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Tom Platz once told me that after his long layoff from weight training, he experienced this strong desire to get into a gym and wrap his hands around some dumbbells, just
to feel the iron, to soak up the atmosphere and to feel the muscle identify itself. He had no other purpose in that gym; he wasn't training for an upcoming contest, he
didn't envision a trophy in his arms and the crowd screaming, and he wasn't preparing for a money-making exhibition. He was simply compelled by love and driven by a deep,
strong passion-the same passion that spurred him on to be the champion he was and is.
Love can move mountains, they say. The one thing all great champions have in common is a love and a passion for weight training. Yes, you can become a champion through discipline, hard work and a no-quit attitude. .But the lucky, passionate ones-the ones who love, lift and train with their hearts, their heads and their muscles-they, my friend, are the unforgettable champs. Therein lies an Arnold, a Sergio, a Grimek, a Zane, a Reeves. Never mind the stories you hear now; there was a time when Arnold had dreams and felt his heart swell up when he entered a gym and saw that magic iron just waiting to sculpt his vision.
Fred Astaire loved dancing. Being the best was born out of that love. Lawrence Olivier loved acting. He loved just walking out on a stage and the feel of the paper script. Willie Mosconi, 15-time World Pocket Billiard champion, loved the sound of the cue ball striking the object ball and the sound of the ball dropping into the pocket.
If you love painting, paint. If you love photography, click away. And if you indeed love bodybuilding with a passion, then you are lucky. Your pain and sweat is you breathing life into your dream.
Trust your heart and follow your head. You're alive with that feeling of accomplishment-doing that extra set, squeezing out that final rep with that pure concentration that cuts through the petty pace of life's ills. If you are training for a Mr. O or just a Ms. or Mr. Mafa, Texas, and you are training with passion, then you are a champion every single workout.