YOU HAVEN’T COMPETED IN DECADES, BUT YOU STILL CALL YOURSELF A BODYBUILDER IN INTERVIEWS. WHY? —James B., via Facebook
At the end of the movie Pumping Iron, after I win the Mr. Olympia title, I make a speech where I tell the audience that I’m retiring from competition but I’ll never stop being a bodybuilder.
I meant it then, and I feel the same now. If you think of bodybuilding in the broader sense—not just as a sport but a lifestyle dedicated to the cultivation of one’s physical potential, and the mental and spiritual benefits that come along with it—why would anyone just quit?
I’ve been a movie star, businessman, political leader, and many other things in my life, but my first great accomplishment was becoming a bodybuilder, and that gave me the physique that got me noticed, along with the work ethic and focus that helped make all my other dreams come true. So no matter what projects I’m tackling next, I like to remind people where it all started, and that bodybuilding means more than just muscular men in trunks posing on a stage. And it never becomes any less important, regardless of how much money you have or what direction your life takes. I still work out every day, not just to stay fit but to clear my head and keep the habit of setting and achieving goals.
If you make bodybuilding a part of your life, as routine as going to work or walking your dog, you’ll have an ace up your sleeve in every situation.