Oakdale’s J.R. Dahm competed in the 2016 National Physique Committee (NPC) Junior Master Nationals in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 20. Dahm, who advanced to the NPC Junior Master Nationals after taking first in the NPC Junior Master Regionals recently, took seventh in the nation, falling just short of qualifying for his pro card.
“Everything was positive. It was a very important learning experience. By that I mean, just being there and seeing all your hard work and effort and sacrifice paying off. On the other side though, competing at that level for the first time, is an overwhelming experience,” Dahm said about his experience at the Sheraton Hotel at Station Square. “You put in the work, and everyone did their homework. Some of these guys had experience and displayed it on stage.”
The Masters level Dahm was in was full of competitors ages 35-plus.
“I noticed (with the Masters) the difference of the competition levels, or age groups, is the commitment and sacrifice for those individuals. Some of us are fathers, husbands, business owners because we are older, and had to leave that behind in California; whereas the younger guys only have themselves to look after,” Dahm pointed out. “I’m not saying they (the younger guys) do not work hard or have sacrifices of their own, I’m just saying that we, the older guys, do have more responsibility and that we kept our commitment level up and I was impressed by those who competed in the Masters.”
Despite finishing seventh and missing the cut for his pro card; Dahm will continue to compete in the NPC. He will be competing at the NPC Junior USA in May of 2017.
“This is a family thing for me. This profession takes so much out of yourself and your family. I am family first at all times. Having said that, I look at what took place in Pittsburgh and I don’t want to go out like that,” added Dahm. “There are a couple of things I could have done better. That was my first time competing at that high of a level, on the national stage, and maybe it got the better of me. It is a nervous reaction and I was not as comfortable as I should have been.
“Part of me wants to get back on stage and prove I can win at the highest level, but the mature guy, and business owner in me is saying ‘Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Let’s make sure we are in the right place on a family and business level first.’ The people that I service at the gym (Revitalize Fitness) are the third most important people in my life, behind God and my family. I want to make sure they’re taken care of before I go out and do my own thing.”