John Worley won his IPE pro card at the 2018 NANBF Natural Iowa in Men’s Physique. Not only is it a story about him and the medical condition he had to overcome, but but how he and his wife accomplished their goals as a couple. You can see John’s live FB video after his big win here: https://www.facebook.com/naturaliowa/videos/10156341155622418/ In the words of Paul Harvey, below is the “rest of the story” to the stage:
What made you decide to compete?
My wife inspired me to compete. She has competed in the bikini division for the past 3 years and it has been amazing to see her transform herself mentally and physically. This year I decided to join her in her prep and we both competed in the Natural Southern States Classic and the Natural Iowa this year.
What obstacle did you overcome?
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome in my life was my battle with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease mostly affecting the large intestine. As a senior in college (2012) I was hospitalized for about 2 months and had to have 3 abdominal surgeries because of my ulcerative colitis. I had been lifting for 4 years at that point and being a gym-goer was a huge part of my identity. In the 2 months I was hospitalized, I had lost 40 pounds and I wasn’t able to be active. Eventually I was able to get back in the gym, but mentally it took a long time for me to feel normal. Going through competition prep really helped me realize that even after all I had been through, I could push myself to be the best possible version of me.
What was the hardest thing about the contest prep?
To me, the hardest part of prep was balancing prep, work, and life (friends, family, etc.). Being in a calorie deficit needed for competition prep is taxing—I was more fatigued than normal, and it was difficult to concentrate at times, which made work more difficult than normal. It is difficult for people who do not know much about the sport to understand what it takes to go through a competition prep, especially when it comes to diet. My wife and I really enjoy going out to eat and spending time with friends and family, so it was difficult to say no to them.
What was the best thing about competing?
I honestly enjoyed everything about competing. From the daily grind with the diet and workouts to the show day, it was all great Working every day toward getting ready for the show was extremely motivating daily. Seeing my progress through prep was rewarding. And it all culminated with a fun show day—it was amazing to be surrounded with so many like-minded people with incredible stories.
What does it mean to you to be an IPE drug-free pro?
Being an IPE drug-free pro validates my hard work.
What do you hope others can take away from your story?
I want others to know that if I can do it, you can, too. If you are not sure if you should compete or not, I would encourage you to just do it! And natural bodybuilding is a great way to do it! It is rewarding to see the physical progress, but through the process you will find that you are capable of more than you know.