It seems like steroids are everywhere you turn your head these days. On the news, in most sporting circles, in high schools, on the street, in foreign drug rings, and on and on. It's amazing what people think they know and really don't know about building muscle. While most people are probably getting sick of it, I for one and glad that this is happening. I as a bodybuilder think that it is about time that this became "dinner table" talk because people's perceptions really need to be changed in order for this sport that I love to be a legitimate endeavor.
Building muscle is a very complicated and often abused activity. I believe there are good and bad reasons for doing it. Human strength and the muscular body are amazing and beautiful things, in my opinion, but only if it takes hard work to do it and only if it is done in a healthy way. Pushing the limits of human performance in athletics is awesome and a great motivator for people to stay healthy and fit, but the problem is that these have stopped being the prime movers in the "business" of sports. The whole problem is that is has become a business and whenever money becomes the motivation the dark side starts creeping in.
It is amazing what people will do for power whether it is prestige, or wealth, or popularity, or visibility, or whatever. All that happens is that people get hurt and the sport is denigrated and ends up losing the respect and all of the above things that people are craving when they become involved in it. I mean come on can it be that fun to be better than everyone else, when it means that you have to resort to cheating to do it? Aren't the best things in life those things that don't come easy? And since when did the risk of death become worth it to so many people in exchange for a few fleeting moments of "respect" that you're give? Well I want to be the first to tell you that all people who spend a lot of time building muscle are vain.
Why do I spend lots of time building muscle? Well for one thing it is a healthy thing to do when done correctly. It protects you from all sorts of injuries and pains. It keeps you fit as muscle is one of the best metabolizers in your body. It makes your bones strong, it protects your joints, it gives you good balance and control of your body, it allows you to do activities that you enjoy for longer. It also has positive effects on you mental health. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, it elevates your mood, makes you more confident, gives you the same kind of high that a runner gets by releasing natural endorphins, etc.
So by all means get into sports and get strong but do it for the right reasons and in the right ways or you are going to end up exactly where you don't want to be—an object of scorn and ridicule and lying on your back in a hospital bed.