Those who are very familiar with bodybuilding media may know Derek Anthony's name. Most of you, no doubt, will not. But he recently died, and his death is not insignificant. Well, at least the lessons one can learn from his death. (There is a longer editorial reflecting on Anthony's Death in XN's Coaching Blog.)
Anthony was a D-list bodybuilding celebrity, whose biggest claim to fame was a podcast called The DA Show. He was a man obsessed with an ideal muscle image. He was arguably lost in the swirl of muscle mythology; a self-delusion that lead him to a degree of drug abuse that resulted in endless health complications in the final years of his short, short life.
More famous among fans of his work as a soft core gay pin-up boy than as a competitive bodybuilder, Anthony's story plays out like a scripted cliché: a young hopeful with an incredible physique gradually becomes seduced by his own obsession with a mythology about muscle.
While we offer sincere condolences to his family, we meanwhile hope that many can learn from the profound and vital message of this athlete's short life. It is a story that plays out too often in the bodybuilding world, yet rarely is it so well captured in the media.