Bringing Light Into Inconscience

What I do in lifting heavy weights is something really significant on the physical plane — bringing down light into inconscience. Metal is nothing but inconscience, and to bring down light into matter is a most difficult task. For light to enter into inconscience is a supreme achievement for humanity, because it is inconscience which always fights against light.

— 21 September 1986

Bill Pearl In San Jose

Bill Pearl joined us for our concert in San Jose, and he introduced the video of my weightlifting after the concert. While we were in California, he took measurements of my arms, chest and legs. He was appreciating the strength of my chest and leg muscles. He said my left calf is practically an inch larger than my right calf. He said all kinds of very nice things about me.

On the video when he saw me lift 1,500 pounds in the calf raise, he couldn’t believe it. He was screaming, “He is lifting, he is lifting!” When I was lifting the boat, he was so moved. Then he asked Nirvik if Nirvik would lift 500 pounds, but Nirvik said no.

— 2 October 1986

Showing Off For Cahit

This morning it was only a matter of seconds for me to lift the elephant, but how long the preparation took! I needed a half hour to warm up at home and then another half hour at the court. So it took one hour of preparation for a 10-second lift.

Before the lift, Cahit, our champion-runner-friend, was worrying about whether I had a weightlifting belt. So I showed him that I was wearing it. Then I showed off for him. I did 1,000 pounds on my calf raise machine ten times easily. Then I did 1,200 pounds 12 times. He was so amazed; he didn’t dare to try.

— 19 October 1986

My Favourite Weightlifting Picture

Of all the pictures related to my weightlifting, the one where Kanu is looking at the calf has given me the most joy. Both of them are showing such affection to each other. That was the time the boys took a picture of the calf next to my 350-pound dumbbell to show how heavy the weight was.

— 19 October 1986

Medium Or Extra Large?

The T-shirt that I gave Pulak this morning says, “I may not be smart, but I can lift heavy things.” In Hawaii, one of the saleswomen in a weightlifting store was wearing it. I asked her if I could buy one like that, and she said, “Yes, but we only have extra large.”

I said, “I need a large. Extra large will be too big for me.”

She said, “No, no, you take the extra large. You are on your way.”

Another store had only small and medium T-shirts. When I asked for a large, the lady said, “We only have small and medium, but a medium will fit you.”

So each store had its own story to tell. One said I am on my way to extra large, and the other said I am definitely a medium.

— 19 October 1986

The Autographed Picture

When I was in Hawaii, Savyasachi and I went into a weightlifting store called the Hawaiian Sports Shoppe. There were posters on the wall of Lee Haney and Tom Platz. I showed the salesman the article about me in Iron Man magazine. He was so excited that he called the owner and the manager, and they told all the customers about me.

The owner was a young man and the manager was an old man. The owner has been doing weightlifting for 10 years and the manager for 20 years, and they could not believe what I had done in such a short time. Both of them looked at me with such love and respect. They were so excited when I told them I could lift 600 pounds with one arm. They said that they had read the Iron Man article twice and also they had read about me in Flex and other magazines.

Then they wanted to give me a T-shirt and hat free. They asked me what colour I wanted and I told them blue. So the T-shirt they gave me was my favourite colour.

Then they asked me for an autographed poster or a picture of me that they could put up in the store. When I went back another time to show them some pictures, they chose my 503-pound lift. They were most impressed with how high I had lifted it off the bar. They immediately framed the picture and put it up with the posters of Lee Haney and Tom Platz. They were also impressed with the picture of me lifting the elephant, but they said that the picture of me lifting the weight was better for them since they are a weightlifting store.

— 19 October 1986

Another Admirer

I went into another weightlifting store in Hawaii to buy a dumbbell, but the owner said they did not sell single dumbbells. He said that in Hawaii dumbbells have to be bought by the pair. But why did I need two?

I showed him the article about me in Iron Man magazine. When he read about my calf raise lifts, he felt my quadriceps and asked me, “What are they made of?”

He xeroxed the article in Iron Man and read every line very carefully. He didn’t just glance over it. He was so happy to meet me, and we talked for a long time. He told me that two days ago he had tried to lift 250 pounds. He weighs 251 pounds. When I said, “I am 160 pounds,” he just looked at me. He was such a nice boy.

Finally he said, “Now, whatever you want, you can have. You don’t have to buy dumbbells by pairs.” So I got three individual dumbbells: 35, 50 and 60 pounds.

He also wanted a picture of me, and when I went back, he chose the 503-pound lift and immediately put it up on the wall. So both stores have that picture. When I went to the Hawaiian Sports Shoppe, I was trying to buy a 75-pound dumbbell and also a 15-pound dumbbell. The man said, “We always sell by the pair, but I will have to sell you a single one. How can I sell you this if you don’t want two?”

I said, “I don’t need two. I am here only for one week.”

The previous time I was in Hawaii, everything was sold in pairs also.

— 19 October 1986

Catching Up On The News

In one of the weightlifting stores they were reading each and every line of Vidagdha’s article. When they saw Lee Haney’s comment about me, they were so moved. One of them said to me, “You must be happy that Lee Haney has again become Mr. Olympia.”

I asked, “When?”

He said, “The day before yesterday, on the 13th of October. It was in Columbus, Ohio. I watched it on television. You didn’t see it?”

I said, “He is my friend. He encourages me like anything.”

He said, “But you didn’t know about it? You don’t read the magazines?”

I said, “I read them and my students read them, but I didn’t know.”

Then he went to his room and brought me the previous issue of one of the magazines, which announced the contest. He was 100 per cent right.

Afterwards, I sent Lee Haney a telegram congratulating him. Mandabhi spoke to him after he received it and said he was very, very moved.

Only the previous day, they had put my picture up in a store next to Lee Haney’s picture. He will be in Hawaii on the 25th of October to give away prizes at a weightlifting contest.

— 19 October 1986

The 600-Pound Dumbbell

At one of the weightlifting stores there was a big 600-pound dumbbell. I asked the owner, “Why do you keep a 600-pound dumbbell here?”

He explained about a contest he was holding. He said it started a few months ago when he declared that whoever could lift up a 300-pound dumbbell would get it free. About three months ago somebody accepted the challenge and lifted it a little with two hands.

Then he put a 400-pound dumbbell on display. He thought the same fellow would come back, but somebody else came. The man struggled and finally lifted it up.

After that he put out a 500-pound dumbbell. Just yesterday somebody from California who had come to enter the weightlifting competition lifted up the 500-pound dumbbell, so now he had put out a 600-pound one.

The people in the store begged me to try to lift the 600-pound dumbbell. “You try,” the owner said.

I said, “I am trying 600 over my head, but I do not want to try lifting this from the ground with two hands.” I didn’t want to be embarrassed.

So Savyasachi tried. When Savyasachi tried it, it didn’t move to this side or that side. The man said, “No way for him!”

— 19 October 1986

Such Fun!

Once I went to Long Island and saw a dumbbell that weighed only 110 pounds. They said, “We will give this to you free if you can lift it.” I could easily have lifted it off the ground, but I didn’t do it. I just bought a chair that folds on both sides and the pulley that I use.

That weight was only 110 pounds. But in Hawaii, the previous day, somebody came and took away 500 pounds, and now they had 600 pounds out. You go to the weightlifting stores and have such fun!

— 19 October 1986

Too Late!

Some people from the neighbourhood came to see me lift the elephant in Queens after hearing about it on the radio, but by the time they came, it was all over. It is like the 100-metre dash: the preparation goes on for years, and then in a few seconds it is finished.

— 19 October 1986

A New Kind Of Lift

Today I lifted a seaplane with its owner, Bart Spedaro, and four other people inside. Afterwards, the owner of the plane was so happy. He shook my hand and told me, “I've been flying for 45 years and that was the first time I ever got off the ground that way in my life.”

— 19 October 1986

“blessed” By My Sister

This month at least four times I have been “blessed” by my sister. She didn’t want me to do this kind of lifting. She felt my “imaginative” lifts were beneath my dignity. Two weeks ago my brother said he felt sorry about the way she was scolding and insulting me. But the main reason she was scolding and insulting me is that she is worried I will get hurt. When she hears about the heavy weight, she thinks, “O God, one day he will get hurt!”

— 26 October 1986

A Pumpkin Story

You heard last night’s story told by Sol. Sol’s experience was very good. He said that the man who criticized my lifting of the first plane was inside the second plane that I lifted.

The pumpkins that I lifted today were very heavy, plus I didn’t have any warm-up. It really killed me! Normally, first I warm up at home, and then I take warm-up exercises for at least half an hour at the tennis court as well. But today, because of the rain, I could not warm up.

The first time I tried lifting the pumpkins, I could not do it. I said, “Today will be my Waterloo experience!”

But then on my second try I lifted them up. The third time, I lifted the boys also. Then the newspaper photographer begged me to do it a fourth time. While he was taking pictures the previous time, our boys had asked him to move. So I did it again for the reporter, and I held it up for a longer time than before so the photographer could take pictures. He took three or four. In one I was smiling even. I had turned to the people who were watching and was smiling.

— 26 October 1986