I have to disappoint you here: I was never bullied nor was I overweight. In fact, you could call me a jock (I came to America on a swimming scholarship after representing Germany at World Cup and Olympic Trials). I always liked the athletic physique and lifting weights came naturally because I've been active my entire life.
It's hard to determine the exact starting point of my journey, but one of the moments I remember is watching Terminator with my dad and thinking "I want to look like that. From there, I bought my first Flex magazine, an atrocious tasting protein powder, and the rest is history.
Bodybuilding is a neverending quest for perfection. Therein lies its fascination and its danger—don't let it consume you. It's helpful to look back in time to appreciate how far one has come. This doesn't mean you should kick back and eat Doritos, but it's a good idea to keep life in perspective. I met too many guys whose lives revolve solely around training and eating. That is a ticket to unhappiness.
The main reason I love bodybuilding is the element of control. When my mother was very ill, the gym was my sanctuary. No matter what goes on in the outside world, 100 pounds will always be 100 pounds. When you create your ideal physique, you realize anything in life is possible.
I view training as "me time," no cell phone or clients; it's time to think and rebuild. Time like that is rare in today's world. It makes me cherish my time in the gym. My gym is a basement—it doesn't have TVs or cell phone reception (a true oasis!). My best thoughts regarding business and life come during workouts.
I'm contemplating dabbling in NPC masters physique and will see where I go from there. My personal vanity goal is to make a magazine cover at some point (one should be allowed to dream).
Bodybuilding is a strange sport because you can't measure performance like you could in track and field or swimming. You must be aware that you're only competing against yourself. Don't worry what other people do; create the best "you" possible. The journey has no end.
I'm going old school and will say Bob Paris. He had the most aesthetically pleasing physique and was a great poser and well-spoken ambassador of the sport. His book Gorilla Suit was a great help to me.
- "… And Justice For All" by Metallica
- "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses
- "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC
- "Hier sind die Onkelz" by Boehse Onkelz
- "Feuer Frei!" by Rammstein