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"A Beginner's Diary" was published in Bodybuilding Brazil in 2008 and reports the preparation of a young athlete that decides to compete for the first time. Composed of short texts, "A Beginner's Diary" is an incentive for people who decide to do physical exercise and for future bodybuilders.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

We hope we can be allowed to share it here and contribute to the new bodybuilder's development. And we hope you like it!<o:p></o:p>



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March 12th, 2008 - "WHAT DOES NOT KILL ME, MAKES ME STRONGER" (Friedrich Nietzsche)<o:p></o:p>

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It's strange to say that, but the sentence above was always part of my life, even before I knew it. "&#8230; makes me stronger" - this specific passage resounds in my mind almost all the time. And it was partly for this reason that I took up bodybuilding in 2008. I know there isn't a road paved with certainties; there certainly is willingness and surrender to open my way through this jungle. March 3rd was the day of my big-bang. In fact, it was a great start! My impressions about this first week can be summed up in two words: exhaustion and pain. My personal trainer guidance led me to another level of training: training focused on muscular development for competitions. To be honest: brutal training!<o:p></o:p>

On Monday, we trained shoulders and back; on Wednesday, triceps and biceps; and on Friday, we ended with chest training. They were only three days, but, without doubt, those were the most hardcore three days I have spent in a gym.<o:p></o:p>
 

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March 19th, 2008 - <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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It is 5a.m. on Wednesday and I wonder why I am waking up at this time.<o:p></o:p>

There could be several answers. But actually it is an obligation, a need acquired with one purpose: improving my physique.<o:p></o:p>

Will it be worth it? Will I achieve my goal? Well, I can't tell the future. The only certainty I have is that the work has to be done and results will arise. <o:p></o:p>

My body hurts and my mind is still sleepy, but I have to go on and do my tasks, preparing my meals and getting my spirit ready for one more day of training and strength. <o:p></o:p>

The sun is still rising and I'm ready for one more day's work to lay the foundations for my way to the competitions.<o:p></o:p>

What is waiting for me at the end of this path? I don't worry about it and I am to keep away from that answer as long as possible.<o:p></o:p>

Dedication is necessary, there is no other way. I chose my seeds and now I sow them to harvest what I planted in the future: muscles and determination!<o:p></o:p>
 

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March 26th, 2008 -<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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The first image I remember I had about bodybuilding was Schwarzenegger embodying "Conan". I was impressed and, since that day, something has connected me to the bodybuilding world. Obviously, at that time, I didn't know the terms or the names of the great champions and much less what the bodybuilding competitions were like. Just like any 14-years-old, I'd like to become a man and the image of that character made of muscles and strength would remain in my mind until nowadays.<o:p></o:p>

It would be foolishness to say I have a deep knowledge of bodybuilding. But in these last 4 years I have been delving deep in bodybuilding history and its possible ways of competing and improving one's physique. By the way, the real meaning of the word "training" I just understood this year with my personal trainer. I have to admit I used to work out as much in my little hometown as I do here. I used to work out like most people do: too much strength and few results. As time went by, I acquired some knowledge in that area (nothing extraordinary, but I was no longer so naive).<o:p></o:p>

How long have I been training? Well, actually the "real" training has just started this year, but I've been in a gym for 8 years on and off (those famous enthusiastic moments followed by those not so short periods of apathy).<o:p></o:p>

What motivates me to compete? Maybe this will be your next question but that is another story&#8230;<o:p></o:p>
 

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April 2nd, 2008 -<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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Despite the time spent, I feel time is static, frozen&#8230; How many days of training? I haven't worried about that. The counting of days hasn't been a priority for me. I'm not thinking about deadlines. My only vision is increasing volume and, as far as possible, a better physique. The funny thing is that I'm always returning to the beginning. My words of command are: training, volume, dedication, physique, pain, strength&#8230; This has been my litany, my everyday mantra alone in my bedroom or among people in the gym. And I guarantee that there are not much more things in my mind except the will to evolve.<o:p></o:p>

One day, one week, one month, one year&#8230; Today, nothing has been so important as the training.<o:p></o:p>

"Up!!! Don't stop!!! Just one more!!!"<o:p></o:p>

Disconnected sentences? Random shouts? No. Those are my personal trainer praises for each series I do.<o:p></o:p>

Sometimes, I close my eyes and just imagine the movement: pushing, pulling&#8230; I try to imagine my muscles receiving the orders like a group of workers carrying out the movement. With my eyes closed, I see myself in a new universe, an universe called Body. <o:p></o:p>

The feelings of my muscles contracting and expanding, the sound of my breathing and, in the last repetitions, a guttural sound coming from my throat - the desire to lift the weight even when my muscles say that it's no longer possible.<o:p></o:p>

Sweat bathing my forehead, shoulders and back. Pumped up muscles inflated by blood. My mind totally empty of complex thoughts. A deep and panting breathing. My fingers becoming numb and my forearm hurting. A new desire restarts in me. I get up and walk toward the next exercise. And everything will happen again and again, until my personal trainer says the magic word: STOP!<o:p></o:p>

And finally the sun shines again&#8230;
 

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April 9th, 2008 -<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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Time has gone by in a well measured way. I have harvested some "fruits" (or rather, some centimeters). I'm still very far from my final goal but I keep walking even though slowly. The beginning always seems longer and slower. I get the impression that everything is happening in slow motion with strange feelings of change and oscillation. I've never been so focused in my life. There's no other way but it doesn't worry me. I've been focusing all my energy on building muscles. Am I happy? It would be an obvious question and considering that "happiness is here and now" (like some people say) my "here and now" is not only a happy moment, but also a time of a lot of work.<o:p></o:p>

I still have time until the championship and until then many changes will happen and I will be tested more. For that reason, I have been focusing just on this moment and have been preparing myself for the contest day. If any impediment comes up, I'll have to get over it. You can't make any concessions, you have to go ahead. At the end of this long road, there is a pot of gold. And I want it!<o:p></o:p>

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My body has changed significantly these last days: each muscular thread has been taken to its maximum exhaustion and has been feed with the best food. I have been feeling powerful, walking in the planned direction with the maximum energy possible.<o:p></o:p>

Training, food and other factors have making me stronger and stronger, increasing my confidence and my wish to achieve my aims.<o:p></o:p>

I like to joke saying I'm dressed in my best clothes, sprucing my dinner jacket to be impeccable on the competition day, worthy of the party I will take part in. I promised myself that and I always remember the responsibilities I took upon myself regardless of the results on stage. I feel I'm overcoming my fears and insecurity more and more. I have fortified my conviction and have discovered a new world inside the competition world: the world of winners, the world of people that promised themselves they would overcome their limits. I feel I live in that world now.<o:p></o:p>

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May 13th, 2008 - <o:p></o:p>

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"Change" is an easy word to understand this word but very difficult to carry out. Sometimes we question change. We think it can remove that supposed "basis" we built.<o:p></o:p>

Change has been a constant these days inside my head; change of mind and change of behavior; change in the way of training, in the relationship between goals and methods. I feel myself in constant change, physically and mentally. My days have been hard and productive; long but precious days of learning and physical development. I feel more secure, more conscious of my potential, less anxious but with more responsibilities and good prospects.<o:p></o:p>

I'm changing and becoming someone new, building a new body, thinking with a new mentality, with newly acquired knowledge, new attitudes. A new world rises up in front of me. <o:p></o:p>

And sincerely I love that&#8230;<o:p></o:p>
 

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May 18th, 2008 -<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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Sometimes one thing makes me feel less motivated: money.<o:p></o:p>

The fact is that everything in the world in someway revolves around money. <o:p></o:p>

Supplements, food and professional consultant are paid and sometimes money is scarce, especially in a country where it is not possible to live only practicing sports and you don't earn enough money to stay always focused on just one thing. The truth is I have had to stop with my personal training sessions at least temporarily until I save some money to get back to them.<o:p></o:p>

It's a hard reality. You have to sacrifice lots of things if you want to fight for a major goal. I feel sad, but I have to go on. In a country where many people don't value those who fight for a dream, I turn my back on them hoping for victory, not only on stage, but also in my personal life.<o:p></o:p>

And I carry on, even without enough investments, but plenty of willingness and doing all the necessary exercises.<o:p></o:p>

I won't stop training nor competing just for that reason.<o:p></o:p>

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May 25th, 2008 -<o:p></o:p>

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I wake up early in the morning and work on average 12 hours a day (I have 2 jobs) and still have to find time for training, preparing my meals and resting. What an easy life!<o:p></o:p>

But what disappoints me more is prejudice and lack of support.<o:p></o:p>

When so-called "normal people" know I have this routine, in most of times, they often comment: "Are you crazy?" or "That's not normal. What are all those muscles for?"<o:p></o:p>

Many people don't understand other people's choice, sometimes for ignorance, sometimes for lack of respect. You are judged as ignorant or even as an aggressive person.<o:p></o:p>

The sport I practice, the competitions I go to watch and soon I will take part in are not characterized by uncontrolled rage. So why are we so judged? Unfortunately, I can't explain that.<o:p></o:p>

And do you want to know the truth? I don't owe anything to anyone who labels me. After all, I work hard and I have a clear conscience because my work is well done.<o:p></o:p>
 

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May 30th, 2008 -<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

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Today is one more day in my planned way toward the championship. One more day! One more step completed on that long and sometimes tortuous way of bodybuilding.<o:p></o:p>

I've conquered some things. I have improved my physique a little more, but there's still a lot to do. But I have time and dedication!<o:p></o:p>

Nothing in my life came easy. Although I have often been helped by other people - and sincerely it was a privilege to meet them - I am sure that support only happened because I showed them that I was capable and trust worthy. You can believe that I fought and always had to prove my worth.<o:p></o:p>

I want to make it clear that this is not a moment of nostalgia. I always like to remember who I am and where I came from. I am forever reinforcing my social condition to keep fighting for my dreams and my space.<o:p></o:p>

I never forget that for everything I conquer I need to do twice as much. And I am used to paying twice as much and don't worry about it anymore.<o:p></o:p>

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June 5th - 2008 -<o:p></o:p>

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My shoulders are burning. There is a constant, pungent pain. My sweat runs down my forehead, my arms and my back and drops to the floor. My eyes are closed, as if it could be possible to find more strength reserve somewhere inside my body.<o:p></o:p>

Air becomes precious, scarce and dense. I breathe in once, twice, three times trying to catch my breath and my strength. My throat is dry. I need some water but it's not possible yet: a new series has begun. <o:p></o:p>

A shout comes from the depths, a contracting movement comes from the inside of my body. I lift the weight and repeat the movement more and more until exhaustion. And then a brief moment of rest until everything restarts again. I take my water and feel that my shoulders seem to be going out of joint. I drink the water and dry my sweat with my T-shirt. There are still at least three exercises to do. Much pain and strength will still come. But I don't care. I made my choice.<o:p></o:p>

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June 14th, 2008 -<o:p></o:p>

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Sometimes nostalgia comes stronger and I remember my origins. I can't get away from that. We must always remember our beginning and know our roots that often centralizes and equilibrates us many moments.<o:p></o:p>

I am from a little town of 10.000 inhabitants in Minas Gerais, in the Southeast of Brazil. I'm from humble origins and have a small family: my mother, my brother and me.<o:p></o:p>

Looking back I remember when I was a teenager. I barely knew what I wanted from life but I always had a constant will to evolve and grow. I remember weights made of cement and paint tins, and a piece of iron holding them together. I remember old wood benches and very basic exercises (bench press, alternate barbell curls etc). I remember my friends gathered, collecting money and setting up a little gym made of cement, dreams and willingness. Everything began with "Conan", as I said. But there were even the cartoon heroes and a neighbor with no more than 38 centimeters-arms. They used to personify my will of growing.<o:p></o:p>

Some feelings are inherent to human beings. The more I went into my bodybuilding work the more I wanted to increase my size. Wishes and dreams make the world go around. And anyway a country bumpkin like me was beginning to walk toward an aim that would grow more and more. I never regretted believing in something that many people called "madness". Sometimes being stubborn helps. <o:p></o:p>

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June 26th, 2008 -<o:p></o:p>

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Limit! A small two syllables word. But for most people, "limit" is much more than a simple word. It's something you can not overcome, something impossible to break.<o:p></o:p>

We all have limits, smaller or bigger. But the important thing is to know we can expand them. And I do believe in that.<o:p></o:p>

Don't you have money? Don't you have good genetics? Don't you have any support? Are you going to give up? I don't even consider that option. Only if I were dead. I believe the remedy for that is the conviction that I am building the bases of my path toward success (I really think that way). And when you talk to me about going back I reply that one step back is just a preparation for the next jump.<o:p></o:p>

You can think I have no doubts and I am absolutely sure about my aims. I have thousands of doubts but what's the use for focusing on them? <o:p></o:p>

I search for solutions and for that I have to make some movement toward them. The only certainty we have is death. As for the rest, our certainties about our aims are wishes and, my friend, my true desire is to be a champion.<o:p></o:p>

The focus of my training is my physique but I never let my mind to waste away. I think about positive thoughts and focus on my aims. All these things move my power and I'm sure I want to build something either more muscles or a strong powerful mind.<o:p></o:p>

When I train I focus on each group of muscles that I am working on. I always try. Before I start training I put myself in a posture of concentration. After the training I see myself big like any champion.<o:p></o:p>

I haven't won any titles yet but, believe me, I'm sure that one day I'll get there.<o:p></o:p>

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July 9th - 2008 -<o:p></o:p>

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"Change" is a word more and more important in my life. First I moved from a small town to a bigger one. I changed my habits from a country bumpkin to a switched-on guy. I changed my way of thinking about the world. After that, another change came: my body. The training has modified my body and that's great! I feel I'm bigger and stronger. I improved some important features, always trying to fix what is not right.<o:p></o:p>

Change has been very positive for me. I have always learnt something new, always getting more knowledge and information. I believe that change is necessary for the survival and growth of people. To be afraid of new things and avoid trying means stopping fate from going on its way.<o:p></o:p>

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July 28th - 2008 -<o:p></o:p>

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"Anxiety" has always been one of my greatest problems (I'd even say that's the biggest one). I often find myself creating expectations about results and even how far I could go. I see myself competing in great championships, winning them, conquering important titles and being recognized as the greatest champion.<o:p></o:p>

Well, we all have expectations but I have been policing myself to not go far from reality, always remembering that is important to dream but building a future is a basic condition to that.<o:p></o:p>

Today I trained shoulders and traps and those exercises really made me feel very tired: great exercises, but, to tell the truth, they suck.<o:p></o:p>

Complaints apart, the training must be done (after all the championship is getting close). I am about to begin my path toward my dreams of being a champ! <o:p></o:p>

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August 8th - 2008 -<o:p></o:p>

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Friday midday and many athletes are making the last adjustments for the championships this weekend. I watch them and many ideas and feelings fill my mind. I've been preparing myself for some months and now it's almost the time until I line up on stage among the competitors. I feel relieved because the time is near and tense to show the work I've done.<o:p></o:p>

In a few days all my sweat, my pain, all the diet and training will be shown on stage. I will be judged and I can't lie: I am a little afraid of the results.<o:p></o:p>

However we should take into consideration this is a path I chose. And when I embrace that idea I feel more confident and happy.<o:p></o:p>

I must remember that in spite of all the hard training and dieting I've always felt happy doing that. And that's what really matters.<o:p></o:p>

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August 30th - 2008 -<o:p></o:p>

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The championship is getting closer and closer. I feel anxious. I think that's normal and try to make anxiety my ally.<o:p></o:p>

The guys who train with me recently competed in some competitions nearby. And obviously I went with them to feel the atmosphere of the events.<o:p></o:p>

To compete! I repeat this every time I complete an exercise. To tell the truth I'd love to be first. But that's not up to me. It's the judges' decision. Anyway I have been preparing myself for any result because I know that whether I win or lose, this is just the beginning. <o:p></o:p>
 

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I find it funny every one uses that one quote from Nietzsche but fail to learn any more of his idea's........well perhaps bar "god is dead" lots of people like to cling onto that pearl of wisdom also......probably not understanding what he meant with it just like the first phrase.
 
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