It had been a bitterly cold winter 2019 and the success in the Midlands I had the previous year is a loving and passion driven memory on that long yet special autumn September day.
The ice clasped onto the locks of my gym, 3 woolly hats, pairs of tracksuit bottoms & coats where the new attire and hard work was never shy.
That’s right, I had got my eye on something…
What was it I hear your brain thinking 🤔
The northern counties natural physique championships.
I could smell the theatre wooden air once again, it had me hooked like the wise man who said.
“ I got the eye of the tiger as soon as I stepped into the gym.”
Yet I knew I had 16 weeks in front of me and this time the 16 weeks was going to come out of MWStrength&Performance my gym unit in the very village I’m proud, humbled & grateful to have grown up and come from.
I got to work.
Hard weeks, sessions and somewhat Rosie cheeks.
It was ice cold at MWStrength&Performance. A cold winter enjoying a nice bit of rest bite on colder days in front of the log fire after training with my eggs and oats whilst my grandad would sleep. All be it I would have to chop the logs first…
That man knows where his breads buttered.
That settees had some hours off that bloke. 😴😆
“Thanks for that one grandad.” 😉❤️
As the weeks dialled down it was of course going to get to those championship weeks out of prep at 7 or 8 weeks out where the depleted calories kick in, the diet jaw comes out to play and the energy runs a little low.
To my delight though I recruited an old sofa off my grandad so when I wasn’t training others I could nap in the gym.
I made it my second home and stop there a couple of nights especially that night I left my key and had to walk all way back from home. More on that another time though. 😉
Throughout this time I was getting requests for me to help more people with their physiques and also taking trips to London to again continue my professional development on a weekend and continuing my writing & videos.
Someone said at the time.
“Where do you find the energy for it all Matt?”
The love and passion for personal development & helping others is grounding for me & pushed me on.
Through all the tenacity, effort and determination.
Show day finally arrived, it had felt like the path that had led the yellow brick road for weeks prior.
There had been long days, tough sessions, hard dieting and much more throughout the weeks yet we was there, feeling good and we travelled north to Manchester together.
Myself and my grandad meeting a good friend Mark at the Civic Centre.
It was a crisp morning and soon hotted up.
I turned up in a old pair of tracksuit bottoms and simple hoody with my tan gleaming through from the night before.
Ready for my next coat that afternoon and then the glitter and glaze. 😊
Dream tan such stuff. We’d been there the previous year. The sort that doesn’t come off easily and looks like your spraying a fence with Cuprinol yet makes you shine on stage.
I sat for a while watching great competitors walk in with there bags.
Some serious, some not so and some lapping it up and why shouldn’t they. A great day, a great show with great people.
I sat right on that park bench.
Smiling, knowing I was going to do my best and doing those in my thoughts, close in my heart proud.
My grandad off for his sandwiches and afternoon nap.
He didn’t want to miss me.
He said “wake me before you go on Matt, il be there.” Never let me down in 31 years that bloke. ❤️
Him and Mark claimed there spot in the theatre.
Me and Mark then went for a coffee and chat.
Wasn’t on until late so took our time before a graceful appearance.
There’s something about the aura of the whole experience for me it’s like the art of bringing together a full portfolio of work to see it dance and float in front of your eyes.
A therapeutic theatre with a feel together of butterflies yet somewhat warming.
I’d trained ever so hard through a gruelling prep for this one knowing the calibre ranges from Aberdeen to Birmingham and everywhere north in between.
And then I was called.
“Time to get ready Matt” the reception lady said.
Mark and my grandad said “good luck”
“You have got this.”
There great people. ❤️
I went to the changing rooms.
The guys and the women where looking fab, glitz and glam and I could smell the freshness of the changing room tan.
The girls in there glittery bikinis and lads in their pants. Looking sharp in the tooth, tanned like the roof and some feelings of points to prove.
It was time.
Time to bring it altogether.
Time to do what I set out to do again.
Competing only against me.
I took a gulp…
Thoughts of my late grandma who had gone before us set in. I Looked up, taking a grounding & grateful moment to remember those dark ice cold mornings in the rustic gym unit where the cast iron clamps to your hands like a g clamp to a wooden bench, the sacrifices of food, nights out and much much more to humbly and respectfully get here and most of all how proud my Nan & Grandad would be.
As I blinked I realised it was time.
Time to deliver.
We was back, in a good place and I felt in a special element as they called me out to go an deliver.
I was in my lane and there was no traffic this time.
A day that grabbed a piece of my heart and hugged it tight to say…
“This is where you belong Matt. You can sing & dance gracefully to your song up here Matt.”
And to stage I went & delivered.
A day of remembrance.
It touched me deep.