By Dan “The Mayor” Dillon
With the kickoff of a new IFBB pro bodybuilding season, it’s hard to believe that my love of bodybuilding has now lasted for more than 30 years! The arrival of a new season always makes me reflect back on all the great times bodybuilding has given me and the anticipation of what lies ahead for the new season.
Last year my boy Rob and I drove 17 hours in a snow storm to attend the Arnold Classic. Some might call that HARDCORE. We were talking bodybuilding the entire time and made it in plenty of time to meet the pros. In 1994 Rob and I blasted legs on my wedding day – Hey you can’t walk down the aisle without a good set of wheels!!
And on the way to an Arnold years ago, I met a young bodybuilder at the airport who was competing in the Arnold Amateur event. I was talking bodybuilding and this guy said to me “you know your stuff, lets go hit some poses”. So picture a busy airport bathroom with a dude posing and asking “how do I look”? Only in bodybuilding!! And yes, the guy won his class.
Another Arnold Classic memory takes me back to 2001. It was our first Arnold. I was with some ex-training partners. We had on vintage Arnold jackets as we walked through the airport to get some food. The woman at the counter asks us about the jackets and points to our chests and says “I want to see, what are they called? We said “pecs!”. The lady then responds “show me some pecs and I will give you free ice cream.” So we took our shirts off (No kidding) hit a few poses and laughed like madmen. The ice cream was delicious!
No list of Arnold stories would be complete without a King Kamali memory. We asked King at the expo who is going to win? He confidently replied “Chris Cormier!” I then told him “No way, Jay Cutler”. As I walked away, King put out his hand and said “If you’re so sure, lets bet.”
So we agreed: If Cormier wins I will wear a huge dunce cap to the Night of Champions later that same year. And if Jay wins, King will give us free shirts at his booth.
So after prejudging we see Kamali walking up the aisle and we start busting his chops as he saw how good Jay looked. He said “ok,ok” and he gave us a ton of stuff!! He has a great sense of humor and knows how to have fun with the fans.
So many great memories! And I’m already gearing up for next month’s trip to Columbus. More memories, new stories, great friendships, and the continuation of a great tradition.