It panned out to be an eventful summer kicking off with National Schools Sports Week at Haydon Bridge high school for the third year running.
This year I was accompanied by a good friend and training partner of mine- Stephen Stott.
As always there was great response from pupils, the morning sessions were spent in the classroom explaining the life of a bodybuilder and how sport can be beneficial in many ways.
I explained my story and how bodybuilding had given me the life I thought was once impossible and Stephen (Or Stigger as he is known to his friends) gave an introduction of himself and shared some of his past experiences.
In the afternoon we took sessions with pupils in the gym and much to my delight for the first time ever we had females join in!
To top of such a feel good day I recieved an invite from the headmaster of the school to set up a regular schedule at the school after such a great response from pupils.
Not one to play it cool I said I would jump at the chance so watch this space!
Next up on the Team MusclePop agenda was another good friend of mine- Jason Bic Smith.
Sunday 1st July 2012 saw him competing in his first bodybuilding competition just weeks before his 25th birthday.
The event he competed at was the UKBFF Cumbria Classic in Whitehaven, Jason entered the classic category representing Bodytek and held his own looking razor sharp with vascularity like no other onstage.
It was a defining moment for him infront of a crowd of 500 people, amongst them various IFBB pros which are the elite of our sport.
Phil Hill, also from Bodytek gym won the under 80kg category and we even witnessed a 72 year old compete in the master’s category.
Bernie Taylor and Nana Manu were both onstage guestposing which was a big crowd pleaser, I plan to compete at this event next year as it will be a great chance to get some good exposure and hopefully some recognition amongst the elite.
A family trip to the Isle of Man was long overdue to see family and it was the first time I had been on the Island since 2004. We all got together for the christening of the newest member of the Simpson clan - Charlie Simpson.
It was great to return after so long and be reunited with everybody and the island is so small and secluded you really do feel away from all of your woes.
Simplicity and Beauty at it’s best.
My aforementioned friends had upcoming birthdays so this was a perfect way to celebrate the past present and future together in Newcastle,a brief interlude before my own personal challenge was due.
I had contemplated whether to do this event or not for quite some time and entered as part of Team Baglee (headed by Damien Baglee) and any money raised went toward the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
We completed the 10km cross country assault course and I managed to just come in the top half out of 3000 people. My friends all wore bright orange morph suits and probably stood out more than anybody else on the day.
It was a very pumping adrenaline fuelled event with good sportsmanship all the way.
We waded waist high bogs of mud under barbed wire fencing, ran through flames, climbed 8ft walls, swam, got eletrocuted, carried logs up and down hills, bombed down a huge water slide and had to climb through the tightest tyre tunnels you could imagine to name but a few of the obstacles.
Next year I plan to do more cardio in preperation and run a course of IVs prior to the event to make sure my lungs are ready for it and to hopefully improve my time and placing considerably.
All in all it was a great experience and I could see how people get addicted to events such as this one.
To cap things off I did what I set out to do and that was to make it a memorable summer, I featured in Carlisle Living September Edition in the Health and Happiness feature and I am pleased to say it was a great article and the most fun interview I have done in some time.
Next in the pipeline is my third bodybuilding competition in Manchester at the Middleton Arena, I am entering Mr Athletic and hope my 18 month break will pay off.
I have made some vast improvements in my physique.
Thank you for reading and thankyou always for your incredible support.
The only way is up-