Before I Walk On Stage

Cory Gregory

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I've been in the bodybuilding game a long time. I did my first show at age 20. As I write this article, I'll be 39 in two weeks. Literally, almost 20 years in the game. So, what's changed? Obviously my body's changed; I've done 15-16 shows. Bodybuilding is all about confidence, though. You've got to bring a physique; a representable package to the stage. At the last show, somebody said to me that they couldn't tell which one was me, but then they could tell all of a sudden because of my confidence. I looked the most seasoned, like I was having fun. When you work all these weeks at a time, 24 hours a day, you've got to go have fun. So what's changed? Not much.

Every time I walk on stage I'm confident that I've brought the best possible physique to that stage. I've put everything I have into this and when I walk out there it's the best of my ability. I joke a lot because people tell me they can't stay on their diet. I tell them that if they had to stand on a stage in front of a crowd of people in their underwear that they'd be stricter. It's a different factor when you're actually competing and I've always kept a date on the calendar to keep that pressure on me.

Before I walk on stage I remind myself to bring that confidence, have fun and show them the amount of time and work I've put into this. I keep coming back to this but the Golden Era is what built this industry. What's my version of that? I keep showing guys my version of that every time I hit the stage. I'm not some giant monster, but I'm drug free and I'm showing you the best version of Cory Gregory that I have to offer. All the training hours, all the discipline has already been put in. All I can do now is display that. I take a deep breath and think, "Here we go. I'm excited to be here today. Let's have fun!" Because I know that years from now when I, or my kids, look back on these pictures and videos, we'll know the work I put in.

The time we have on this planet, especially in competition, is short. I've been lucky enough to have a pretty long career to this point and plan to continue on, but at the end of the day we're never promised tomorrow, another show or that in a year from now your body will look the same. So when you put it all in, enjoy it; document it. Before I walk on stage, and before you ever walk on stage, just know that all you have should be laid on the line. What else could I have done should never be the question. That's why when I go out there you see me having fun, smiling and enjoying my craft as a natural bodybuilder.

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