The moment those thoughts were emitted from my brain, I scared myself. I couldn’t believe I was even thinking about compromising on my dreams.
I began my bodybuilding career at the relatively late age of 27 years old. Once I started, I was hooked. I firmly embraced the bodybuilding and training lifestyle. I competed in local contests and progressed to national and international during a 15 consecutive year time span. I lived and breathed it with the dedication and extreme focus that I firmly believed was needed to become a world-known champion and personality within the fitness industry.
I enjoyed the person I became along my journey and the opportunities that were presented. Those were the aspects of the extreme lifestyle that I focused on the vast majority of the time. How else could I have been so dedicated for so long? I was convinced that being this type of bodybuilder was my identity and purpose in life.
To me, becoming a champion bodybuilder and fitness authority who was fortunate enough to earn a living doing it for so many years was a significant step above the grocery store manager that I had the courage to graduate from earlier in my life.
As far as all of the sacrifices that I made that took away from my overall quality of my life were concerned, I was convinced they were just what was needed to be done at the time. They were merely stepping stones to my ultimate goals in life. I felt that I had plenty of time to achieve that balance and happiness that I wanted afterward when all of the time and hard work had been put in.
What I realize now is that I really wasn’t in any hurry to push myself to a higher quality of life, no matter what I might have told myself and no matter how much pain my journey may have caused me in my personal life.
I was getting everything I felt I needed at the time. More importantly, I was able to rationalize putting off going after the things in life that I told myself I wanted. I was terrified to pursue them because I didn’t know exactly how to do so. I felt very comfortable doing the same things that I had been doing for years.
I created a feeling of accomplishment, purpose, and direction that was really no more productive than running in place or treading in water. I was suspended in time and, the longer I stayed where I was, I stunted my emotional growth. I was preventing myself from growing and expanding in the areas of my life that I continually told myself I wanted to grow and expand the most.
There was really no hurry for me to transition to another stage in my life. I was hitting my main target’s bull’s eye dead on–no matter how much I complained to myself from time to time.
I now realize I was one of those men who had somewhat of a Peter Pan Complex. I lived as though I would never age and would somehow pull off being young forever. I wasn’t living with any sense of urgency and I was wasting a lot of time.
When I talk to men from around the world these days during their intense weekly one-on-one coaching sessions, I get the feeling that many of them are just as delusional about the concept of time as I was.
As men, we sometimes perceive ourselves as though we never age past 25 years old or so. Maybe many of us don’t get much past that age mentally and emotionally, but it becomes difficult at times to deny that our lives are going by a lot faster than we want them to.
I think that being so overly focused on my physical body for so much of my adulthood contributed greatly to me losing the perception of time and not attacking what I wanted in life with a sense of urgency. I was often complimented on how young I looked and for being in such great shape for my age. Although I appreciated the compliments, that was never important to me.
I don’t believe that a man’s physical attractiveness or how young a man looks are very important qualities to have. Youthful looks simply aren’t held in high regard for a man in this world. I have always believed that a man is judged in this world by how much he produces. Staying young looking was something that women had to worry about far more than men. Whether you think that’s fair or morally “right”, a woman’s value in this world is still disproportionally judged by her physical attractiveness and youth.
I always thought it was odd when I’d hear a man described himself as 45 years “young,” for example. To me, that was sure sign that he wasn’t producing at a level that satisfied him. I feel sorry for a man who eagerly asks someone to guess his age, only to watch his face literally droop and body slump in disappointment because the person he asked guessed correctly or guessed the man’s age to be “only” two or three years younger than it really was. So much of their identity was obviously tied to their looks. The more you produce, the less you have to think about those things.
I think the fitness industry can sometimes cultivate these distorted priorities in men. It can be ramped up even further when a man is continually praised for his youthful looks and fit body. It can also unconsciously diminish the importance for him to produce in other areas of life at a higher level.
The structured bodybuilding lifestyle is comprised of workout after workout; meal after meal; day after day; and for some of us, contest after contest. Looking back, I squandered way too much of my valuable time. Especially, when it came the areas of my life that I said wanted most–but were also the areas that I feared the most.
When I finished competing, I was 42 years old. I would like to say that I ended my competitive career because I was mentally and emotionally ready to move on to the next stages of my life. The truth is that I stopped competing and ended that dedicated lifestyle because I really didn’t feel there was anything left for me to accomplish. To me, it would have been just more of the same.
The massive investment of time and energy while not doing more to secure my financial future was far too great for just more of the same. Sure, I had a lot of ideas and plans as to what to do next. But there was nothing that I was really excited about or committed to aggressively pursing like I did with my bodybuilding career.
I was beginning the next phase of my life tired and uncertain.
What I wanted most was to have a loving family to share my life with. Or, that’s what I always told myself. During those times, I wasn’t even close to understanding the impact of all the challenges that I shared with you in this book that prevented that from happening.
From time to time, I would see images of that iconic scene from the Disney animated movie, The Lion King. The scene where Simba, Mufasa’s baby lion cub, is proudly being held up to the gods above with a magnificent, golden stream of sunlight shining directly upon him. I often thought about how awesome it would be to proudly hold my son the same way some day.
I always assumed I’d have the loving family and that baby son to hold up in the sunlight someday. But I was letting time slip by without realizing it. I was so busy in my structure and activity that I mistakenly believed was productivity and progress for such a long period of time. I was getting older and was going from one relationship to another. I really wasn’t too concerned though. I certainly had plenty of options. It was just a matter of time before I found the “right” woman for me.
But after awhile, I started wondering if I had wasted too much. Was I going to be forced to go through this lifetime without a family and the son I always assumed I’d have?
As I’ve documented throughout this the book, I have spent a lot of time, invested a lot of money, and have done a lot of work trying to figure myself out, break through my challenges, and become the man I really wanted to be.
All of a sudden, time seem to be slipping through my fingers and racing by too quickly.
It took me at least six years after my competitive bodybuilding career just to acclimate myself to becoming what I would describe as a “regular person.” It took even longer to recognize and get a handle on my trust, abandonment, and intimacy issues that I didn’t even realize that I had until a few years after I dug myself out of my bodybuilding hole. Without that all-consuming, demanding lifestyle, I could no longer distract myself from finally putting my energy and focus on making the changes I needed to make.
I felt I was finally starting to understand what was stopping me from the level of fulfillment in life that I was searching for. I made a massive amount of progress. The “chatter” that was going on in my head, that I really didn’t even realize existed until it finally became less noisy, was no longer constantly pounding in my head.
There was one defining moment that shocked my nervous system, scared me to the death, and motivated me to take my MANformation over the top.
I started dating an extremely successful advertising executive who had been really focused on her career for a very long time. She was a hardcore businesswoman who wasn’t the typical type of woman I dated in the past. I thought it might be better match for me at the time. I, myself, finally became extremely focused on my own business at a level of intensity that I never had before. She was no stranger to hard work and sacrifice and her level of success clearly showed that. Certainly, she would be more understanding than most women I dated in the past about all of the time I needed to put into my Mass Machine Nutrition supplement company and my coaching business. Or, so I thought.
She was also a little older than most of the women I usually dated but was still a few years younger than me. She didn’t have any children but said that she, not only always wanted them, but still planned to have a least one someday. Going forward with the relationship was a a bit of a challenge for me because she was probably a little too old now to have children. Unfortunately, I really believed that “someday” had already passed her by.
When I invested all that time about six years earlier creating my 8-page “dream life” in such great detail, that close and connected family I so badly wanted was prominently featured throughout it.
For the very first time in years, I found myself unclear as to what was most important to me in life. Whether I realized something differently later on, I was always able to get myself clear and certain about what I wanted to work toward.
I found myself more than willing to give this relationship a try despite how it might change the direction of my life that I spent so much time planning forever.
Everything changed for me when I caught myself saying to myself, “Well, it wouldn’t be so bad if I never have that son. I’ve lived a very good life so far and will and continue to do so without one.”
What the hell was I saying to myself?!
The moment those thoughts were emitted from my brain, I scared myself. I couldn’t believe I was even thinking about compromising on my dreams. I don’t always get what I want in life but one thing that I never do is consciously settle without scratching, clawing, and hustling, and giving my very best effort.
Who was this person thinking those thoughts? That just wasn’t me!
That was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for me, as they say. It was another one of those defining moments when I knew things had to change–and change immediately. That event was the final push to get over the top with my personal MANformation.
How much was I letting my focus on short-sided achievements get in the way of the life I really wanted to experience? How much was I letting the “distraction” of reaching certain goals get in the way of me overcoming the challenges that stood in the way of me of inviting and embracing deep love, intimacy and connection into my life?
Fortunately for me being a man, I still had time. I didn’t have a biological clock ticking away that would prevent me from having the family life I envisioned. I didn’t have to settle for anything less than I wanted. I just had to find a way to make it happen.
I’ve spent hours upon over the years coaching men around the world and getting them to focus on what they wanted most in life. Throughout my years in bodybuilding, I was proud to say that I had a positive influence on a lot of young men with their physical bodies.
After my competitive bodybuilding career and I after I developed my MANformation confidence and leadership program, I helped an entirely different category of men of all ages and different levels of success learn the skills necessary to become more confident in every social situation they entered. I guided them to become more productive, influential and persuasive. They instantly became more attractive to be around, not only to women, but to everyone in their social and business circles. I helped men earn more options in life instead of settling for only what they think is available to them.
MANformation was my personal journey to becoming the man I really wanted to be. It’s a comprehensive accumulation of all of the life lessons that I shared with you throughout this book. It is the series of empowering thoughts, specific actions, and effective strategies that I learned, executed, and eventually mastered. The MANformation program and the one-on-one coaching I do with men are my sincere efforts to help others avoid the pain that I suffered and experience more happiness and fulfillment–and do so a lot earlier in life than I did.
The number of emails that I’ve received over the years praising the program because of the impact it has made on men’s life is staggering. I knew with absolute certainty when I was creating the MANformation program that it would make far more of an impact on other people’s lives than everything I had done during my long and productive bodybuilding career combined.
With everything I knew and with such an amazing track record with so many other men, why would I even think about settling in my own life?
What a shame it would be if I never passed along these extremely valuable life lessons on to my own son. What a sad thought that I helped so many men around world and myself–but never had the opportunity to the son I never had just because I couldn’t get my own act together soon enough.
Many men who I come in contact with seem to think they’ll just work out all of their problems simply when enough time goes by. They mistakenly believe that the solutions to their challenges will magically become apparent to them when they get a little older and more mature. I can’t tell you how many men I know who have had the same challenges since they were 20 years old–and they’d be the first person to admit it.
Time alone will never change things. Only a different set of thoughts and actions will change things for the better in your life. Don’t fool yourself like I did for so many years. You’ll be wasting too much time. That’s time you can never get back.
You’re not going to be young forever. You don’t have an infinite amount of time to create the life that you really want.
I had to make changes. Because of the time I felt I wasted, I had a real challenge in front of me. I felt boxed in. I had to find an amazing woman who I was not only attracted to and had the same values, but she also had to still be young enough to have children. The age gap couldn’t be too large but it had to be large enough to make having children biologically possible.
Confidence in general and certainly confidence when it came to attracting women was no longer a challenge for me anymore. I had come a long, long way from that recently retired, reclusive bodybuilder who everyone felt somewhat sorry for and had to ask if he was having a good time at the nightclub seven or eight years earlier.
Fortunately, what I put myself through with what later became the foundation of the MANformation program and my men’s one-on-one coaching services, I knew I would have plenty of options.
But the question was if I was healed enough from my trust, intimacy, and abandonment issues that I carried from the past enough to really make a relationship work?
If you can relate to this story and you’d like some help taking your life to the next level, here’s your chance to get some help from Skip La Cour.
Each month, Skip La Cour gives away seven (7) of these coaching session absolutely FREE.
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