Here is a summary of my recent experience at the Atlantic Pro city. After arriving to New York after an 8 hours flight I had another 8 hours to wait before meeting my Dutch friends before hiring a car to drive to Atlantic city. So I decided to spend some time being a tourist and made the most of my precious time by jumping on a sightseeing bus in NY. And what an impressive experience. During my guided two and a half hours I got to see the best of this amazing city and although I was a complete stranger in this enourmas city this tour will go down as one my best tourist memories and I can truly recommend this city as a place worht visiting.
After chilling out at a local cafe and having to wait for a delayed flights me and my friends were finally off by rented car towards our hotel. All in all the entire journey from Sweden and door-to-door took nearly 25 hours and this indeed had an interesting effect on my body which ballooned up from all the retained water.
On the next day, Wednesday, it was time to start loosing some water and so me and my friend Khalid who was preparing and qualified for the open category went to visit the local gym. A secret for those wanting to loose additional retained water is to head out into the city and go shopping... For Thursday, it was all rest and mental preparation for my part, my body had by now recovered nicely and was starting to get excited about the competition on the following day.
Looking over the list of contestant I felt that I stood good chances to place at least in the top 5 but as I would soon realise; one never knows who will show up on the day... It turned out that 22 contestants showed up on the Friday ready to fight it out for a qualifying spot to Mr Olympia. Believe me that when you stand next to all these other contestants who have worked as least hard as yourself, some even being able to committ themselves full time, then you do really put things into perspective.
It's a great competitive atmosphere and you will find noone who is as self critical and humble as the serious bodybuilder. Keeping my hopes up I was still optimistic for a top 5 place. Although after not being called up during the first or second call out my hopes started diminishing...finally on the third call I got my chance and then again on the fifth and then I knew I might stand a chance if I could get the chance during the free posing routine the following day so I kept my hopes up. But in spite my efforts I had to be content with an 8th spot for this year contest. Many have asked if I was disappointed. Of course, you have to always strive to achieve your goals and when your efforts don't meet your expectations feelings of disappointment arise.
And of course even when you achieve your goals you must aim to exceed them, to get better and remain hungry for success. Look, you can only influence yourself, the great thing with bodybuilding is that you have noone else to credit for your success or failure except yourself, what others are doing is beoynd your control.
An example: Melvin Anthony, an excellent bodybuilder who expected to win the open category. He was great but still had to be satisfied with 4th place. Competing at the IFBB pro level takes serious committment. If a guy like Melvin who can committ full time to bodybuilding from sufficient income from supplement and magazine contracts and still have to be humbled by not making the top three then someone like myself who still works full time and have only recently become pro must be patient and realistic. The great thing is that only the truly great bodybuilders such as Anthony, Dexter Jackson, Jay Cutler and a few others will take every disappointment and turn it into motivation to influence and improve that which is within our control = ourselves.
Follow the history and developement of any Mr Olympia and you will note that these champions didn't just appear one day, most had to fight disappointements for many years before finally getting to the level where there efforts were rewarded. Now that is what bodybuilding is all about. And so I will harness this experience and get back to work on fulfilling my goals and my dreams, defeat was a word only invited by those who never dreamt of success.
So count on it that I'll return bigger and better than before. This doesn't happen over night and it will take a couple of years before I weigh in closer to the 202lb (rather than my current modest 190lb) but God willing and I'll one day make it Las Vegas.
Now I'll be continuing my journey to LA where I'll be for a week to takes some photos and sort out a couple of business matters.
Thanks to all my fans for writing and supporting me (you know who you are).
And to all my sponsors especially ProteinFabrikken for their generosity and support. Finally, thanks to my family and friends and most importantly to my wife Rawa for her enduring support especially during my dieting and preconstest preparations.
Photos to follow shortly.
Best wishes, Ahmad