- Garrett Downing, IFBB Pro bodybuilder, recently competed at the 2005 Toronto Pro (which was actually held in Niagara Falls), and took 5th. Here are some remarks from Garrett on Father's Day!
- GREETINGS FROM SAN DIEGO! Well, I confess it's been almost an entire year since I last wrote. But, it's been a heck of a year for me. My daughter Marina was born in June of 2004 and I have had the most wonderful time being a father! (I am celebrating Father's Day, as I write this.)
TOP 5 PLACING AT THE TORONTO PRO! And, meanwhile, my experience of being overlooked at the Night of Champions last season fueled me to ensure that I would bring my best to the stage this season. Well, I did that and then some. Please check out my news update page for a full account (AND PICTURES) about how I hit the stage in my best condition AND was properly recognized by the judges with a top five placing. Many said I could easily have been higher. It felt good to stand on stage and know I could just as easily have been any place from one to five.
STAYING TRUE TO MYSELF: Honestly, it was getting to me to show up in shape and see athletes with less pleasing physiques or in lesser condition than that of mine pass me up. I started to wonder what was I doing wrong. But, I stuck to my guns and never changed my personality. I never resorted to "calling people out" or other such antics to get myself noticed. And, thankfully, staying true to myself and hopefully, what I see as a change of tide in the rewarding of pleasing, aesthetic physiques over mass monsters, together is finally allowing me to be in the place in the sport where I've always belonged. I am in the game, as they say.
LOOKING TOWARD 2006: So, now I can focus on the next season knowing that the judges, the fans AND the competitors know I am an athlete who is capable of coming back to the same stage or another as a bona fide threat for the title or, certainly, a top 3 placing.
UPCOMING APPEARANCES: I'll be plenty busy in the coming months, not just training for 2006, but making appearances and welcoming, with my wife, our second child in December!
A special upcoming appearance to which I'd like to draw attention is a Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament, July 15 in Orange County led by Shawn Ray. In addition to being one of a number of pros struggling with our big bodies on the golf course, I'll be celebrating my birthday that day. If you'd like to be a part of this event, there are still opportunities!
All in all, I feel truly blessed. I guess what they say is true - nice guys do win in the end. It just takes longer. Thanks to all those who have supported me in so many ways. Until next time, best in health and fitness to you!
IFBB Pro Bodybuilder
- Regarding Garrett at the Toronto Pro: GETTING HIS DUE: Coming off a disappointing experience last spring at the Night of Champions, during which it was readily agreed upon by fans and media representatives alike that he was wrongly overlooked, Garrett hit the stage at the Toronto Pro Cup at his career best and was given his due with a TOP 5 PLACING!
Many in attendance, including judges, fans, the media and emcee Shawn Ray, were vocal with praise, hinting that he could easily have been higher. And, in the Top 5 final posedown, going toe-to-toe with each competitor in comparisons, it became obvious to all that Garrett easily can hold his own at the top level and should be considered as an athlete who can return next year and win the Toronto Pro Cup or other show title - finally taking his deserved spot in the sport.
NOBODY EXPECTED GARRETT TO COME LOCKED & LOADED: Perhaps it was the time out of the limelight due to his injury in 2002 that left him overlooked in the 2003 season. Perhaps it was the years of choosing mass monsters over pleasing, symmetrical physiques that represent health and fitness, the way the sport was intended (which, thankfully, seems to be seeing a welcome change of tide). But, either way, most would agree that nobody was expecting Garrett to be a force at this show. His name was just another on the list.
Arguably, he was neither on the radar screen of the judges nor the competitors. So, it was all the more impressive when he took the stage in incredible crisp and full condition, with greatly improved symmetry - his legs balanced with his thick and full upperbody, replete with some of the roundest muscle bellies in the sport - yet, in his trademark, nonchalant style that says "hey, yes, I am here, but it's my body that will do the talking not my mouth, nor my antics." Once the judges, the competitors and the audience saw Garrett walk on stage, it was clear he was in the game and competitive with the best on stage.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: On the personal front, as announced by Shawn Ray before Garrett took the stage, his 1-year old daughter was in the audience cheering him on, along with his wife who is due with his second child in December. Garrett credits the balance in his life, the support of Weider Publications, his training partners, Derik Farnsworth and Pete Ciccone and the guidance of his nutritionist Chris Aceto with the success he had this season, a trend he fully anticipates will continue.
PLANNING FOR SUCCESS IN 2006: So, now armed with a placing that tells the industry he is truly a serious threat on the pro stage, Garrett's training for the 2006 season will see him coming to the stage both with requisite confidence AND a physique that means business.
COVERAGE: Look for great shots of Garrett by Chris Lund in upcoming issues of FLEX Magazine as well an in-depth article by Julian Schmidt covering Garrett's successful return to the stage.
ON THE ROAD: Meanwhile, Garrett expects his calendar to be full with appearances. This summer, while celebrating his birthday, July 15, Garrett will join Shawn Ray and a cadre of IFBB Pros in a Celebrity Charity Golf Tournament. Other appearances include guest posing September 25 at the Kansas City BB Championships, appearing at the July NPC USA Championships as well as the Olympia in October.