Overcoming Obstacles by Joseph Mackey

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I first did my first bodybuilding competition in 2008 at the lone star competition in Plano TX. I placed 3rd in novice and after that show I made the decision that bodybuilding was not for me. I hated the dieting, the cardio and at that time my mentality was not built for all the discipline and structure competing required.

As time went on I continued to lift and just enjoyed being the strong powerful guy in the gym. I enjoyed eating whatever, whenever and going to the gym and lifting as heavy as I could each workout. At this point in my life I didn’t have any specific goals or drive. I was working a corporate 8-5 job and started a family with my first born son.

The first day after my son was born, I found out the next day that he needed open heart surgery due to a condition called hypo plastic left heart syndrome. Therefore the next day he had surgery and made a full recovery. Months down the road he started to have complications at 7 months and unfortunately spent the last few months of his life fighting until on December 17, he passed away.

After the funeral I was full of confusion and anger. I remember to this day that my family member walked up to me and said, “Look at me, everyone is watching you now. They will wait to see if you’re going to use this tragedy as motivation to better yourself or if it’ll bring you down to rock bottom.

One week later I went to the gym, hired a trainer and won my first overall bodybuilding competition at the Ronnie Coleman classic. Months later I won the super heavyweight Texas state championship. I went on to do North Americans where I placed 9th in supers. My goal was to become pro and it finally took place after years of dedication and hard work.

My overall message is that things will happen that we cannot control. It is up to you on if you will stress and let it overcome you or if you’ll overcome the unfortunate situation.

Bodybuilding allowed me to release my emotions in a positive way and in the process I’ve been able to network with some great individuals and grow within the sport. Whether it’s lifting, reading, sports or etc, when unfortunate things happen, use it. Use it to push you thru hardships and I’ll guarantee you that not only will people will respect you more but you’ll be proud of yourself for turning a negative into a positive.

Stay focused

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