A Beginning – The Journey into Bodybuilding with a Disability…

Here’s the start of a new series going back over and reviewing that spark that ignited my journey from the gym to the stage…

Taking off my self imposed bubble wrap…

Reminiscing through some competition photos from the fantastic Shotshoots (Give Fivos a follow!) it keeps the desire burning for future comps – Surfacing questions like how can I develop that? How can we get this area better for the next show?

Starting out, taking it way back, I remember the first movements into a gym with CP is scary.

I grew up genuinely thinking it was impossible to grow muscle on my left, it was dangerous, unstable, unrealistic.

“Stick to “running”… to be honest, that’s not my strong point! What I did have, which wasn’t apparent to me at the time, was long term experience in creating ways to adapt to situations, keeping going when the first route perhaps wasn’t suitable. I found much later in the depths of my first comp prep that it was a useful tool!

Back to the training, I’d stuck to cardio in previous trips to the gym, but I’d decided in 2013 to at least put a 12 month stint in to explore everything. That was the important moment for me (or anyone with a disability or not) is to try out everything – machines, pulleys, adjustments and I thank the staff and PT’s for those early explorations.

It’s important to note how precious that time is – to study what works and that was given to me and provided many opportunities to find those ways. That was crucial with my disability, yes the perseverance I applied greatly helped, but that time given by others provided those opportunities and I’m forever thankful.

Those first sessions build confidence, learning, development and growth. Much like so many disciplines, it’s those first moments that plant a seed. There is so much that you research & find about your own capability and it’s become very empowering. I’m passionate about relaying this as those first moments build in those wins, not just in the gym but it also helps applying them in many areas.

It’s also a place that people may find daunting enough for one reason or another – I’m used to people subconsciously seeing my hand differently in general, That’s magnified when my wrist is strapped to pully at an alternative angle, but for the most part it’s because I’m trying a new version of a set every week. AND I LOVE EXPLORING NEW VARIATIONS!

It’s a freedom of discovery and growth but here’s the thing, isn’t that the start of the journey for EVERYONE…with or without a disability? A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY AND GROWTH?

The gym wonderful platform to explore strength, health and flexibility – I highly recommend it!

Published by Matt Elson

Bringing you the latest in not only my personal journal into the world of disability Bodybuilding, but a discovery into latest events, profiles, news and promoting awareness of this great sport Based in Bristol in the UK, I’ve been competing in Disability Bodybuilding for the last 3 years in a journey which has taken me all over the country to national, international & world championships and I am so so grateful for that opportunity that had changed my life. Living with Cerebal Palsy has its challenges, but everyone has their individual hurdles to negotiate. Gaining strength both physically & mentally and adapting to the surrounding is all part of this journey. This is a mission to raise awareness, to promote our great category to develop opportunities for others. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss more!

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