It’s almost over.

12 weeks of sweat, stiffness and sadism. We’re being tested next week Tuesday at the Sports Science Institute, and it’ll be a make or break affair. I’ve been watching my colleagues change over the 12 weeks. There was stiffness, complaints and early-morning-training tired eyes in the beginning but it progressed into looser-fitting clothes, workout banter and walking with a confident strut in their step. They’re healthier, slimmer and best of all they’re happier. They’re now athletes.

What makes an athlete? Just sticking to their program. Making the small sacrifices for the big gains. Working hard to become a better guy. That sounds familiar, right? That’s because it’s exactly what our mag is about, just constantly working on making ourselves better men. We’re not doing it for medals or pay cheques, we’re doing it to function and live better. We’re doing to enjoy our sports and feel better about ourselves. Athletes aren’t just men who are sponsored by German car brands and who advertise expensive timepieces, they’re men like you, me and the nine other guys on the right. They make the choice to work on it, to improve themselves. It could be your squat one rep max, the number of pull-ups you can do or even your 10km time. Whatever it is, they’ve made the decision to be better.

Tuesday will reveal the extent of the changes that have taken place. Waists will have shunk, biceps and chests expanded, body-fat reduced and heart-rates brought down. They’ll be stretchier. Lighter. And in some cases, they’ll have added slabs of muscle. This science experiment will reveal just what exercise and nutrition can do to 10 average blokes. This blueprint will then come out in our July issue, and it will be a schematic that you can use to rebuild your own body. Consider it your chance to become an athlete.

If you want to see some athletes in action, the Crossfit African Regional Games (click for a video intro) are taking place in Cape Town this weekend, starting on Friday. The men and women that have made it through to these Regionals are true athletes, most of them have nine to five jobs but still put in the hours to become fitter, stronger and faster. I gave it my all to make it, but couldn’t make the final 60. But next year, that’s one of my goals. We’ll be there to watch, and we’ll be recording some of the action so that you can learn the inside training secrets.

The only thing left now is to ask, what is your challenge? And more importantly, when you do you start?

And to end off, an inspiring image with an attractive woman. Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean training is cancelled.