Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mum the bodybuilder rises above last minute nerves

Mum the bodybuilder.

A Newcastle woman who competed in the doubles section of a body building competition with her son 20 years ago, at the age of 40, has told of how last minute nerves almost ruined the attempt.

And in a dramatic tale that will melt the heart of every mum, Lyn Butterworth told ABC Newcastle listeners how her son Lee Priest's gentle act of holding his mum's hand steadied her nerves enough for the pair to go on and win.

I felt real love within that smile and gentle touch of my son's strong hand

Lyn Butterworth's story was relived recently on the 1233 breakfast program's Song Of Significance segment, where she requested My Friend by Simon Gallagher.

"My 17-year-old son had been competing very successfully in body building competitions for four years," Ms Butterworth said in an email.

"His one ambition in life was to compete in the Mr Olympia, body building's ultimate competition.

"He trained with the tunnel vision required of a champion. All the family became his support team and we followed him to all his competitions, some of which had a doubles competition.

"This meant that you were judged as a couple. Each couple had to go though the muscularity and symmetry rounds as well as put together a routine to the music of their choice.

"Lee's next competition was 10 months away when I asked if I could compete with him in the doubles.

"I must paraphrase his answer as it would not pass censorship, but he agreed if I got in shape, then yes, I could be his partner. He thought that he would never have to worry.

"After all, I was almost 40, never played any sort of sport, and was quite often described as pleasantly plump.

"To cut a very long and grueling story short, my training and dieting had me and Lee in the couples. The impossible had become possible.

We won the competition. . . everyone loved the part where Lee took my hand

"Lee had won his division and came backstage to where I was warming up. I was petrified. I could not believe I had put myself in this situation.

"He has come to reassure me, I thought. 'Don't muck this up on me, Mum,' he said. My heart sank. Our music started and I was on stage.

"Things went fine at first, then I had one of those 'Who am I, what am I doing here?' moments.

"I was gone. Lee saw the look, and with a knowing smile, reached for my hand and continued the routine as if all was well. Yes, there is a God!

"I felt real love within that smile and gentle touch of my son's strong hand. It was a rare moment for a mum, especially rare moment for the mum of a teenage boy."

"We won the competition. Many times we were congratulated on our routine - everyone loved the part where Lee took my hand - Lee went on to live his dream, and is the most successful body builder Australia has ever produced, Lee Priest."

Mum the Bodybuilder. Australian broadcasting corporation

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