Did you ever see someone in the midst of the thing they are most passionate about? This weekend I spent some time with the first athlete that I have the honor of sponsoring, his name is Ron Dukes. Most of you who are following the Kut-Up Fitwear story already know that Ron is our "Poster Boy." He represents every single detail of the Kut-Up Fitwear philosophy. It shouldn't surprise you when I say I was extremely excited to see him at the finish line of his preparation for this past weekends ANBF Pro Qualifier- the ANBF Jersey Shore Natural Pro/Am 8.
I made it to the Brick Memorial High School in New Jersey around 11:30 AM to find Ron sitting in the cafeteria-turned athletes area. As soon as I saw him, he jumped up and came over to give me a handshake and a hug! Ron always brings the good vibes along with that big smile. The cafeteria was a relaxed environment that was perfect for giving us some quality face time, but first I gave him a fresh new pair of Kut-Up sweats that we made special for him. I'm glad he liked them and he immediately gave me the feedback I was hoping to hear.
Ron and I sat and talked about many things and even made some great progress with the details for his feature on the Kut-Up Fitwear website. It is always so much fun to hold a dialogue with this man! His positive and focused nature really keeps my attention on what he is saying. Sometimes I struggle with paying attention, but never when I'm around Ron.
I value every minute I spend with him and I am very grateful that we work so well with each other. During his pump, I tried to be as transparent as possible as to not disturb his focus. Everything about him is very natural so it really makes him easy to be around and especially to photograph him. There is something very calming but at the same time intense when it comes to Ron. From time to time I would give him some positive thoughts and visions to put in his head. It was very obvious that Ron was about as dry as he could possibly be, and when he finally put the shine on his skin, I was thinking to myself, "intensity is nothing without passion," which is the same thing that Ron's bracelet reads.
Ron's Stage presence and posing was flawless (except almost coming on to the stage with his flip flops on...lol). It was awesome to see Ron's visions manifesting right before our eyes. All of his hard work and dedication was showing in its truest form. I literally jumped out of my seat when the judges called crab most muscular and he stepped forward with the most intense look I have ever seen. I actually captured a picture of that moment .....right before I jumped out of my seat (see gallery below).
I left after pre-judging with the absolute confidence that Ron was going to win his class, and as I was waiting in line for a concert I got the news from him!!! It was a feeling like no other to see that message! Ron won the Open Lightweight division as well as placing 4th in the Pro Men's Physique. His body-builiding class win would earn him an ANBF Pro Card.
The ANBF (American Natural Bodybuiling Federation) Jersey Shore Natural was a really impressive and organized event. I see great things to come and some serious growth with this organization. As a matter of fact, I think I am going to compete in an ANBF event in the very near future. Keep up the great work Kent Bierly
Congratulations, Ron on yet another successful competition, but just like we always say "training for and finishing a competition should always be considered a success." I look forward to getting you to Florida for the NGA Nationals and for all the great things we have lined up with Kut-Up Fitwear. I am happy to have you as a friend, a teammate and our main man at Kut-Up Fitwear.