Each of us, as humans, have the ability to become obsessed. It is both a brilliant and potentially dangerous facet of the human condition. Mostly, we are aware when passion morphs into obsession and we are able to curb it, identify and consequently mould it into the muse we want it to be.
A key example of unbridled obsession would be the former England rugby legend, Jonny Wilkinson. Infintitely talented on a rugby paddock and relentlessly devoted to success, a character driven by unbridled passion. As a personality, he was revered constantly, and unfairly, as a rugby droid, purely because he would not go out shagging vapid trollopes every weekend, or provide a cutting soundbite to the press.
Here was a man obsessed with two goals – to captain England and the second, you guessed it, to lift the Webb Ellis trophy and be a world champion. Everything else was subsidary.
The reason I mention Wilko is two fold. On the surface was a consumate professional and a cast iron role model. His obsession and unflinching desire paid massive dividends. On November 22nd 2003, his world was replaced with a new alien existence. Jonny became a national hero and icon, prime press fodder.
Post World Cup final, his finely tuned body began to creak and misfire. Injury upon injury followed, form dissapeared. Wilkinson slowly slipped from the public conscious. All the seconds, minutes, days and hours spent carving his psyche and technique to becoming a world champion reared themselves in the years that preceded that glittering November evening at the Telstra stadium.In a cruel twist, the work he had done was now creeping up and tearing him apart.
Jonny entered a spiral of deep depression and suffocating anxiety. Silently, he became a recluse – angry at the sport that he once adored and the spotlight that shone so brightly on his career.
From hero to an ongoing joke of the sport, famed once for his consumate temperment, now for his broken body and failed comebacks. His obsession led to the heights he craved but similarly it also culminated in to the darkest, lonliest period of his life.
Fortunately, Jonny eventually recognised this and relaxed his obsessive regimen and learned to enjoy his rugby, moving to Toulon and rebooting his stuttering career and personal life. He identified his demons before they swallowed him entirely.
‘Zyzz’ however, did not.
Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian
I stumbled across ‘Zyzz’ a couple of months ago on youtube whilst I was searching for a couple of motivational videos prior to throwing stuff about at the gym. The picture heading this blog previewed the video and so my curiosity was tickled and I watched the four minute video that followed.
“What a cock,” was my immediate thought.
A minute later, “Cripes, he is in great shape though”.
Three minutes in, “He’s rather funny is this Aussie chap”.
The video ends, “What the shit?!! He’s DEAD?”.
I have a healthy morbid curiosity, maybe it links to the job I do (I’m not a contract killer, despite my obvious resemblance to Agent 47 of the Hitman games). My research began and I started to learn more and more about this internet sensation and cult hero, who was simply known as ‘Zyzz’.
Here was a very young man, who whilst in his teens was trapped within the body of an ectomorph. He craved, like a vast bulk of us gents do, women and he believed that being shredded was the answer. Therefore he began to train….hard. Results came quickly and with his new found adonis-like physique, as did a new personality that would inspire and repulse in equal measures.
‘Zyzz’ was the phyical embodiment of an internet troll, he became a minor celebrity down under. This was reflected following his premature passing with the search term ‘Zyzz’ being more popular than that of the Australian Prime minister.
Watching his videos, ‘Zyzz’ fist pumps and flexes his enviable physique in all manner of inappropriate situations.Whether you approve or not, he coined a number of phrases, that no douby you will have heard farting out of the mouths of teenage plebs at your local gymnasium.
“You mirin’?!” – You admiring?
“Come at me bro!” – self explanatory.
“Sick C*nt” – again, self explanatory.
“FUUUUUUAAAAAARK” – see above.
All inspired, Shakespeare standard fayre I am sure you will agree.
Watching his videos, it is simple to dismiss ‘Zyzz’ as a bit of an Aussie prick – and he is, but this is also a slight disservice. Away from the camera, he openly confided in his fans that the entire ‘Zyzz’ character was just that, a fabricated figurehead for his obsession – to be the king of aesthetic bodybuilding.
His transformation from stick insect to aesthetic god has inspired many. He is also despised by those who consider him a fraud, and understandbly so, I am undecided, but once you click through a few of his videos and read his dry and sometimes hilarious quotes, it’s difficult to not feel an ounce of sadness for his untimely passing. There is certainly a presence about him, good or bad.
Aziz ‘Zyzz‘ Shavershian died in a sauna in Bangkok, aged 22. It is widely reported that he was on a very intensive steroid and fat burner cycle and this coupled with an unknown heart condition put paid to his legacy. Despite his continual protestations that he was a natural bodybuilder, the general consensus was that he indeed did abuse steroids.
I dont ask that you like or approve him, I just consider his story to be quite an intriguing one.
His obsession snuffed out his young life. Dont let obession rule yours.
RIP Aziz ‘Zyzz’ Shavershian March 24, 1989 – August 5, 2011