What’s going on, PlagueFest!? It’s been a while since I’ve been active in the community and without a doubt, this will probably be my last moment here, so I’d like to deliver a several parting words before we go our own ways. There are some things I wish I could share with you peeps, but to keep things brief, I’d like to at least let the community know why I left and have to go. By the way, I had a fantastic time this past year, but before that, I want to tell you about my health that occurred about a year and a half ago, which lead to my disappearance. Somewhere in March 2016, I felt like my heart was ready to give in at any moment. It was like I was touching the brim of death. I knew I wasn’t in the best shape and later found out I was diagnosed with hypertension and was diabetic. I still remember the night where I laid in bed, sobbing, praying only to find relief of my pounding heart because I just couldn’t fall asleep… I also had all these thoughts that crept up on me, warning me to take action for myself to change. I gave up on myself. I gave up trying to progress. I gave up trying to be the best version of me. I was in piss poor condition. I could’ve seen no reason to make a comeback if it wasn’t for the day where death grabbed me by the hand. I have almost accepted the fact that I’d find no reason to live life to the fullest. I just wanted to snack on junk food and do what I enjoy with whatever I had left. I dug a hole and basically sat in it with no hope of ever climbing back out. But after that night, I started to want to try and I don’t know why or how or what it is that really affected me change my mind, but I’m glad that something reached out to me because that changed my life forever. I had to start by taking small little steps at a time, but looking back now, these small steps were critical. It made me the person that’s standing today. Believe me, being motivated was really hard because I had to face the fact that I’ve been broken. It was difficult for me to realize I made a mistake, nevertheless, try to reverse that around. So, I heard this… “You have got to make a declaration that this is what you stand for. You standing up for your dream, for a piece of mind, for your health. Take full responsibility for your life. Accept where you are and the responsibility that you’re going to take yourself where you want to go.” I heard it and it shattered me even more because I felt ashamed, but what was said was the truth… I needed to accept myself to take myself where I want to go. So, I did. I made a commitment, stood by my resolution, I followed it, got out of the hole and I found myself again… Before I wrap this up, I’d like to tell you guys from my heart in this message I want to deliver. What makes someone a champion IS NOT who or what they have become. It was their mentality. Someone out there is willing to do EVERYTHING it takes, WHATEVER it may be, to get to where they want to be. They know that they’ll give MAXIMUM effort to do so. They are willing to sacrifice anything, willing to do TWICE, if not, THREE TIMES as much as you are willing to. If any of you are able to think that way, you’ve already won. You’ve already won! Never apologize for being better. This is my one-year transformation project. I hope some of you will be taking something away from this message because similar to this was what I needed when I began my transformation. Just thought I’d be able to be of the same help as the people who inspired me to change. One of them happens to be Zach Zeiler, a cancer patient transformation. He’s my idol. - “Whoever said that winning isn’t everything, obviously never had cancer.” Weight loss, strength, mass, I’ve done it all in a year. Blood pressure returned to normal. Blood sugar levels are excellent. Exercise is everything. My four main goals were to master Swimming, Running, Biking, and Bodybuilding. I played water polo back in high school and swam since I was three years of age, so swimming was my foundation because I was already proficient at it, but I wanted all four strokes, including butterfly. I demolished all four and now I want to extend my arms into powerlifting. Being “built” isn’t necessarily achieving the greatest physique/stature, but the satisfying feeling that you’re physically capable and healthy. I'm not against steroid use because Bodybuilding has turned into a sport where it's chemicals vs chemicals. Everyone uses some kind of drugs these days, even females, it's ridiculous. For me, it's a battle against time and a battle against myself. I have the genetics, I just need the time. It’s not all about admiration for me. I don’t care to have people ‘mirin me. There’s this legend by the name of Dorian Yates who competed in the Mr. Olympia. He won 6 straight years, took the cheque every year after the competition, and he was never to be heard of until the next competition. He’s nicknamed “the shadow.” Yates knew what he had to do, got things done, and left. I find a resemblance in that kind of personality. Building a physique takes time and it’s definitely a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears. I love to cover up because I believe in the idea of shocking the world. There’s ALWAYS something to prove – I will win! “Motivation may imply a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, motivation is hating to leave the gym, I mean, I hate to leave the gym and know inside of me, I could have gave a little more. I hate to know that I gave up. I hate it so bad I will never do it. I don’t care if I’m sick and throwing up in the gym… I’ll keep going ‘til I can leave the gym and know… I did it, I gave. The aspect of being totally spent and giving it EVERYTHING you have and a little more, satisfies me when I leave the gym. That makes me feel good about me… and that is really what motivates me to a large degree.” – Legendary Tom Platz "The bigger your goals are and the more outrageous they are, then the people will always say, 'this is crazy, this will never happen, you cannot do that.' If I can see it, therefore I can believe it, then I can achieve it. YOU CAN DO IT! YOU CAN BE THE BEST! Have a vision. Trust yourself. Break some rules. Ignore the naysayers. Don't be afraid to fail. Every day, do something that scares you. We should all STAY HUNGRY." – the G.O.A.T, Arnold “The Bodybuilder” Schwarzenegger PlagueFest, THANK YOU for being here for me when I needed you. It's been a great ride and thanks for the great times! I have found a new passion, now it’s time for me to move on. GOOD LUCK WITH EVERYTHING! ~ PF’s best, Orange. …so this is what success feels like?