Category: champions


Just wrapped up reading Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I have so many thoughts on this wonderful book that it’s hard to contain them into a mere review. I suppose, like his life story itself, Arnold touches on four main areas of his personal success:

BODYBUILDING

Arnold explains how he became a multiple world bodybuilding champion by putting in the work and being extremely hard on himself. In one section, he is highly self-critical of his own body:

“I also had some shortcomings. Relative to my torso, my limbs were too long. So I was always having to build the arms and legs to make the proportions seem right. Even with massive twenty-nine-inch thighs, my legs still looked on the thin side. My calves fell short compared to my thighs, and my triceps fell short compared to the biceps.”

This kind of direct, open honesty is rare, even in hindsight. Arnold actually solicited feedback from judges at bodybuilding competitions, telling them that he wouldn’t feel insulted by their feedback. What’s more, Arnold went to task, working on each of his weaknesses until he emerged triumphantly.

Total Recall

MOVIES

Hollywood is the hardest nut to crack in a world full of glittering opportunities. Arnold turns the tables completely by dismissing the people who said “You can’t do it because of the accent, your size, your nationality, your lack of theater experience, etc.”

Most interesting is how Arnold gives up concessions early on for his earliest movies–and later on reaps benefits by having detailed knowledge of contracts. Twins was a foray into comedy that always left an impression on me.

Some terrific insight into the hardcore nature of director James Cameron as they feverishly worked on the Terminator movies. There really are no prisoners in the film business, no stone left unturned and Arnold really got a hold of something magical through his efforts.

REAL ESTATE

Thanks to his math skills and careful research, Arnold invested in various properties that increased many times in value. Before he bought a home, he invested in an apartment building in the 70s. Even before Conan the Barbarian, Arnold’s investments contributed to a net worth of $1 million dollars.

His wise investment of income allowed him to take the right movie roles to get to where he wanted to go, rather than trying to fit in with wherever he was typecast.

POLITICS

Arnold really shines here as he explains his bipartisan initiatives to govern California. He takes the very best qualities of both parties and melds them into his own centrist politics.

While his two terms as Governor of California were marred with low approval ratings, we must examine the constitution of California, as well as the 2008 housing crash/recession as factors. Arnold had to take decisive action and he wasn’t going to win any popularity contests by challenging the status quo.

The only shame is that Arnold can’t run for president. He truly has a solid vision for where the USA should be headed with universal healthcare, budget reforms, environmental initiatives and just his people skills in general.

My recommendation: Buy this book. Arnold’s life lessons, strategies, tips and stories are incredibly valuable. A must-read.

 

Advertisements

Did this nifty feature on Canadian Indycar driver James Hinchcliffe for luxury men’s magazine Preferred. In this issue, Hinchcliffe discusses coming back from his devastating crash and plans for the future. Read more here.

james-hinchcliffe-preferred-cover

A Farewell to Georges St-Pierre

Leading up to Canadian Georges St-Pierre’s announcement of his impending retirement, I wrote about how the UFC has to rely more on light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. With UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez out for a year,  GSP retired and lighter-weight fighters not drawing, it really does look like Jon Jones will be forced to carry the brunt of duties as Zuffa’s point man.

I gave my thoughts on GSP’s retirement in a new CagePotato article, A Survivor in a Dangerous Game, GSP Finds the Exit Before It’s Too Late:

Georges St-Pierre’s tremendous desire for public validation of his talents was both his greatest strength as a fighter and his greatest weakness in terms of his personal health. He put it on the line for fans, media, and a promoter who were all just as likely to offer scathing criticism as they were to give him praise.

[Read more here]

Finally, Kid Nate from BloodyElbow.com scheduled an MMA Tete-a-Tete with myself and former USA Today reporter Beau Dure as guests. See video embedded below.

Last weekend, UFC middleweight title contender Chris Weidman was in Toronto. I did an interview with him for CagePotato.com viewable below.

You can read more quotes from the interview at CagePotato.com.

As a special treat, Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro, multiple-time world jiui-jitsu champion and ADCC champion, made a visit to TorontoBJJ tonight. He was giving a seminar the following day, but had shown up to watch our evening class.

FIRST PHOTO: Professor Jorge Britto demonstrates a move from the guard with instructor Thomas Beach. SECOND PHOTO: Professor Jorge Britto (L) and Xande Ribeiro (R).

We learned a very useful sweep where one hand grabs the triceps and the other underhooks the leg. This can also be turned into an armbar if the opponent posts their arm in an attempt to base out.

For the very elite belts, crossing paths with a practitioner of Xande’s caliber is a rare opportunity to test their skills. He is so far beyond the skills of most black belts, it would not be unfair to liken Xande to someone driving a Formula 1 car by comparison.

Xande represents the highest degree of perfection attainable in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I felt very lucky to have met him.

Cover Girl

Three-time boxing world champion and 2012 Olympian Mary Spencer made a visit to Humber College today in order to give a boxing seminar. I debated whether or not to go– would this be a demonstration, a real workout and could I take something valuable away from her? The answer was a little bit of all three.

Just last August, Spencer had lost in her first match of the Olympics:

Spencer fell to Chinese boxer Li Jinzi in a quarter-final fight at the Olympics on Monday, losing 17-14 in front of a near-capacity crowd in the ExCel arena in east London. A win would have at least guaranteed her a bronze medal.

Spencer received a bye through the first round of the 12-woman draw, and she was drawn into the easier side of the bracket, avoiding two fighters who have already beaten her this year.

The National Post, August 6, 2012

A video of the final round of this fight is available here (only for Canadian viewers, sorry!). Spencer appears to get swarmed by an opponent who clinches without hesitation. Spencer’s long arms made it hard for her to fight on the inside, and she is too inactive in the final round.

As for the seminar, due to the mixed-experience level of the group, the instruction was at a beginner-to-intermediate level. We did a warm-up, stretching, three rounds of “Polish boxing” (punching with high-knees), basic combinations, defense, suicides (sprints back and forth across the gym) and a cool-down.

Continue reading