George is a helluva guy. When I first met him I had just begun to lift weights. I was age 33, getting divorced and knew I had to look better if I was going to be on the market. I had been in the corporate world for years and at 5’6” and 206 lbs which was predominately belly and butt just wouldn’t cut it. When George and his lifting buddies came into the gym I had just joined, I thought to myself, “these guys are a bunch of animals.” They were grunting and snorting and yelling at each other to do better. They were benching around 500, squatting about 700 and dead lifting around 700 while I had not accomplished 4 plates (225). These guys were power lifters; I wanted to be a body builder. Being a little egotistical I felt uncomfortable around this powerful group so I joined another gym and began to work out there.
After two weeks of working out there I walked in one day and George was behind the desk. I asked where the owner was and George told me he was the new owner. Immediately I surmised I would have to pay again and said something to that effect. George said, “No man, I got you covered.” Well day by day I got to know George better and became friends…good friends. I found even though George trained differently for power, he knew a great deal about body building and nutrition. From age 33 fat and dumpy to competing in Mr. Georgia in 1990 (age 40). I did not win but was good enough to be on stage with the others and not be embarrassed.
George, Gary and several other friends came to the event that night. After the show was over, George said to me, “You might be pretty but you ain’t strong!” What do you mean George? He said, “How much are you benching?” I said about 375 lbs. George said “That’s what wusses do, why don’t you come power lift with us and get strong?”
After a few days of rest and recuperation I went to see what power lifting was all about. It was definitely a different routine. This begins a new journey.
In a year or so George had me in a few local bench press contests. The first three events I came in second place. Well if you’re not the lead dog, the view is always the same. I vowed to train harder and began to win those local events. In 1998 while reading a Power magazine and saw the National Bench Press Championships in Lima, Ohio. My friend Gary and I went up and I just blew them away. My first big win…a National Championship! A few months later reading the same magazine (later edition) is an ad for the World Championships in Portland, Oregon. Since I won the Nationals I was qualified to enter. Here I go. There is probably 500 lifters from the U.S. and 25 other countries. I brought home the first of three World Championships in November 1998. My most treasured trophies are the overall winner’s trophy…when compared to the other lifters by age, weight and amount lifted you are considered the best of all. I have two of those.
Had I never met George none of that would have happened. He has my admiration and has been a great friend and mentor for over 30 years. I have attached a couple of pictures. One is from the body building days and the other is from power lifting.
Take his knowledge and let him build your mental and physical health.
National Champion, 1998
World Champion 1998, 1999 and 2003
Multiple state, national and world record holder.