before and also went on to earn pro status. Not bad company if you ask me. That is why 4th place at the 2003 USA is my proudest competitive accomplishment. My Team Universe wins are all very special but the top 5 USA finish was a personal victory of sorts that proved in my mind that I could compete with the best of the best. I had always wanted to be one of the top bodybuilders in the country natural or otherwise and that night I became just that! (Photo posted is from the 2003 NPC USA Championships)
Anyway....I've read people say that there is no way I could have done that and be steroid free....."You mean to tell me I am supposed to believe that Willet is that good that he could beat out guys who are taking steroids and place in that line-up??.....There is no way, that is impossible!"
Improbable - yes.....Impossible, obviously not because I did it.
I will never forget the Monday after the USA contest when I was back in Colorado I walked into Paul's office (Paul Delia - President of AST Sports Science) and he told me that few people will ever comprehend the magnitude of what I had just achieved in Las Vegas by taking 4th place as a life-time drug free bodybuilder. Paul was right. Few people ever will. Too many just can't open their mind to the possibility that with the right mix of intelligence, hard work, discipline, tenacity, persistence and god given ability that such a feat is possible.
If I had not believed, I would have not achieved. I believed people better than me - like Skip - and I learned from them. I believed in people who knew more than me - like Paul - and I learned from him. I could have had the same exact genetic potential but if my mind would not have been open to learn and execute I would never have achieved the same level of success.
Never let someone else tell you what is and isn't possible. How do they know anyway! Learn from those who've been there because you have to believe to achieve!