It’s been a long-but fun day as I sink into my computer chair at 11 p.m. Thursday night.. Started out this morning with the 30-mile trek to the Firehouse in Venice, where I met Shawn Ray and Bill Comstock for breakfast. No, Sugar didn’t pick up the tab-per usual-but Bill did so I have no complaints.
Then it was on to Gold’s, Venice, where Shawn and I broke down this season’s upcoming Arnold Classic for Comstock’s video camera. So, who do we think has the best shot at winning the title in Columbus? Sorry–have to check out the video, coming soon, on this site.
As always, you never know what celebs you’ll run into at the Mecca. “Hey, there’s Ray Liotta,” said Shawn prior to the taping. Sure enough, there was the screen icon, (“Field of Dreams”, “Good Fella’s”, “Anger Management”, “Hannibal,” et al), gym bag in hand, walking out of the place after his early morning workout.
Another guy who’s been in the news of late for his acting talents-Mickey Rourke, my pick to win the Oscar for “Best Actor” at the Academy Awards–was in the gym banging the iron.
In the middle of our taping, Comstock noticed Jim Manion in the parking lot after a training session; we grabbed him, natch, and noticed, of course, the Pittsburgh Steelers cap settled on his head. See, Jim lives in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers, for those of you hiding under a rock the past two weeks, won the Super Bowl. Shawn queried Manion about the Arnold; I asked him who would win in a wrestling match, Rourke or Tyler Manion, Jim’s 14-year-old grandson who has dominated the mat the past several years on the youth wrestling circuit.
After competing our inside look at the Arnold, we placed the mic in front of Kai Greene, who has been out in Venice the past two weeks for his Arnold prep; later Shawn interviewed Charles Glass, working with Greene for the first time, and I did a taping with Sherlyn Roy, who won my Junior Cal Figure Championships in 2006-and who is now heading for the Veterans Memorial Stage in Columbus, Ohio as part of the Figure International line-up. Sherilyn, who copped her pro card at the 2008 Team Universe, says she’s aiming for a top five finish. Now, with the Junior Cal title in hand, can anybody doubt she will be successful? Go get ’em, kid.
I heard Dennis James was inside pumping iron, then saw Chris Cormier pull into the lot before heading into the facility. Michael O’Hearn was there, too. And, darn if Silveo Samuel didn’t show up, dressed to the nines. The new IRON MAN PRO champ wasn’t there to train; he had missed his flight to Portland, Oregon, where he was going to “visit a friend.” So, what’s her name, Silveo? And, a trip but three weeks out from the Arnold? Well, who am I to question the man’s decisions after seeing the condition he’s in, show in and show out.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stick around; had to hit the freeway by 1 pm to ensure I’d be at Pasadena City College in time for my 3 o’clock Health class. And, after I was finished teaching for the day, I headed over to Houston’s, where I met Jaguar Jon Lindsay, who was kind enough to pop for dinner on my 39th birthday gift. Actually, my birthday lands on Monday, February 16; now that I think about it, so does Shawn’s mother, the irrepressible Yvonne Stribling. And former bodybuilder John Brown. Hey, Manion celebrates another year on February 17, same day Michael Jordan does.
Anyway, it was too long a wait at the Pasadena steak house, so Jag and I zoomed over to Hamburger Hamlet, one of our favorite eateries in the city.
Rib-eye steak, baked potato, two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Thanks Jag, that certainly eased the pain of facing my latest advancement in age. Whatever that number really is.