Stumped by steroids, I wonder why?

Cory Hurley - A Game of Inches
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Cory Hurley

What makes a local athlete decide he or she is going to take steroids?

There are all kinds of pressures for professional athletes to get juiced — fame and fortune, fan criticism, expectations, recovery from injuries. But, there’s no millions to be made at Jubilee Field or the Pepsi Centre. No scouts are camped out at Wellington. Fans are family and friends, who for the most part would rather see them healthy and safe.

You hear here and there about this person or that person using, but it is not typical sports conversation in local circles. I have heard it quite a bit lately, maybe it’s the change of scenery. It wasn’t like it was being offered up or anything, just the talk about this one and that one.

I have never really had much of an opinion on the subject, other than the national and international scandals that have surfaced over the years. I had never blamed professional athletes, especially baseball players, who used during the times when their leagues had not banned the substances. I think it is the commissioners of the time who should be wiped from the record books, not the players who are said to have “cheated.”

But again, all that doesn’t come into play here in Corner Brook. There is no drug testing. There are no contracts. Heck, there isn’t even any opposition to steroid use from the other players that I hear. There is no talk of banning certain players and there are no asterisks on certain player’s names at The local media are not hounding the leagues for stiffer penalties or a list of those using.

So, I believe it is mostly just a personal attempt at improving one’s physique. The benefits on the local diamond or ice is just an added bonus. No way is the recognition of one’s name in the newspaper a couple of times a week incentive enough to get juiced, is it?

I have known for years of many people who took steroids to bulk up or add muscle. It is widely recognized that they become “obsessed” with their bodies. In the gym pumping iron constantly in an attempt to impress themselves or somebody else. Their bodies are transformed from the regular Joe to the professional wrestler variety in just about no time at all. I have seen guys who I have hardly recognized just months after the last time seeing them. I always thought, “oh well, their choice.” I still do, I guess. I certainly don’t care about playing sports against somebody on steroids or not.

I was at a local health store recently, when a 12-year-old kid came in with his mother. They scoured the shelves for a while before his mother placed a large bottle of something on the counter, paid for it, and the boy carried it out of the store. I don’t even know enough about what was bought to be able to say what it was. A few jokes were exchanged between the mother and the attendant about how he was looking to impress the girls.

It just didn’t sit well with me. I brought up the exchange with a few people, and they agreed. One even made the point of saying, where will it lead? An obvious reference to steroids. I’m sure the over the counter stuff that was bought was perfectly fine. I wonder if it was something recommended for children, but I really don’t know enough to comment specifically. But, yeah, it just didn’t sit right with me.

There is a significant downside to steroid use that is well documented and recognized. There are harsh health risks and a change in one’s appearance and attitude. There are many cases of deaths or violence linked to “roid rage,” and many people say they have seen people turn angry and/or depressed. Is it all worth it, even to have people marvel over your physique? Maybe it is.

I certainly don’t know. I have never had anybody marvel over my physique. I have spent nearly as much time on the moon as I have pumping iron.

It’s an interesting thought if nothing else. I would always certainly rather have my health than be able to flex my pectorals.

Organizations: Pepsi Centre

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • Lackluster article reader
    June 12, 2014 - 17:36

    Why write a article you did not even bother to research what you were going to talk about?

  • CB Gym Member
    June 12, 2014 - 16:17

    This article is proof that the Western Star will publish just about anything, even if the writer has absolutely no clue what they are talking about. Protein to Steroids? What kind of assumption is that? What was sold to the kid you are referring to is a tub of protein powder, a perfectly healthy substance even for children as most people never come close to reaching their daily protein requirements by food alone. This isn't even news, just an uneducated idiot trying to smear local businesses or people who are more athletic than him, because "I have spent more time on the moon than I have pumping iron." Maybe if you knew anything about fitness, you would know "pumping iron" has countless health benefits regardless of age, and that supplements are completely fine to use. Why not just say that people who drink coffee are going to start taking Cocaine as a pick me up? Same type of idiotic assumption.

  • sobre second thought
    June 11, 2014 - 13:03

    Have a look at this .for some perspective ....

  • Jeff "The Marlin Hunter" Sheppard
    June 11, 2014 - 12:21

    This is a very unique angle you are trying to take here Cory. This will really help you gain a bunch of respect around Corner Brook's baseball association. Practice and working out does not get results. Writing wicked articles about something you clearly have a ton of knowledge about will help you on and off the field. Clearly you are a true winner and an excellent journalist. I will be waiting patiently for your next article in the New York Times about how you're going to be the next Derek Jeter. In case you couldn't read or comprehend this comment, this was sarcasm and you're a loser.

    • love it, love it, LOVE IT
      June 11, 2014 - 12:45

      This is the best. **Marlin Hunter.** Woot woot Wow!!! Of all the poor insecure small-town small-time *athletes* that are reading things into this story that I can't even see there then ***Marlin Hunter** you are my fav. Lets go pump iron some time, hey. Get a grip people.

    • Haha
      June 11, 2014 - 14:04

      "The marlin hunter" with a career battin avg of .157... Marlin pitchers be aware

    • Witness
      June 11, 2014 - 15:01

      Ive personally seen this man pitch a W, AND hit the game winning home run...IN THE SAME GAME.. You wont see HEART as a stat line. The Marlins SS should learn alot from the Stunk,

  • Health Professional
    June 11, 2014 - 11:18

    "In the gym pumping iron constantly in an attempt to impress themselves or somebody else" Does anybody think people who "pump iron" are trying to be healthy, prolong life, or lose weight to prevent future health problems? Cause I do. The studies show resistance training (pumping iron) is the most efficient way to lose weight. This statement alone shows how little research you have to do to be called a writer. You are part of the problem sir. Anybody who reads this is going to come away with a negative view of daily physical activity. In a small, secluded province that is detached culturally from the rest of Canada and its main stream pro fitness cutlre, it is articles like these that are making us go backwards.

  • Steve Kelly
    June 10, 2014 - 21:20

    I'm the owner of the supplement store you mention in this article. The "unknown substance" you are referring to was a 1lb tub of Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein. Its the number 1 selling protein powder in the world. If you can find any viable source to confirm any harmful risk this product may have on a 13 year old boy I encourage you to contact me at the email address listed above to share this information with me If you didn't know what the substance was, maybe you should have contacted me directly before starting a fueled debate about it with your friends and later publishing an article slandering a locally owned health store and connecting it to past, present, and future steroid use. Theres an awful lot of people who buy health supplements that don't turn to Illegal performance enhancing drugs. Count me as one of them. You keep referencing how you aren't able to comment on the subject because you don't know much about it, but at no point did you stop your self to do any research before you published the article. On top of your uneducated slandering of the health/Supplement industry, I'm also personally offended by your attacks on the local senior baseball league. I think they have went above and beyond basic due diligence and have done everything possible to accommodate your new team in the league. You repay them by publicly venting how you feel past and present steroid users(none of which you know) should have asterisks by their names ? I would think you would have appreciated everything the league has done for you in recent weeks. I think you owe both Local health stores and the Corner Brook baseball league an apology.

  • Arod
    June 10, 2014 - 17:03

    Corey Hurley that was the worst thing I've ever read. You should get on the juice and set the CB baseball home run record

  • Goose
    June 10, 2014 - 16:30

    A better are you still employed?

  • AnteRoid Rager
    June 10, 2014 - 15:51

    Great article Corey. Let's call it like it who bulk up to look good when there wearing no shirt. They arent about being healthy. Pffffttt.

  • What did I just read..
    June 10, 2014 - 15:50

    "I have spent nearly as much time on the moon as I have pumping iron" Evidently. That should have been the one and only sentence in this "article", and I use that term loosely.

  • Newfoundlander
    June 10, 2014 - 12:59

    Is this article even about anything? All you do here is express your neutral opinion about steroids and give a strange yet questionable mention of a store in town and storied baseball association. Millions of responsible supplement users out there. Tons of which live in CB and buy from said store. You should give this article another go and aim it around the parent buying their child supplements when they probably have no knowledge of what it is, and more than likely no knowledge of getting fit the right way. Buying your kid a yearly gym membership at the age of 12 and getting them a personal trainer at such a young age will lead to athlete burn out. What stands out here is the need for a young child (not even a teenager) to impress the ladies. Culture has shaped this generation into being opbsessed with looks, and the parents cater to their every single need

  • GS
    June 10, 2014 - 12:09

    You continually reference the fact that you "don't care" or you "don't know enough about it" but you decide to put an article in the paper completely on hearsay and general observation? Get some facts before you start attacking local businesses who would have nothing to do with selling steriods because they are illegal! You're articles are generally terribly written and on awful subjects, but this one takes the cake.

  • Victoria Weir
    June 10, 2014 - 10:21

    There are countless comments I could make criticizing the content of this poorly researched article. Firstly, the health benefits associated with strength training, including 'flexing your pectorals' are numerous and readily available for the public to read online. Secondly, Canada had laws regulating what makes the shelves in supplement stores. A common product being protein powder, which is a crucial part of a healthy diet. Again, the health benefits of this dietary supplement can be researched online. Thirdly and perhaps the most naive claim in this article, is the suggestion that taking any supplement will lead to steroid use. This is equivalent to suggesting that taking a multivitamin (another dietary supplement), will lead to steroid use. There is a great difference between individuals who care about their health and fitness, and those who choose to risk it for size or performance or whatever benefit they see in steroid use. As a recently graduated kinesiologist, the lack of research in this article bewilders me. If anything, it deters the public from living a healthy lifestyle for fear that they too will succumb to 'juicing'. Lifting weights and taking dietary supplements is not a gateway to steroid use.