Thursday, May 21, 2009


When I was a skinny, ackward adolescent circa 1967, I got into the practice of lifting weights, not necessarily with the Charles Atlas advertisement in mind or religiously. It was just a certain discomfort with the construction of my muscle less body.

I got some used steel plates, bars and dumbbells. Since I had some tools, I was able to build a wooden bench with stands for bench presses, perhaps one of the boring exercises in a chest routine. My favorite exercises were those for triceps, deltoids and biceps. Having big legs I had not to worry about that part of my body. The thing is that after some time, I was no longer the same as in the beggining of this story. Some volume in my upper
body started developing and until this day, some of it, still shows below the
fat tissue.

In those early days Reg Park, Larry Scott, Sergio Oliva, Franco Columbo, and Steve Reeves of Hercules and Roman Empire films fame were among the top. Of this group, the best by a mile, an six continents was the one and only SERGIO OLIVA. But had too great defects which one was bigger
you can decide. He was black and hispanic.

Born in 1941, Oliva was a weightlifter with the Cuban team in the 1961 PanAmerican Games in Jamaica or whatever. The whole group requested
political asylum, that as you should have expected, was granted.

Lived in different USA states, with different jobs until landing in Chicago. Six years later won the biggest of them all titles in bodybuilding: MR. OLYMPIA. He was superb with twenty inches of arms without steroids, there were no such drugs then. The most symmetric, massive body in my opinion then, and now, forty two years later.

But black people do not look good in photographs. It does not matter if it is black and white photograph in which they seem negatives or color ones. It had to do with
some technical issue with films or cameras. What the hell, you all know what I mean. If this was on purpose or not is now meaningless.

After winning tree years in a row, the MR. Olympia, an AUSTRIAN fellow by the name of
Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on the scene and that was that for Oliva. Arnold, a big, really big fellow of white skin. He had the biggest body in history of this sport? Even though Arnold was popular among judges for reasons beyond body definition, volume and symmetric proportions, in my humble
almost a habit by now, opinion, Oliva had more perfection, but there was another defect...besides the first two, he was a small fellow. Perhaps 5'10'',
at the most.

The taste in the public regarding musculature, size, definition was changing. The sport, underestimated, body builders perceived as freaks, changed. Arnold with great marketing skills changed all that..But I am not getting into that, do your own research. And will not mention those real
circus freaks: women bodybuilders.

This is the Antigonum Cajan bodybuilding story. It was fun. Got a chance
of lifting with some guys, that life treated not so well and became scum bags. Fernando Monteverde and Luis Aviles, subjects of a previous anecdote, alon Juan David Hernandez from Savarona.

I just started body working recently, with a thread mill and stationary bycicle.
Perhaps, god willing I will be beautiful again. But not with the desire
of showing myself around. Just to be able to weed my garden, prune the
ground covers without losing my breath. THE END.

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