Monday, August 17, 2009

Most Influential People in My Life...#4

#4 Lee Haney
Its funny growing up in my teens, I knew of Arnold Schwarzenegger already. I had watched him in some awesome flicks like Terminator, Conan the Barbarian, and Red Heat. So, I was already aware of his physique. When I watched "Pumping Iron" for the first time, I was intrigued at bodybuilding and the camaraderie in the gym between the guys back in the old days. By the time I was 15, I had already purchased my first Muscle & Fitness magazine and by 16, I had forced my sister to drive me to the department store so I can purchase my first set of weights. Then one day, my older cousin (who was also into weightlifting), lent me a copy of a video by Lee Haney called "Lee Haney's Animal Kingdom". It was a 90 minute video of Lee Haney training with his partner "Rope". It was AWESOME! The intensity and determination Lee showed in this video got me so hooked into the "individualism" of the sport, that from that point on, I was in the gym trying to match Lee's intensity, perseverance, and attitude. Back in the 80's and 90's, Lee Haney was the king of bodybuilding and broke Arnold's Mr. Olympia record (8, Lee vs. Arnold, 7).

And let's face, all that work that Lee put into his training paid off:

At that time, I think every kid between the ages of 12-19 wanted to "look" like Lee Haney. For me, I was intrigued by his attitude, self-confidence, and his all-around genuineness. He was a good family man, Christian, and followed good moral values. He brought the best out of his competitors and he was a great ambassador of the bodybuilding sport. Lee set himself apart from the others simply because of the qualities that made him into a winner. He never worried about 2nd, or 3rd place finishes...he was always focused on number one. And that laser-like focus earned him the number one spot 8 consecutive times!

I had a poster on my wall growing up of Lee Haney training dumbbell pullovers with a 100lb. DB and a real intense look on his face that read:

"Through his perseverance and tenacity, his trials and determination allow him to transcend his own limitations..."

I looked at that poster everyday. And even when I wanted to "give up" weight-lifting...I looked at the poster, and within minutes I recollected why I do what I do--and then I put my jacket on and headed to the gym.


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