Body image pressures have existed for ages and body image issues have resulted for just as long. This is not an issue that only affects one gender but rather both. In modern day we almost have sects of body image cults. You have the barbies/models, the bootilicous, and the gym cult. This sect is all about minimal body fat and more importantly big muscles and the appearance of hours in the gym and hard work. That's the ideal but all too often steroid abuse and addiction is the reality.
An Honourable Path Polluted
There is nothing wrong with taking an interested in and being proud of your body. In fact putting the time in to get your nutrition on track and body in peak form in incredibly healthy and admirable. However, steroid use and abuse is another thing all together.
An Untold Toll
We have seen hundreds of people who have seen the ugly depths of substance abuse, many times they may die from excessive consumption, however, what many do not know is that this is mostly from products that are completely legal.
The clearest example is the abuse of alcohol, tobacco. The dangers to humans posed by tobacco is well documented. You are poisoning your lungs and I think we all understand the importance of lungs. Alcohol is a bit less obvious in its dangers, because drinking is considered so normal but don't be mistaken it is just as damaging to your health.
Another Huge Problem
In America in particular, steroids too have become a huge problem. These are drugs. Just because they aren't used for escapism or to have a good time does not make them not a drug or side-effect free. Steroids can have some very serious negative effects on the human body.
An Issue in the Community
Rich Piana had a dream from a very young age, he wanted to become a world recognized bodybuilder. The Bodybuilding and gym going community in modern day has a dark and nefarious under-current of drug abuse, more specifically steroid abuse.
Dream Chaser at an Early Age
Like many of his idols, since the age of 11 he began to attend the gym, working hard to move closer to his dream. At his second home, the gym, he was also exposed to hundreds of posters of incredibly muscular men on posters all over the room.
Rich the giants in these posters were more superheroes than ordinary human beings. Rich was exposed to body building from an early age, from someone close to his heart. His mother was the one who pushed him to enter into bodybuilding.
4 Years of Commitment
She had dedicated herself to this discipline for many years before giving birth to him. Four years of hard training earned him an enviable physique for a 12-year-old. But he did not feel closer to his goal, he didn't have the patience to wait for his body to mature.
Additionally, his slim structure was not enough to figure in the top 10 places in the contests. It was likely he was competing with older boys and very, very possibly, his opposition may have been using steroids to help them win these competitions.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Once he turned 14, he had become extremely frustrated and already was tired of his perceived failures. This became a dark time for Ray and he felt pushed to a desperate choice. He decided to take anabolic steroids, and hid it from his parents.
It is incredibly challenging to win by playing fair against those who indulge in unfair advantage. Especially in bodybuilding, bodybuilding in more about the appearance of its participants. As far as strength in concerned the difference between hard work, and drug abuse is obvious.
"If You Can't Beat 'Em Join 'Em" is Not Always the Best Policy
In an almost purely visual competition, it is not so easy to see the difference between hard work and taking short cuts. And it can be frustrating trying to keep up with those take short cuts in an honest way.
Rich at 20 Years
By age 20 he had been using this dangerous drug for 6 years already. Had had already played Russian Roulette with his body for 6 whole years. Luckily for him the youth and health of his body probably help him to survive the drug abuse relatively unharmed.
Just a Dark Beginning
Although 6 consecutive years of drug use seems very serious to us all, for Rich those years were just his obscure beginnings in substance abuse. Still, he did what he did to get the desired physique, and he never looked back.
An Even Darker End
Victories were piling up on his path. He believed that despite doing all his intense exercise routines, it would never be enough if he left the steroids. Unfortunately, more than 30 years use of these substances has caused so many ailments and diseases, that Rich admitted to being sorry he used them, but he affirms that he can't stop because his consumption has become an addiction. Unfortunately, at age 46 Rich Piana died In August this year.