January 8, 2013

Turning Point

setbackI never forget.

The year was 1994

I was in my senior year at Penn State (don’t judge)

I was taking 21 units

Working 30 hours a week as a bouncer (stop laughing)

And getting ready for Mr. Pittsburgh bodybuilding competition. (training 2 hours a day and on a very strict diet)


2 weeks before the competition I completely lost it.

I woke in the middle of the night and told myself I can’t do this anymore.

I got in my car and drove around

First stop

The donut shop.

Ate a doze donuts.

Then off to a Mexican joint.

Ate a Dos Manos burrito.

As that wasn’t enough I polished it off with 2 slices of pepperoni Pizza.


Finally after the “eating frenzy” I went to bed.

I woke up feeling so guilty and really bad about myself.

What’s worse was all the negative self talk.

“You’re not cut out for this”

“I can’t believe that you can’t even stick to a program”

“You might as well give up”

“You’re a quitter”

And I just that. I dropped out.

I dropped out of the competition 2 weeks out and ate nothing but junk for the next 2 weeks.

I decided to attend the competition as a spectator.

And that was a turning point in my life.

As I watched the competitors I realized that I would have won EVEN after eating junk for 2 weeks.

That’s when I realized that I sabotaged myself.

I beat myself.

And that’s a bad feeling knowing that you sabotaged yourself.

Right then and there I realized to never let a set back, set me back.

I learned it’s OK to fall off the wagon as long as I get right back on.

Sam BakhtiarI learned the key in life is moderation.

I also learned not to ever compare myself or worry about other “competitors” or other people.

All I can do is be the best Sam Bakhtiar.

All I can do is be better than I was in the last competition.

With what I learned…

I went on and became the first and as far as I know the only bodybuilder in NPC history to win a first place title in every weight division. (before they had the super heavyweight class)

I now apply the same principles in my everyday life.

In adversity you can learn a lot about yourself.


PS – It’s time to make 2013 YOUR year.

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