I went to the Arnold Classic yesterday mostly because I’d never been. It is a huge, big deal fitness event here. There is a trade show and I think 37 different sports competitions over a three day period.

I thought I was smart by going on Friday when it wouldn’t be so crowded. First off all the parking lots close to the convention center were full. I found one about 5 blocks away but the ticket machine was broken and would only take correct change. I finally scrounged $9 in paper money and change from the nether regions of my car. It was a bit brisk for the walk but I entertained myself by eavesdropping on a conversation between a father and his about 10 year old son. Dad said something about Arnold and the kid said, “Arnold who?”

Dad: “Schwartzenegger”
Kid: “Who?”
Dad: (Turning to look at the kid in horror as he realizes that something has gone horribly wrong in his child’s development)
“Arnold. Schwartzenegger. You know, from the movies?”
(A hint of desperation creeps in to his voice)
Kid: “Oh, him.”

I don’t think the kid had any idea who Arnold was but he realized that his father was about to cry so he’d better pretend to understand.

The trade show was so crowded that you couldn’t really get near any booths without throwing an elbow. Since this was a crowd made up of muscular people that generally was not a good idea. Also, since every booth was for a different type of protein supplement I wasn’t particularly dying to get to a booth.

I went and watched some of the Fitness prejudging.


She looks a lot smaller in the picture than she did in real life. I was amazed by the size of the fitness competitors. Women in fitness competition are smaller than female bodybuilders but these ladies looked a lot bigger than the ones I’ve seen in magazines. Of course my picture makes her look small too so maybe they’ve always been bigger than I thought.

I also went and watched gymnastics. I tried to take pictures but my camera wasn’t up to the challenge of catching the tumbling as anything other than a blur. I tried to take some with a flash to help stop the action but there was a “No Flash Photography! We will confiscate your camera. We mean it!” announcement immediately. I pretended that I didn’t realize that they were yelling at me. The pictures I got turned out better though.

I tried to watch table tennis but no one good was playing when I was there. I watched some power lifting. The cheerleading and dance competitions might have been interesting but I couldn’t stay that long.

It was interesting people watching. There were some big guys there. I admire the dedication it takes to get those kinds of results since I am a big time exercise slacker. There were also a lot of women wearing less clothes than seems wise in February in Ohio. I’m not talking about competitors. You know that they changed in the dressing rooms. Women that came in from the 20 degree weather outside in skimpy outfits had to be freezing. There were also some seriously built little people there. I know this because I almost crashed into one man in the crowd. He was scary looking. I think he would have marched right over me.

I was hoping it would inspire me to exercise but it didn’t. I did however pick up a magazine that I hope was free and it had an interesting circuit training routine that I did last night. Let’s see how long that lasts….