Hi Everyone,
Well here we are now at the end of the 2012’s competitive year for CW. It has been another great year of rigorous training and cardio, pre-contest dieting, cheat meals, amazing onstage battles, some pleasing results, new found friends acquired via the various state and interstate shows and new plans set in motion for a bigger and better version of myself for next year!
The ANB Nationals 2012
As many would already know the awesome ANB Nationals for 2012 has just been and gone. It was a great event as always and so well run by Robert Powell, Murray Graham, Phil Lehner, Maria McCarter and all the ANB Crew that work very hard to present this fabulous contest to the bodybuilding fraternity. 
Louise and I arrived at the venue on the Sunday morning for the early registration and it felt like home as we received a warm welcome from Robert, Murray and Phil. It was then pretty much business as usual as we found the same usual spot, outside the rear of the venue, under the same huge tree that I have used to set up station to apply the all-important stage tan for the battle ahead. I reckon I have used this area for the last 5 or 6 years or so! It was a very pleasant surprise to see my mate who has done the Masters before but now does the Under 65kg class, Roy Purvey, under that tree getting himself ready with Maria McCarter ably assisting. Roy and I find this spot really good as there plenty of room, a nice cool breeze to help set in the Dream Tan and some peace and quiet to allow you to focus on the task at hand.
As you look up the steps you see the cage-like fence structure that closes off the outside backstage area near the auditorium. Louise remarked how funny it must seem for passers by who see us slapping, what appears to be Vegemite, on  to our entire body with a bunch a men doing chin ups on the structure of the ‘cage’ and push ups with other weird and whacky exercises on the steps!!
Louise, as always, applied my tan beautifully and I know I am very lucky to have her by my side as a great support. I have done these interstate contests solo on many occasions and have coped well but it is so much better when you have your fantastic fiancée with you.
The pre-judging was first and it certainly was tough under those really bright stage lights. It feels like you are melting in a microwave and as you are ‘cooking’ you have to try and squeeze each and every muscle in your body into all those compulsory poses and quarter turns.
I was called out into the group of 6 that would ultimately be the top  six when the final placings were announced later on. We were put through our paces and then finished with a pose down of all 10 of the competitors before leaving the stage to return for the night show in the evening.
The night show was sensational and I definitely felt liked I peaked for this part of the day’s proceedings and really came to life for my free posing routine and final pose down. I love doing the routine and am so glad that the ANB Federation, in it’s wisdom, have decided to keep them in the show. 
I ended up with a 6th place trophy after the final presentations and was glad to be part of such an awesome standard of Masters competitors. All the fine Gentlemen in my line up displayed great commaraderie and were really good to talk to as well as being in fantastic shape. It was a pleasant surprise when earlier in the day, the winner of my division Jesse, came up to me whilst I was tanning outside under my shady tree and said how much he had been enjoying reading my blogs and how he had found them to be inspiring and motivating. His mate then took a couple of cool photos of the two of us, so if you are reading this Jesse I would really appreciate some copies of those pics that I could include in Craig’s Blog #15! (my email address is craigwinter@rocketmail.com). Jesse and I spoke of how it is not just the result that is important in Bodybuilding competition but more the journey to get there, the personal development along the way, the new friends you make, the reflections after the event and the plan you then put in place to do even better next time around. I was so pleased for him when I saw him receive the 1st place trophy at the end of our Masters division presentations.
It was also great to compete with Bryce, Chen and Tony (all from Queensland way) again and you will see a nice photo that my Louise snapped of the 4 of us below.
Time for some serious eating
We then left Club Marconi to do the big clean up to get rid of that messy stage tan and chillax at the Mantra Hotel after a big day. Louise and I then had a fantastic fiesta at good old Toscani’s near Westfield Shopping Centre. I had some very tasty lamb and haloumi cheese kebabs with a sensational Mars Bar Cheesecake dessert. The next morning we followed that up with another feeding frenzy with the Mantra buffet breakfast at the Hotel. Later that same afternoon I then finally succumbed to my Kryptonite…Donuts at Donut King at Westfield!!! And then 2 days later when back home in WA my mate, Big Les, and I indulged in coffee and 1 dozen scrumptious Krispy Kreme donuts that I managed to pick up from Sydney Airport on my way back home to Perth. My carry on baggage was absolutely bulging, but there is always room for Donuts!!!
Where to from here??
Somebody said to me after the show…”What now Craig? You gonna take next year off??” My answer was a definite NO as I really enjoy competing and personally find that I am at my best when preparing for a physique contest, both physically and emotionally. That very focused mindset and intrinsic motivation seems to filter into all other aspects of my life so that everything I do I do well and efficiently. I really love that feeling of being in good shape in the off season whilst trying to build more muscle and then running in again for the next showdown in whatever State that might be in. As I always like to say…”Look good, feel good, am good!” and “If you want something done, ask a busy person!”
I have already got some great ideas for music for my next free posing routine, which should prove to be a bit of fun. I have also joined up a new Gym near where I live to specifically target some of my weak areas with their really good purpose built equipment that focus on particular bodyparts (I will go into more detail regarding these exercises and my plan for 2013 in my next Blog). We should always be taking the road to continual self-improvement to try and create a better version of yourself. And this applies to not just Bodybuilding but personal growth as well to become a better person all round.
So I am really looking forward to setting new goals and implementing a plan to achieve those goals. My passion, amongst other things, is Bodybuilding and I enjoy spreading the word about how the health and fitness lifestyle can just be so incredibly rewarding in so many ways…1st place or 6th place or last place…it doesn’t matter, as long as you have those 3 essential elements for happiness in your life…PURPOSE, PASSION & LOVE!!
Until next we meet in cyberspace, via Craig’s Blog #15, I wish you all the very best with your nutrition & training and hope that whatever goals you have pictured in your mind may come to fruition in the not to distant future.
Kind regards as always, Craig W.