2017 Round up of another year full of achievement
2016 was such a fantastic year it would have been easy to think 2017 would be a disappointment. It did start on a low but certainly picked up as we went along I am proud to say. In 2016 I received a Lifetime Achievement gong at the National Fitness Awards and clinched a few bodybuilding titles. NABBA North East and Mr Britain whilst also finishing runner-up in both the the World Championships (in Brazil) and Mr Universe contests.
So what about this year 2017? What has happened?
I actually started 2017 with anxiety issues and panic attacks. This was strange as was something I had not experienced before. The worst thing about it was that it was totally out of my control and could happen anytime. I managed to keep working through it although the feeling was to hide away at home. I believe the positivity of the gym surroundings certainly helped me in my recovery. My advice to anyone suffering from these symptoms is talk to someone! I confided in my business partners at one of our meetings and such is their support (Jimmy and Natasha) that they paid for me to see a sports psychiatrist in the shape of Allan Johnston. This was a great move and although I did go onto beta-blockers for a short while I only needed one session with Allan (Doc) Johnston. I was given great guidance and engaged in recommended breathing and distraction techniques to help overcome the issue.
One of those distraction techniques was focusing on my training and focusing on a competition. I held my cards very close to my chest regards competing in case I needed to pull out.
This technique worked and I increased my competitive client base and surrounded myself with positive people.
By mid-March I was back to feeling my old self again.
As the early competition season started I had lots of people to look after which certainly kept my mind busy. The people I work with are a real inspiration to me and such genuine people who give it their all. Lucky to work with these guys under the banner of #teamtops.
In the early season the rewards came for the #teamtops as everyone put near their best on stage. It was great for me to see my clients bringing home the bacon. 4 titles came the way of #teamtops before the end of June. The titles ranged from Disability Class, Masters, Toned and Athletic figure. On top of this seeing most finish in the top 3 at high standard qualifiers was very satisfying.
My own journey saw me take up NABBA’s invite to represent the UK in Russia at the World Championships. I have never achieved a title at this level even though I have finished in the top 3 (7 out of 8 times). Although the trip to Russia was thwarted with cancelled flights and lost luggage it still ended up being a worthwhile trip. With the help of my UK teammates (especially Antony Jackson) I managed to hit the stage and finally achieve a title that has alluded me. I have to say the team bonding in the UK athletes was the highlight of the experience.
Then we entered the second half of the season. A few Guest Spot invites came my way and also the duty to judge a few bodybuilding shows. I was also welcomed to judge the National Fitness Awards once more which is something I am very proud of. I wrote a few articles for Bodybuilding and Fitness magazines and got invited to do some talks and training sessions at a local school. This was a real buzz as the kids showed great enthusiasm and willingness to learn. I feel privileged to work in an industry where I can impact positively in so many people’s lives.
The Guest Spots meant I had to stick to my tight with my nutritional regime. In the meantime 2 weeks before my first Guest Spot I had to have a small operation to remove a naughty mole from my back. As they had to cut deep I was recommended to not train for up to 4 weeks. This was never going to happen! I am not daft so I used my knowledge to train my body putting minimal stretch/tension into the area where I had the surgery on my back. There is always a way you just have to adapt to your situation regards training. As I said 2 weeks later I was on stage doing a spot for the IBFA Yorkshire Champs. I was told the infected area had been created due to prolonged exposure to UV rays. So take it on board to be sensible with your sun and sunbed usage. Health always priority number one!
My second Guest Appearance was onstage at the OYC (Open Yorkshire Classic run by Jason Matthews). I always like to entertain so I enlisted the help of 7 of my #teamtops client’s. We performed a humorous routine loosely based on Baywatch, Ferris Bueller and Austin Powers. We had a few problems with props but it seemed to go down well and achieved the goal of making people smile. This spot gave me chance to showcase the variation of athletes I look after – from disability to fully able bodied, foreign based, toned to athletic etc. These are the people that make Steve Johnson Coaching a success story. The OYC is where I received the best trophy I have ever laid my eyes on in the shape of a “Zeus bronze trophy” – 18kg and 2 1/2 ft high (see pic). Jason had got all my titles since 1990 etched around the base which certainly humbled me and became a moment I will never forget.
Moving on from that the #teamtops athletes brought home another 6 titles at the back end of the year to bring the seasons tally to 10!
I am now working with so many gifted and hard-working athletes that I am very excited to see what 2018 has in store for my team.
To round the season off for myself I competed for the very first time in the PCA federation at their Midlands qualifier and the experience was top notch. I can honestly say I am very impressed with the organisation of this outfit and the competitor experience was certainly one of the best I have had. I gained the title of PCA Mr Midlands and with it have qualified for their British Championships in October next year. This certainly is of massive interest to me. A week later I was on the Universe stage for the 5th time in my career and in a close competition came runner up for the 3rd time. The experience was fantastic and I loved every second. Hearing the commentary on NAPA TV afterwards put a big smile on my face (search NAPA TV on youtube).
My final appearance onstage was at the NABBA UK champs a week after the Universe. Here I was inducted into a NABBA ‘Legends’ hall of fame. Alongside me were 3 gifted and experienced bodybuilders who have put a lot of their competitive life into NABBA. I certainly dont consider myself a legend! There are so many others out there who deserve this accolade a lot more than me but I guess I have just been in the right place at the right time. The Legends class still was a great honour when you are sharing the stage with people I have looked up to for so long. They are not just great physiques but really nice down to earth people too. These ‘Legends’ being Paul Sutton, Joe Walker and Jason Corrick.
I have to mention that all the way through this season I have been lucky enough to be backed by my awesome sponsors:
Muscle King Nutrition for all my supplement needs
Muscletricks.com for all my clothing and much much more
I would like finally to thank all the people who have supported, encouraged and worked with me in 2017 because you are the people that make this all worthwhile. From my gorgeous wife Lesley to my athletes who give me their all and all my social media friends and family, staff and business partners. You are all very important to me!
2017 has been another successful year but I am already looking towards 2018 with excitement with what is to come. I have already received many working offers so keep an eye on my soon to be updated website, facebook Steve Johnson Coaching page and my @stetops instagram
Life is certainly good!
Stay healthy everyone and love what you do!
Steve Johnson Coaching over and out