Today was finally the day – the day that I was going to see Arnie in the flesh. As part of my aim to try and spend $400 a month, I decided to go to the Arnold Classic, which said you’d have the chance to meet him, especially as he’d be visiting the kids’ section. I tried to borrow some kids from the people at work, but didn’t get any. :(
There were a few sections for working out. I’m not sure what you needed to do to get inside, but I didn’t look all that hard. A bunch of people were lining up for something, so I asked what it was for. They said it was to meet _____, and I didn’t hear what it was over the noise, so I got in line. Ended up waiting in line to see Steve Cook. I have no idea who he is, but everyone was saying he was really into fitness and super nice, so I stayed in line. I worked on storyboarding for my movie, but once I was done with that, and he still hadn’t arrived, I thought about staying since I had already stayed for so long, but I could hear Uni Paul’s voice in the back of my head saying. “SUNK COST FALLACY”. I did manage to snap a pic of him eating a doughnut though. Lots of people seemed to be into desserts, but I guess they can afford the calories.
However, while I was waiting in line, a large group of people in high-vis suddenly appeared telling everyone to step back. Then another group of people dressed in black shirts that said “Arnold Protection Crew” were holding hands and created a human wall. Then following closely after them (as they were running), were lots of people with their cameras out. I couldn’t see over the huge wall of people, but other people around were saying that it was Arnie. So the closest I got to meeting him was being 5 metres away from him. It seemed like he was walking out of the venue, so I didn’t bother joining the crazy crowd chasing him.
I eventually gave up waiting to see Steve and went to try out the velodrome speed challenge.
Despite not knowing how to ride a bike, I managed to get my name on the scoreboard! It was actually pretty tough, riding 750m, but I think all the running has really helped with that. Even though I was starting to feel my strength flagging, and my heart was beating so fast, I just kept pushing myself to go another 100m. I nearly fell over when I got off the bike, and felt pretty dizzy for a bit, but I made it!
Sure, I was 5th in the top 5, and at the time, only 5 females had taken part… but I won a protein shaker!
Walked around, looked at some of the people working out. Was pretty crowded, so it was hard to see some of the stuff unless you had been waiting there for a while.
Had a nice and nutritious lunch of… cinnamon and vanilla pretzel!
After that, I headed towards the chess section. Yep, you read that right, there was a section dedicated to chess. It is a sport,after all. As you might have imagined, it was off in a corner, and fairly empty compared to the other sections.
Still, I challenged someone to a game while I finished my pretzel. Neither of us had played in a while, so we were both a bit rusty. I was actually 4 points (bishop + pawn) behind him at one point (though not when this pic was taken).
I had given a bishop away for free, and then a pawn not long after that. I caught myself kicking myself for playing so badly, and I mentally took a step back, told myself I could analyse my mistakes later, and that I had to keep my head in the present. I think it’s something I’ve picked up from playing Dota, as the game is so fast-paced, you don’t have much time to dwell on mistakes.
I managed to make a comeback, as I had a pretty aggressive position for most of the game, and I think he ended up being thrown by the fact that I was really cheerful the entire match.
There was also a section for speedcubing (solving Rubik’s cubes quickly).
Both the golf and fencing sections were pretty empty, so I gave both of them a shot, and I think I’m going to try them again.
I was pretty good at Wii Sports Golf, but that might be because I was the only person in my family who wanted to play that game. I wasn’t any good at it in real life (and the trial used tennis balls instead of golf balls), but it felt good getting it into the hole. Maybe mini-golf is more my style.
Fencing was super fun. Since I was by myself, I pretty much got a private lesson from one of the instructors. We went through basic movement, attacking and parrying. Then we ended up sparring each other, and even though it was probably only a couple of minutes long, I was exhausted! So much harder than fencing with rolling pins. She said that fencing is like physical chess, as even though it seems like it’s a mainly physical sport, it actually involves quite a lot of strategy.
At Intern Danie’s request, I tried to get a heap of samples for him. For some reason, some of the queues required you to line up in pairs, and I met a fitness student called Tyler who lined up with me. He told me that last year, Arnie wasn’t able to make it, as his flight was cancelled, but the year before that, he managed to get a selfie with Arnie, and he said that Arnie walked around a lot more. I didn’t see that giant crowd again for the rest of the time I was there, so I assume he was outside, or he had left, but I did spend a lot of time lining up for things, so maybe I just missed him.
There was a section with some chiropractors, and I think I should start seeing one, as well as a physio, because I don’t know if it’s just me getting old, or if I’m running badly, but I’m starting to feel really tense. So I gave them my contact details, and will sort out an appointment.
Here’s all the loot I got:
I enjoyed the show, but more from the perspective of finding new things to try, not so much the nutrition part. I do wish there had been a section on running, but maybe they have their own show, as the running community seems huge. Or, you know, they have marathons and stuff.
I was tempted to buy the “I’ll be back” tank top, but I’m not sure if I will go back next year, and I don’t really wear tank tops. I saw a guy with a T-shirt that had Arnie’s face on it, and it said, “Come with me if you want to get buff.” I couldn’t find that T-shirt anywhere. :( They also sold Arnie posters, but I probably wouldn’t put them on the walls.
I guess I could wear it while running.
It seems like the Merrywell was taking advantage of the show: