Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Short term gain, long term pain

Craig Davidson, a canadian novelist went on steroids for 4 months to test their effects as part of writing his novel. He has written this macabre account here in the Guardian.

"The needle is 21 gauge, 1.5in. A hogsticker. Forty of them arrived in a package from Greece. Ever received a package from overseas? You get that puff of air when you rip it open - air that's travelled thousands of miles. Foreign, like stepping into a stranger's house.


Wake up, eat, jerk off, work out, eat, jerk off, eat, work out, eat, jerk off, eat, sleep.

The question most sane readers will be asking by this point is: why didn't he stop? Why, despite all the awful side-effects, did he keep plugging needles into himself.

I'm sure my answer is no different to that given by most steroid users: the results.Once we pass that period of massive physical change - childhood through our teens, puberty and growth spurts - we settle into a sense of our bodies. We understand the parameters and capabilities, what it can and cannot do. And though it's disheartening to say, at 30, I was already finding evidence of a body on its downslope. While I worked out regularly, I hadn't made a sizeable gain in years. In gym parlance, I'd 'hit the plateau'.Steroids shattered the limitations of my body....



Steroids are the classic example of short term gain for long term gain. The correct term is "anabolic steroids" - anabolic for muscle-building (as opposed to catabolic or muscle-wasting, which happens on the Atkins diet).

Now unlike most other things in short-gain-long-pain category, steroids are something that can be very tempting to use. Firstly because of the results - a great body and the resulting alpha male status. But more importantly, those results are so very hard to get. Ask anybody who has really tried to get 6-pack abs and a sculpted phsyique, and they will tell you how difficult it is. I give my hats off to anybody who has transformed their body because it is not only about exercise and workouts - it is about sacrifice, diet, perseverence and determination. It is so easy to lose heart and give up. The human body is one great adaptable machine that getting that perfect body becomes a mental game more than a physical game. Steroids cut out the mental efforts from the equation.

I can see this becoming a huge problem in India. Because Indian kids start out with a huge disadvantage required for muscles - a high-protein diet. It is easier if you are a christian from Kerala and eat beef/chicken/fish most of the week. But forget it otherwise. And diet is a major component to getting the desired body.

via Smoke Signals

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