Ambitious. Big dreams. An all-or-nothing attitude.
(Based on true stories)
Kevin’s parents would tell you that he was a good kid growing up with lots of energy. Some of Kevin’s teachers, however, would describe him as having ADD, while other seniors labeled him ADHD. Being a hyper kid might not have pleased Kevin’s elders, but his little league football coaches were of a different opinion.
You could tell early on that Kevin was a great athlete in the making. He was always energetic, coordinated, competitive, and daring. He took direction well, and was always improving, upping his game.
It has been years since Kevin played little league football but he still works out, and has improved considerably, physically speaking. Kevin’s ambitious competitive drive hasn’t slowed down. He’s stronger than ever and has a terrific physique. Surprisingly, despite all his physical attributes, Kevin’s never satisfied because he’s what many would consider an alpha-male, over-achiever; one of those guys whose always craving for more. More muscles, more strength, more endurance, more masculinity, more girls. Kevin feels he can only impress, and gain respect from his peers, and attract the ladies, if he pushes his body to the absolute limit.
Since Kevin is no longer in school and cannot rely upon the institution’s weight room, he looks for another facility to work out at. As he walks into a thoroughly equipped health club, he’s amazed at the space, quantity of equipment, and number of members. It looks like the ideal place for Kevin to accomplish his goals.
As Kevin is given a tour of the facility, he sees a couple of guys working out near the dumbbell rack. He stares at them incredulously. These are the types of guys Kevin has only seen in those muscle magazines, and now they’re (literally) within arm’s reach. These guys are huge. Bulging deltoids, mountainous pecs, garden hose veins popping out of their biceps and forearms, heavy weights being defied of gravity. Although there are plenty of sexy women in the gym, Kevin is oblivious as his focus is burning on bigger muscles; he has the blinders on.
After his gym tour, Kevin is sitting in the locker room reading the pamphlet that outlines his membership options and in walks the musclemen. Kevin builds up the courage to ask them some (obvious) questions. “How did you guys get so big? How often do you train? What do you eat? What vitamins are you taking?”
To his surprise, the musclemen are eagerly (or is it, egotistically?) responsive, and spend time chatting with Kevin in the locker room. They even go so far as to invite Kevin to ‘spot’ their next training session. Kevin darts out of the locker room to the front desk; he signs up for the yearly membership package.
Step into the Underground:
Not long after Kevin begins training with his new muscle-clad workout pals, he starts to sense something unfamiliar; unusual language and innuendos that don’t add up to the common lingo. Finally, Kevin puts two and two together, and his naivety breaks. He has heard of steroids before but never thought he’d be exposed to them – at least not with guys who were under the influence. The transformation of Kevin begins.
Kevin’s training partners let him in on their shady secret – they’re on the juice, they use the stuff. Steroids! No wonder they look so fantastic, so unnatural. And with all the working out Kevin was doing himself – certainly logging in as many hours and days per week – he wasn’t getting anywhere near the results they have achieved. Kevin had chalked up his physical development to his genes. He had convinced himself that these guys’ parents passed on better DNA to them than Kevin’s parents passed onto him.
After feeling a bit dim-witted over his ignorance, Kevin experienced a huge surge of renewed enthusiasm. He discovered the secret, the missing link. He now knows how to make his hard training efforts even more effective, and pay out bigger dividends. Kevin immediately started using steroids, even though he hadn’t a clue what he was really putting into his body or where these drugs came from or what the risks were. What only mattered was that this was the stuff that did for all the musclemen Kevin had been idolizing most of his life, and Kevin wanted in at any cost.
Within weeks, Kevin’s muscles started growing. He was also lifting much more weight for every exercise and recovered much quicker between workouts. Every time Kevin stepped onto the scale or gazed into a mirror, he was seeing improvements in his muscle size and overall (external) appearance. Kevin was hooked. What a mental boost. The juice was working!
Of course, Kevin and his training partners were not supervised by any doctor; nor were they committed to any scientific protocol. In fact, they knew nothing of (or completely ignored) the science of steroids or exogenous hormonal alterations and, especially, the potential side-effects associated with anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). And if you asked any of these musclemen what precautions they were taking to address the risks they’d smirk and sarcastically say, “Negative side-effects? Ha, Ha! That’s only propaganda by ignorant so-called medical experts. Plus, that would never happen to me.” Yadda, yadda, yadda…
For the entire following year, Kevin kept on growing. His body looked like a Michelangelo-carved marble sculpture. None of his friends or family could believe their eyes, nor could they believe their ears when Kevin would tell them, “It’s all natural.”
Toward the latter end of that year, Kevin competed in a physique competition. And since he knew all of the other competitors were using the stuff too, he felt what he was doing was fair. During an interview with a local newspaper reporter after the competition, Kevin denied all accusations of steroid use – for himself, his competitors, and the entire sport. Kevin was not only a steroid user, he also became a liar.
When dreams turn into nightmares . . .
One evening, after coming home from the gym and looking buffed, Kevin joined up with his drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend Donna to have some “alone” time. Crazed by his muscular body, Donna would often initiate sex with Kevin, and each time Kevin was “up” for the occasion, until…
… until it happened. Kevin couldn’t get an erection, somewhat embarrassing for him. Both he and Donna blamed it on over-training. They engaged in a back-n-forth bombardment of blaming Kevin’s demanding workouts as the cause of his faltering penis. Kevin figured he was beating up his body a little too much, and read somewhere that over-training can (temporarily) lower testosterone levels, so he decided to slow it down bit.
But the slowing it down a bit didn’t help. All Kevin did was cut back on the intensity of his workouts, using (a little) less weight on curls, bench presses, and squats, all while avoiding any medical attention and doing nothing to adjust or try to recuperate from his use of steroids.
The next weekend, filled with even more passionate arousal and believing a few days’ rest was all Kevin needed to recharge his faltering libido and ‘on vacation’ penis, Donna pulled her muscleman back into the bedroom. After some kissing and touching – and more than enough foreplay that was normally needed for Kevin to be ready to penetrate Donna – again, he couldn’t get it up for that occasion either. Strike two. Kevin’s big head wanted to have sex but, again, his little head had other issues on its mind.
Not being the most emotionally stable person to begin with, Donna was upset with Kevin’s inability to get an erection; she took it personally. She felt Kevin was either not attracted to her anymore or was sexing somebody else from the gym; and she had plenty of suspicions that ignited a cyclone of accusations. Worries over Kevin’s waning interest, and his lack of sexual responsiveness, swirled around Donna’s mind like a swarm of killer bees.
Kevin’s mind was also steeped in confusion. Confusion about not being able to achieve an erection, about how his drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend was feeling in regards to her (muscle) man not being able to get it up for her, and the fact that, just perhaps, those conversations about ‘side-effects’ weren’t propaganda after all. This was the Opening Ceremonies to a steroid user’s Mind Games.
In spite of his very obvious declining symptoms, Kevin continued using steroids. In fact, believing his erectile dysfunction was from a lack of hormones, he actually increased his dosages of steroids, and kept saying to himself, “I’ll never go off this stuff”. Fact is, Kevin couldn’t get off ‘this stuff’, because his mind wouldn’t allow him to. His body, and penis (‘little head’) were physiologically addicted, or dependent, while his brain chemistry, specifically from his artificially stimulated pituitary and hypothalamus glands, had become negatively programmed causing major disturbances to what’s known as the Hypothalamus Pituitary Testicular Axis, or HPTA (sometimes referred to as the HPGA as the word Gonadal replaces Testicular). This disruption is what’s often referred to as ‘negative feedback loop’ or ‘down regulation’. Basically, the glands in the big head are all screwed up cutting off hormonal signals and natural chemical messengers to the little head. It’s maddening. Kevin knew that if he decided to terminate steroid use he would deflate like a balloon that just had a hole poked into it.
As you can imagine; many of you reading this know all too well, Kevin got much worse. Not only did his steroid-induced muscles begin atrophying, his testicles shriveled up as well, so Kevin avoided showering in the health club locker to avoid embarrassment.
Steroid users inevitably encounter varying levels of emotional shock when they lose function of the one part of their bodies they’ve never actually had to be concerned about before – their penises. However, losing the ability to obtain and sustain an erection was just a small part of much deeper conditions festering inside Kevin’s body and brain.
Those in the know are well aware that there’s a highly complex, sophisticated, and sensitive cascade of events that enable penises to become, and remain erect. As briefly stated above, these intricate inner anatomical workings, which are headquartered in the brain; i.e., hypothalamus and pituitary, are also responsible for libido, the manufacturing of the Gonadotropins, sperm, Testosterone and other sex-enhancing hormones, regulating healthy Testosterone-to-Estrogen ratios, controling the production of Sex-Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), producing nerve energy that provides penile sensitivity, stimulate an influx in blood flow which dilates (enlarges) penile tissues creating erection and is essential for keeping blood trapped inside the penis until orgasm has been achieved, to name a few.
An (un)happy ending:
Kevin and Donna split up, and boy-o-boy was that nasty and painful. But in spite of Kevin losing his lover and best friend he wasn’t going to give up on his dream to be as big and strong and sexy as his training buddies. Kevin’s now completely distorted mind was convinced sex wasn’t a necessity in life, voting in favor of having bigger muscles over an erect penis, so he continued pumping AAS drugs into his body.
Kevin’s penis is not the only organ that was giving him problems. Shortly after Donna left, he started to lose his hair, a condition known as male pattern baldness that is caused from a hormonal imbalance, specifically, the radical conversion of Testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Kevin’s testicles used to be shaped like macho-sized kiwis, but they eventually resembled shrunken down raisins. And it didn’t stop there.
Kevin also began to feel pressure in his rectum from an irritated, and inflamed, prostate; a gland also associated with testosterone, sperm and semen production. He regularly found droplets of blood in his urine from renal (kidney) damage. His eyes became jaundice from his battered liver. His testosterone levels had dropped to that of a young girl, while his estrogen had increased to that of an elderly, obese woman. As a result of Kevin’s high levels of estrogen, his nipples grew outward. And although he was obsessively careful about hiding his pecs, especially when changing in the locker room, one day a few fellow gym mates caught a glimpse of Kevin when he took off his baseball cap and T-shirt and whispered, “Kevin’s going bald and has major bitch tits. I knew that guy was juicing!”
Kevin ultimately (and rather quickly) lost a great deal of his muscle mass and definition and was always bloated and soft looking. Michelangelo transformed into the Pillsbury Doughboy. And as a side note, contrary to popular gossip, there is no biological mechanism that converts muscle into fat; these are two separate entities. The fact is, Kevin lost his muscle size and, concurrently was gaining fat. Nonetheless, metabolic mayhem.
As time went on, Kevin’s joints ached constantly, and instead of squeezing out a dozen-plus reps on the leg press machine loaded to over 600 pounds, he had a rough time taking out the garbage. And when he did take out the garage he constantly complained to himself the entire time how rotten he was feeling. Kevin became a mess, isolating himself from the world he once knew as a depressed and broken down man.
How can something that makes you feel (and look) so good be so damaging? That’s the question millions of steroid users, men and women, asks themselves every day who have, or are, experiencing any of the side-effects that Kevin has.
If you’re a steroid user, you might know Kevin quite well. Or, at least, you’ll be able to relate to Kevin in more than one way. I suggest you watch the documentaries entitled, The Last Shot, the Jose Canseco (steroid) story, The Man Whose Arms Exploded, and Bigger, Stronger, Faster. These are all about the world of steroids.
I’m not going to give this article a fancy ending, because I don’t see the steroid epidemic ending anytime soon. So to offer a bit of advise; that so-called propaganda is real, steroids ‘do’ cause side-effects. Play it smart. Know what you’re getting yourself into, seek proper medical attention, and if any side-effects surface make sure you have a plan to safely backstroke out of them immediately. Don’t be a Kevin.
—- End —-
(Excerpts taken from the book ‘Ultimate Sexual Health & Performance™’; All Rights Reserved, ©, 2012, J, Abdo)