Just a bit of a diversion, here. Meesus TTP dug these up these old pictures of yours truly a few days ago. They were taken in ’82 or ’83? Wow, how time flies; seems like (warning, bad cliche imminent) it was only yesterday.
The future TTP, at the ripe ol’ can’t tell me a Goddamn thing age of 17. If I’m not mistaken, this was taken at the old Powerhouse Gym, in San Antonio, Texas.
I distinctly remember trying to emulate Arnold’s technique, as exemplified in the photo below. And if I’m not mistaken, that shot is from the book Education of a Bodybuilder. I’d met him about six years earlier, at a grand opening for a sporting goods store (Oshman’s?) in San Antonio, Texas. This was right about the time of Pumping Iron’s premiere. Franco Columbu was there that day as well. They both took the time to talk with me — heavily accented, and tough to understand, especially when all I’d ever heard up until that time was a heavy Texas drawl — and showed genuine interest in my my interest in weightlifting. This was all pretty heady stuff for a young and impressionable kid with an athletic temperament and a garage full of Sears, plastic-coated concrete weights. It was game-on from that day forward.
But my true love was football. To excel at the game in early-80’s Texas, was an experience that I don’t expect will ever be duplicated. There’s very little exaggeration involved in the movie, Friday Night Lights.
Yours truly, swooping in from the 3 O’clock position for a kamikaze, seek and destroy mission.
The pros didn’t exactly pan-out like I expected, however. A butchered ACL, back in the day when that injury spelled CAREER ENDER, saw to that. I still love the game, though, and for a long time after I had to let it go , while at Texas State, I missed it terribly. An interesting side note here: the kid I’m puttin’ the crunch on is John Hagee (not the pastor John Hagee) of San Antonio, John Marshall High School. We were quite the personal rivals at the time. He went on to have stellar careers as a free safety for the University of Texas and the New England Patriots. It took a good while for me to learn that you don’t always get to choose your own life course. You gotta play with the hand your dealt.