I guess the old saying “98 lb weakling” is true to some extent, as least for me. In school, (60’s) I was underweight and didn’t play any sports. Most of the kids were more mature than me, although I could match them academically.
Up the street from me was an Italian family I was friendly with. One of the three brothers took up weight training and developed a pretty good physique. This was my inspiration to buy a set of weights and start training, hopefully to gain weight and look normal. I also learned about York Barbell and the “champs” of weights. It worked, and over the years some people did think I played sports. This had a great psychological boost for me.
I got married and had two children – a son & daughter – in the 70’s. I always impressed upon them the importance of weight training as the fastest way to keep in shape and boost your morale. In the 80’s & 90’s I returned now and then to weights even visiting York Barbell and meeting Bob Hoffman before he passed away. My son started weight training and played varsity football. He still lifts. My daughter also uses weights and kettlebells. My influence worked!
Fast forward to my late 50’s, and my retirement. Last chance I thought, to return to my youth and weights, now having the time to train and recover. Once again it worked, and now the boost had a “nostalgia” effect, like driving in old cars and listening to music of the 60’s. Also there was a difference in my routines because I started using York “solid” dumbbells and found these exercises harder, but simpler than plate changing.
Over a period of about 3 years I have amassed a complete collection of York Roundheads 5 to 100 lbs, every pair. A second collection is in progress with the older Globe Dumbbells, now 50 to 100 lbs, every pair.
These came slowly, after I learned about Craig’s List, local suppliers, and eBay. You get to know who has what and the best price. Without the Internet, this would not have happened, which is a testament to its power over us. I have also become active in web pages like Straight to the Bar and Iron History. There are many people out there with the same nostalgia about their youth and how it was changed through weights.
What’s next? My grandchildren: two boys and two girls. Yes, I hope to influence them the same as their parents.