This post correlates with my earlier posts: “Undesirable Side Effects of Steroid Use” and “7 Reasons Why I Don’t Compete.” The video below is of strength athlete, Gracie Davis. She is a voice of caution for women who use or are considering using steroids. Her deepened voice and other masculine changes she has experienced from steroid use are permanent; her gains in strength were not.
Anyone who has created a decent body through athletics is likely to at some point be compared to someone who has taken steroids. This is sad, but true, and has happened to me multiple times. Why? Because many “users” reach the top of their sport and often have extremely impressive physiques. In bodybuilding, an activity I recently quit after eight years of loving it, this reality is a given. I’ve dealt with pressure from non-athletes and athletes regarding the use of steroids for aesthetic and performance enhancement. And it’s not too unlikely among CrossFit and other strength or weekend-warrior sports. Being compared to a steroid user can be something “clean” athletes are confronted with every time they enter the gym. People who train “clean” are often treated as lesser to those who use: less visually impressive, less fit, less strong.
A woman at my gym once equated muscularity to fitness. She interrupted my workout to complement my pull-ups, and then moments later slapped me with an insult by implying I was not as athletic or strong as another woman at the gym who was more muscular than me. The woman equated muscle with greater athletic ability and strength and likely greater dedication. The woman she so admired was on steroids, something anyone with no concern for long-term health can take and get quick attention and admiration. That is, of course, until the plethora of negative side effects catch up to them.
The woman at the gym who placed me as lesser to the steroid user was clearly not an experienced athlete. She did not know that muscularity alone does not equate to fitness. And any gains made visually or performance-wise from the aid of steroids are not permanent. Further, users lack the mental strength to push through personal challenges without the use of steroids or performance-enhancing drugs and without the need for outside approval based on their appearance. As a person who has been training for fifteen years (at the time of this post), often around users, I know simply ignoring the desire to want to look like a person with the impressive body steroids can create can be difficult. But I educated myself long ago about the side effects, and I’ve seen many users go from heyday to mayday, mayday, mayday, over the years. The perks of steroid use are short-lived. In the below video, the still-young Gracie Davis speaks of her athletic feats as if she has passed her prime now that she has given up steroid use.
Gracie admits to taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) as a way to not have to train as hard, and says PED users “have a hard time with commitment and doing things the right way.”
The above quote is something to think about, and something I’ve always known about people who choose to use. This knowledge has enabled me to always stay away from steroids and never admire someone who resorts to taking them — no matter how awesome they look.
References about Steroids:
“What Causes Prostate Cancer?,” anonymous, eHealthMD, October 2004
“Steroids: Anabolic.Androgenic,” anonymous, Focus Adolescent Services, 2005 “Dr. Delgado’s Gynecomastia FAQ,” Dr. A. Delgado, Gynecomastia.org, January 2007
MEET SYLVIA PETRO — THE BROKE, FIT SINGLE MOM: As an athlete of over 16 years and a broke single mom for most of that time, I created this site to aid not only broke single parents to a life of fitness, but anyone who believes the road to fitness requires a lot of cash or time. In reality, the road to fitness is paved with knowledge and firm principles; informing readers about mastering both of those building blocks is my goal.