Hello, I am Shane Fortner and I am a newcomer to the world of fitness competitions. I suppose you could say that I began taking my fitness training seriously Spring 2013. In the years previous I frequently played with the idea of committing myself and hitting the gym hard to test my dedication and ultimately, see what my body could handle. Unfortunately, I was ignorant to the fact that this physical transformation I wanted to see required more than just a solid gym routine. I was neglecting the nutritional component of fitness training. Like several others, I thought nutrition simply meant giving up the party scene, popping supplements and having a mega chocolate protein shake after every workout. I had it covered! Imagine my surprise when the scale continued to climb. Sure, I was gaining lean mass as I had planned to do however, that was not a fitness model I saw in the mirror. Furthermore, I was run down and dreading every workout. How discouraging and what a waste of my time. This cycle continued season after season. Don't get me wrong, I understand the meaning of hard work and dedication. I played football as a running back for a local CJFL team and competed in various 100, 200 and 400 meter sprint events. I have always prided myself on being a natural athlete and quickly picking up new sports. Being unable to immediately conquer this latest challenge threw my self confidence for a loop! Like any other headstrong athlete, there was no way I would be defeated by myself.
April 2013, I signed up for the June 2013 WBFF Alberta Championships. I studied proper supplementation, sought advice from other athletes and committed myself to my nutrition coach and best friend, Brett Godin. Failure was no longer an option!
Unfortunately, due to the devastating Southern Alberta floods, the June WBFF Championships were cancelled. I had come a long way and was so proud of my accomplishments that there was no way my journey was ending here. You always have the imagine what I could do if I had just one more week to prep. Well, now I did. No excuses! The October 2013 WBFF Championships came quickly and I was ready to see how my perseverance compared to some of the best athletes in the fitness industry.
I competed in Men's Fitness and am proud to say that I placed top 10! I was on a high. I missed that competitive feeling of everything you have worked so hard for coming down to one single moment. Realizing that my perseverance to succeed can trump all skepticism has empowered me. The photo shoot with status Fitness Magazine and signing with Optimum Nutrition was icing on the cake! I have now set myself an extremely high bar and know exactly what I need to do to surpass it!
I want to share a couple of the influential lessons I have learned early in this journey. By far, the most valued lesson I have learned is the importance of balance. I share this information with everyone who is trying to find his or her way into a fit and healthy lifestyle. I cannot emphasize how fulfilling a balanced lifestyle can be! I, like several others, got caught up and fixated on the routine of work, train, meal prep and sleep. This quickly got old and I found that I was no longer enjoying myself. It makes absolutely no sense to commit and challenge yourself in life when you cannot enjoy it at the same time. Remember, a balanced lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle! Lastly, pay it forward! I do not want this to sound corny but we are all where we are thanks to the knowledge gained from others. Whether it be coaches, friends, blogs, fitness websites or magazines, we have to be thankful that others took the time to share their health expertise with us. So take from this what you want but I can assure you that there is no better feeling than to know that you have influenced someone's health and happiness!