Season of Change
It's hard to believe where time goes. It seems as we age it goes even faster. So much has happened in the past several years I'm not sure where to begin. Those of you who have missed me I truly appreciate you. And those of you who have supported me through the pandemic with your contributions, I truly appreciate it.
My last official European tour to visit friends and family was in the fall of 2019. I went to London, Milan, and returned home. I anticipated traveling to France as well, but I had a lingering pain in my right hip that would not go away. I had severe degenerative osteoarthritis in my hip. It really just crept up on me and I had no idea the kind of pain I would endure before the surgery. I am not one to take painkillers or medicine to mask any type of pain I am having. I had a PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections in the summer of 2019. I went out of pocket for this medical procedure and it was very expensive, and only helped marginally. I decided I would move forward with a total hip replacement surgery in December 2019. It is natural to want to know the cause of something like this, however, I can only point to my athletic career as a volleyball player early in life and during my college and military years as well as being an elite strength athlete for several years. With so much repetition in certain exercises with not only body weight but with massive amounts of weight, overtime, something has got to give, and it usually does. In my case, it was my hip. Fortunately, although x-ray show I have some degeneration in my left hip it is not anywhere near the problem I had in my right hip.
Upon returning home from my tour in late November 2019, I prepared for my surgery. All in all, it went very well and the pain was completely gone upon completion of the surgery. Obviously, the site where they did the incision was sore and I had to learn how to walk again which only took me about two weeks. The rehabilitation went very well and I was back in the gym in no time. I am no stranger to major surgeries, as I have had two ACL repaired on both my right and left knee. With the last surgery being in 2016 for my left ACL, which happened during a production. The first one was in 1996 when I was an American gladiator in Orlando Florida.
During my recovery, we were right in the midst of the onset of Covid – 19. This pandemic affected me financially, socially, and professionally. I completely stopped filming any productions, and had to rely upon the residual income from my productions over the years. I have been actively producing content and traveling for the better part of the past 16 years. I really enjoyed the much-needed break, as I never take vacations, and was a complete workaholic, which takes a toll on one's personal life amongst other things. It is hard for me to admit this because I truly enjoy what I do and I always have. The day I no longer enjoy what I do for a living, is the day I will stop doing it and change.
This leads me to forge onward and upward. I still have a lot of things I would like to accomplish in the industry, and I am inspired, hence, the title of this article, "Season of Change".
Many of us were affected by COVID-19 and know friends and family that were affected by the disease and perhaps may have even died from it. During the pandemic, I discovered that one of my favorite models/actors, Fotios, from Greece, was tragically killed by a drunk driver in his hometown. We built a beautiful relationship over the years and have been filming since 2006, the day we met on the Fourth of July. It broke my heart to discover the news on Facebook. And, when I return from my trip from Europe before my hip surgery, I discovered a close friend of mine, Jason, who was helping me with my technology and website development was tragically killed on his Harley Davidson motorcycle here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Again, it was such a tragic thing for me to find out through Facebook. Jason and I developed a pretty close friendship and he enjoyed bodybuilding as well. We trained quite a bit in the summer of 2018 before my travels and productions.
During the pandemic, I also lost my two favorite Bengal cats, Zeus, and Cesare. I was very close to both of them because I got them in 2004 right about the time I started competing in bodybuilding and blossoming into my career. They have seen me through many times, relationships, and homes. You could say they were my best friends. They were both 17 years old when they passed over the rainbow bridge. I truly hope to see them both in the afterlife.
I have a full house of cats once again. I adopted Milos, a Savannah boy, then Luna, a Savannah girl, and Loki, a Bengal boy. I still have Hercules, a Bengal boy who I adopted after I return from Den Haag, Netherlands, in 2008. I guess you could say I went a little cat crazy but I love my kitties. They keep me busy and entertained and I am a real cat person.
I was actually diagnosed with Covid in early January 2022. It was nothing very serious, and I only had cold and flu symptoms. I have been vaccinated and boosted. About the same time I contracted COVID-19, one of my best friends for the past 17 years, Alfred, caught it as well. Alfred and I used to travel to bodybuilding shows and enjoy social events. Alfred suffered from late stage Parkinson's disease, and he had been falling quite a bit as well as having some other health issues. I visited him during Thanksgiving of 2021. I purchased a ticket to go visit him in Scottsdale, in early February, but as they say, death waits for no one, and I missed out on seeing my best friend one last time. His brother, Bob, told me that it seemed to be a peaceful passing. Al told me several years ago when he visited me here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that if he had to live with Parkinson's for the rest of his life that he "does not fear death and welcomes it."
If only we could all have such a Zen-like approach to death, which completes the circle of life, I think we could understand life a little bit better. Jason and Fotios were my age and Alfred was 20 years older than myself. It was incredibly difficult for me losing friends and my fur babies, but this is the nature of life. Once we understand how delicate and temporary life truly is, the better we can understand life and how important it is to embrace, show compassion and kindness, give and receive love, and treat others as we would like to be treated, the better off we are. During the season of change, I realize how important it is to love both tirelessly and fearlessly because there is nothing in between.
In summation, I am training wisely, revitalizing and revamping my website, Goddess of Fetish, producing new content, and I will begin traveling in the USA later this summer and fall as well as Europe. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @amberdeluca, other inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org.