One of my all-time heroes. Arnold is sometimes viewed negatively by people who don't know his whole story, but he turns even that into an asset: "I neOne of my all-time heroes. Arnold is sometimes viewed negatively by people who don't know his whole story, but he turns even that into an asset: "I never argued with people who underestimated me. If the accent and the muscles and the movies made people think I was stupid, it worked to my advantage". How can anybody underestimate somebody who, among many many accomplishments, was a world-class athlete who trained 6 days per week twice a day, became a millionaire in business *before* he was a movie star, and has been the governor of one of the most powerful states in the U.S.?
I read his first biography from 1977, Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder, after he won his Mr. Olympia titles, and already then I was inspired. Here was a man with a will of iron and incredible drive, and who was completely unapologetic about it. I remember reading somewhere "If Schwarzenegger had more ambition than he has now, he'd have to be running for Galactic Overlord" and realized the author was only half-joking. In Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, we can see that same personality more than 35 years later, after having applied himself in several disparate domains. It is this being successful in so many different ways that makes Arnold larger-than-life.
In this book, he is a bit more mellow than in the previous one. At 30, he still had a single-minded focus on his muscles, but by 65, he has explored & cultivated many more sides of himself. Since then, it seems it's not about just Arnold anymore: he has become a father of 5, and although he definitely has his flaws, he seems to have found a balance between himself, his family, and his public duties. But even at the age when most people retire, he is still living up to his old mantra: "For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer".
Unfortunately, sometimes the book feels a bit written by someone who is very aware of his public image and how what he writes will be interpreted by the reader. But in the end, this is probably something to be expected from someone who has been living in the public eye for decades, most recently even as a politician.
All in all, 5 stars. Looking forward to keep following this inspiring and tireless man over the years to come!...more
A great read and highly recommended. De Vany has a very playful style, and manages to get his points across without being pushy. In fact, it's almostA great read and highly recommended. De Vany has a very playful style, and manages to get his points across without being pushy. In fact, it's almost Zen-like how he focusses on process over outcome and in doing so removes a lot of stress from his life. With the book, he makes his case and then let's you decide for yourself if you want to make lifestyle changes or not.
What also speaks to his advantage is that he doesn't have an overly romantic view of the caveman, which paleo advocates sometimes resort to. Consequently he treats the paleo era (~50,000 B.C.) as a model, not something to be blindly copied as much as possible. For me it was a very motivational reminder of why I try to model the intensity of my activity according to power laws (lots of low intensity like walking, some high intensity like sprinting & olympic weightlifting, and next to nothing of medium intensity like jogging) and avoid cereals, rice, beans, sugar, and processed food....more