When I was 10, I asked my parents for a set of weights. I had my Charles Atlas book to go along with that. Every time we went to the grocery store, I'd rush to the magazine area and read the ones with Arnold Schwarzenegger and all those guys on the covers: 'Pumping Iron,' 'Muscle and Fitness,' 'Muscle Builder by Joe Weider.'
I was only 24 years old when I won my first Olympia. To be that young and the world champion was a lot of pressure. When I won the 8th one, I had the record. I was on top: that was the absolute best that I ever looked onstage, the best training and prep that I had done, and I had no regrets. I knew it was time to walk away.