Are You Hanging Out With Arnold Schwarzenegger?

It has been years since anyone asked me if I was working out with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sometimes it was said in jest and sometimes it was said with malice but I never cared enough to let either one stop me from doing my thing.

Especially in those days when I had no responsibilities besides myself. If I wasn’t in school, studying or hanging out with the guys there was a damn good chance I was in the gym.


I loved to workout. I loved the pain, the burn and how my body responded to it all. There was an adrenalin rush that came from it that made me smile all day long.

The only problem I had with working out was how cranky I would get if things got in the way. I didn’t mind occasionally missing a workout or two but missing somewhere between three and several made me edgy.

I figured if I had to be addicted to something than exercise was a good thing and I was never addicted in the sense that I couldn’t go without. I just didn’t like it.

Things Happen

Steiner the minor called when I was in Texas and asked me what my plans were because he wanted to talk to me about some things.

I told him I was available to talk whenever he wanted but that if it had to be in person it wasn’t going to be that day. He said not to worry and that there was no rush but like any good father I asked him to give me more details than “sometimes things happen.”

It is the sort of nondescript statement that can make a person crazy because it can refer to something of grave importance or the kind of narishkeit (foolishness) that doesn’t require serious attention.

And since my son is a teenager who shares my DNA I had to get clarification for my own sanity.

Remember that when people ask me if anything scares me about being a father I say I sometimes worry about my kids doing the same stupid crap I did.

That happens when you used to pretend to be a stuntman and had little regard for whether jumping off of roofs and out of trees could lead to injury.

It has been years since anyone asked me if I was working out with Arnold Schwarzenegger.Click To Tweet

My son is very much his own man and though there are many things we share in common he seems not to have gotten the jumping gene that still lives inside of me.

I am not complaining about that because it is probably a good thing. Go back through my life and you’ll see I have had a minimal number of injuries.

Broke my nose three or four times while wrestling or playing basketball, chipped the talus on my right ankle, and dislocated a few fingers.

By my count that is not too bad, especially if you look at all of the times I put myself at risk.

Confession: Sometimes I still jump off of things, just like I did when I was a kid.

Second confession: It is less and less unusual for me to take a moment to consider whether the action I am considering is going to hurt.

I hate that.

I hate wondering if maybe I might hurt myself or end up with one of those niggling pains that doesn’t want to go away.

Time Changes All

Last week I had a conversation with some guys who are in their late twenties and early thirties and realized that many of my pop culture references are things they don’t really get.

We debated about how good Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Bo Jackson, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders were compared to modern players and I realized I was the only one who had seen them all play during their peak years.

They had only seen tape (did I mention that I was told using ‘tape’ as a reference ages me?) so they didn’t have the same feel for these players as I did.

Most of them didn’t like baseball very much either. That was strange to me, I mean I understand that not everyone has to like all of the same things but when I was growing up baseball was a constant among boys.

Everyone played and everyone knew the names of the most popular players.

But then again, when my son was little he really didn’t like the game and I didn’t force it upon him. That changed over time, but there are moments where I wish I would have put the glove on him.

Some of my favorite memories are of playing catch with my dad or friends.

Are You Hanging Out With Arnold Schwarzenegger?

I had to give up my gym membership a while ago.

First it was because money was too tight and it was more important to be able to feed the family than own one and then because I didn’t know where I was going to be living and I wanted to join one that served my area.

So last week was the first time I had been to a gym in a long while. It was good to be there but frustrating because it provided proof that I hadn’t been there in too long.

I couldn’t lift as I wanted to and I was sore for two days after it, but it was worth it.

Midway through my routine I stood in front of the mirror and stared at myself. I didn’t like what I saw because it was more proof of how I let things happen and I felt guilty.

Guilty because I let myself down and I swore years ago it would never happen. But then something happened, my old friend Arnold came to visit by way of YouTube and I was inspired by what I heard.

I have watched and listened to the video below several times because it makes sense to me and I relate to it. Those last four words are the most important, “I relate to it.”

When you want inspiration or change the most effective way to do it is find a way to relate. I am not afraid to push the envelope or failure. I have failed and I will fail again but I will always come back.

Few things come easy for me but working hard is one of them. See you in the comments.

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  1. cathyjonest September 2, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Good words. Arnold sure was gorgeous. I was at the State Capitol several years ago, and because my nephew worked there, got to see part of his inner offices. Got to hold the Conan sword too (there are 5 of them I found out). That sucker was beautiful, and heavy. That was when I realized how strong he was. He has known failure, like many of us, but keeps reinventing himself. Definitely thinks outside the box. “If you want to climb the ladder of success, you have to take your hands out of your pockets.” Succinct and true. Thanks for this post Jack. I can definitely relate.

    • Jack Steiner September 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      He was a monster, a physical specimen indeed. Somewhere I have a book of his that listed some of his workouts. I used to refer to it all the time.

      I’d love to try holding that sword.

      The man definitely has had enough success for me to pay attention to his advice.

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