Series: Renegade Thinkers
May 12, 2020
Evolution of a BodyBuilder
"I go deep into my darkness to help me transcend pain from my training."
With the lockdown still in place, I couldn't leave Nong Khai for Chiang Mai. I already took a one-week fast from Facebook because I had been sucked into the Corona virus pandemic conspiracy, watching videos about David Icke, Dr. Mikovitz, Bill Gates, and the emergent New World Order. I was getting radicalized - feeling angry at the way world events were being fabricated/manipulated by the ruling elite to further their agenda. It didn't feel healthy anymore. So, I decided, why not watch other videos that would inspire? Question is, what video channel offers that? No hype, no garbage, just facts and logic meant to transform and inspire. It was under my nose the entire time: London Real. Brian Rose, the founder, has been doing interviews of the most fascinating people who come from a broad spectrum - politics, new age, alternative human history, human empowerment, bodybuilding, business, etc. One such personality featured was Dorian Yates.
Dorian Yates (bodybuilder)
If you are not into bodybuilding, you probably haven't heard of Dorian Yates - but don't tune-out just yet. There's more to him than just bodybuilding. Dorian ruled the bodybuilding world from 1992-1997 by winning the Mr. Olympia title 6 consecutive times in a row. He is credited for ushering in the new era of "mass monsters" - bodybuilders who looked freakishly massive. He earned the nickname, "The Shadow" because he trains in seclusion and leaves other contestants guessing as to how ripped or shredded he was. After a serious injury, he began thinking what else was out there outside bodybuilding. The steps he took surprised everyone.
Aesthetics vs Mass
I've heard of Dorian Yates back in Canada before 2000 when I came back to weight training. Dorian was still the reigning Mr. Olympia who was massively ripped with veins popping out just below his fat-free skin. Oddly, his abdominals were bulgy and massive, in sharp contrast to the Arnold Schwarzenegger days when the abs were symmetrically balanced with the entire body. Aesthetics was the name of the game then. I came away thinking that Dorian represented the new Zeitgeist of bodybuilding - insanely massive bodies with an equally massive gut. I was impressed by these bodies that seemed granite-like, but somehow turned-off at the gut evolution of the sport.
The next time I heard about Dorian was through a mention by Brian Rose of London Real - over 20 years later. I remember Brian describing Dorian as this bodybuilder who transcended his own kingdom where he ruled as king, to become a seeker...a man of dimension who spanned the broad spectrum of bodybuilding, reality and spirituality. That got me piqued. There is something about this Dorian character I needed to know.
London Real First Interview: (Dorian Yates - Into The Shadow)
Watch the Video (1 hour, 41 mins)
(Jan 13, 2013) The interview was in 2013, six years after Dorian quit the professional world of bodybuilding due to a serious tendon tear on his elbow. He still continues to train but keeps himself afloat with his nutrition business, gym franchise, and videos that keep him traveling the world, giving lectures and interviews.
He was very candid, openly talking about his unique training style (short but intense, cutting gym time by half) steroid use, the politics in the bodybuilding industry, Arnold Schwarzenegger, ayahuasca, conspiracy by the global elite, personal empowerment, critical thinking and the spiritual path. This is much more than you would expect from a guy who achieved fame and fortune pumping-iron. He was very real. You get a sense of his authenticity. The whole interview gave me a glimpse of his many-layered dimension.
Transcending the Pain
In fairness, Dorian is indeed a tunnel vision guy who gives his 100% commitment to meet the goal. He is not distracted. And his efforts are for the long term - not just pre-competition preparation. He even admitted that he knew other gifted bodybuilders who probably would have upstaged him if they only trained as hard as he did, as consistently as he did and as intense as he did. He was just more dedicated than the average bodybuilder. He used anger, negativity, anything it took to transcend the pain and win the title.
The Other Side of Body Building
You see glamorized glossy pictures of bodybuilders in magazines, but Dorian painted a picture of what happens on the other side - the not-often-mentioned sacrifices in relationships, opportunity-cost in pursuing other endeavours, depravity, missed social interactions, renunciation of sinful food, and sinful lifestyle choices, etc. He cautioned young people who aspire to build a career in bodybuilding, saying that only about 10 to 12 people in the bodybuilding world are making real money from it - out of thousands out there who make a career out of it.
Dorian Yates - Evolution of the Shadow - Part 1/2 | London Real
Watch the Video (1 hour, 2 mins)
(Dec 16, 2018) Dorian talks about the good ól days of bodybuilding back in his time, the 90s. He claims that bodybuilding has declined even though there are now more people pursuing fitness in gyms - HIIT, circuit training, etc. He also mentioned that social media wasn't around during his time, and that it changed the bodybuilding landscape - he wouldn't even be able to keep his obscurity as The Shadow with so many media outlets now, compared to back in the day when it was mostly magazine features. Dorian talked about head games where the mind tricks you into quitting, how bodybuilding became more of a job than passion, his injury that paved the way for him to explore other opportunities. The spectre of not being able to train to his fullest again and still compete with world-class competitors didn't make it viable anymore. He talked about his video, Blood and Guts, done in black and white, where the gritty atmosphere of what the real deal of hardcore gym workout was all captured. He openly discussed using negative emotions to fuel him to push further, exorcising demons out of his system through yoga and taking on the spiritual path.
One thing I like about interviews is that it's first-hand material. It doesn't get edited, reframed, reworded, para-phrased, exaggerated or outright fabricated, unlike in the printed form. In a video interview, you get a better sense of the man - his candor, body-english, his demeanor, his hesitation, facial expression, etc. All of these things could not be captured in words as articulately as seeing the actual video. It's as real as it gets.
I also like Brian Rose's style of interviewing. He lets the guest do the talking and only interjects when there is something compelling to say.
Dorian portrayed the evolution of a single-focused bodybuilder aiming for the podium finish, to one who is balanced about life and the many opportunities it offers. He's a great example of someone who reached a pinnacle in life and realized there's more to life than looking massive. He managed to keep one leg on solid ground and the other leg on Cloud 9.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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Nong Khai Travel Information / Tips
Vientiane to Nong Khai by bus
At the Khua Din Bus Terminal, you can board the #14 bus bound for Buddha Park. It will make a stop on the Friendship Bridge border - 15 mins, B8000. Go to Laos Immigration to exit. Board the special bus to cross the Friendship Bridge, Kip 4,000 or Baht 20. It will stop at Thai Immigration. Get processed. From there, board a tuk-tuk for Nong Khai, 5kms.
Nong Khai Attractions
- Nong Khai Aquarium -
- Salakaewkoo (Wat Khaek) -
- Issan Rum Distillery -
- Wat Pho Chai -
- Lan Phaya Nak -
- Tha Sadet Market -
- Nong Khai Muay Thai Gym -
- Phrathat Bang Phuan -
Nong Khai Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Nong Khai - Chiang Khan Roadtrip June 18, 2020
- Life in Nong Khai Mar 13 - June 18, 2020
- Peoplescape of Nong Khai Jun 17, 2020
- Exploring Nong Khai's Cafe Culture Jun 10, 2020
- Nong Khai Street Art June 4, 2020
- Sirsasana A & B May 20, 2020
- Structured Water, Water Therapy and Nauli May 1, 2020
- Visiting the Salakaewkoo (Buddha Park) in Nong Khai, Thailand Apr 23, 2020
- Fitness in Quarantine Times Apr 20, 2020
- Covid 19: Lion - Buffalo Analogy Apr 13, 2020
- Covid 19 and the Conspiracies Mar - Apr, 2020
- Nong Khai with Cheng Mar 18 - Apr ???, 2020
- Covid 19 and Pranayama Mar 20, 2020
- Giant Mekong Catfish at the Nong Khai Aquarium Mar 19, 2020
- Drawn to Nong Khai, Thailand Mar 12, 2020
Travel Tips for Thailand
How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days
This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.
- Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
b) flight booking to Thailand
c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
d) filled-in tourist visa form
e) 2 passport pictures
f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
g) passport with at least 6 months validity
- After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
- NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.
60-Day Thai Tourist Visa
NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.
- bring the following to the Immigration Office:
a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
b) Baht 1900
c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
- submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
- when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
- when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
- when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.
Book Train Tickets in Thailand
Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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Mantak Chia: Multiple Orgasm Guru
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