Putting the Pieces Together

Kai Greene brings his life's work to the stage

FLEX: I get the sense we’re talking about more than bodybuilding here.

KAI GREENE: We’re talking about life. Long before my arms could grow to 23 inches they had to start from somewhere. I had to see something, the evidence for which didn’t exist. I couldn’t see it in the mirror. It existed in my mind, my vision. I firmly believe when the student is ready, the teachers will appear. So rather than try to tell people how to think or what they should read about, I’d encourage them to figure out where they want to go. It’s real important to understand that you can get there. It all begins with a decision your decision and your resolve to reinforce that decision with action.

FLEX: How does the pursuit of the Sandow tie into this for you?

KAI GREENE: I was a little black kid from the projects. I was a young man, a ward of the state taken away from my biological parent, living in group homes and grappling with a whole bunch of challenges and issues ahead of me. Now let’s think about that little kid. His prospects weren’t rosy. But people early in his life encouraged him to bodybuild. They didn’t think he’d go as far in the sport as he has. They didn’t think he’d be a serious Mr. Olympia contender. Those early counselors and teachers in those facilities and institutions saw a little kid who liked to do pushups and brought him bodybuilding magazines they would’ve otherwise thrown out. I believe they were acknowledging the possibility that life didn’t have to turn out the way it looked like it was going to for that young man. I believe they felt if that kid was willing and able to develop his discipline he might be able to garner the tools he’d need to save his own life. They were right. - FLEX

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