Seeing my first bodybuilding contest I came to understand my appreciation more distinctly. A few weeks ago I drove to Lancaster, PA to see the NABBA Nationals. Three men were up for Pro Bodybuilding. Two of the them posed earlier, so we only saw Branco Teodorovic. He was remarkably wide, huge shoulders. His routine emphasized all his strengths.
When he was done, Branco, Jose Dejesus and Jason Zinszer lined up. Branco looked even broader with others to compare him to. Jose powered himself up the steps and lumbered over to his position. The man was thick and massive. Jason sprung into place with an athletic enthusiasm. I immediately whispered to my friends Jason, the smallest was the winner. They looked at me questioning. It was a gut reaction and I couldn’t defend my hunch. Jose won, Jason came in 3rd.
Jose was larger and thicker, but to the point that it impeded his ability to move. His musculature seemed to be a hindrance. I’m not sure if it’s the age difference, but Jason, the youngest carried himself with grace. His chest was higher and not heavily weighed down. Jose’s body didn’t seem like a celebration of muscular development as much as it was burdened by it. I am not disagreeing with the judges, nor am I criticizing the criteria. The beasts are truly amazing and though inhumanly unreal, they don’t ignite my inspiration.
Seeing this contest I was able to clarify what I’ve always admired. Ever since I was a kid I looked up to bodybuilders as the embodiment of respect and reverence for the body. The life style was clean and directed at promoting health, fitness and strength. For me, those three principles are the foundation of the aesthetic model I admire most and aspire to.