Australian Pro: Blog – Day 1

Tuesday 9pm Chicago – Wednesday 1pm Melbourne

Today actually started several days ago. A lot goes into planning an overseas trip. What gear should I bring? Do I have enough batteries? Are there holes in my underwear? So out comes the luggage. Camera gear and microphones get spread out on the living room floor, and I add ‘snacks’ to my Shopping List.

I’ve only been with Flex Magazine for a few weeks, but I am not new to the scene.  I built Muscle Mayhem back in 2002.  I built MD back in 2005 and recently finished my contract with them this past February. Now I am the Online Editor for Flex Magazine – The Official Magazine to the IFBB and the NPC. It’s an honor to be here.

I’m halfway to Los Angeles. I commenced my 27-hour journey from Chicago to Melbourne. The first leg is a 4.5-hour flight to LAX. That’s where I am now listening to Snoop Dog as I am writing this. I should be trying to sleep but kind of hard getting bumped in some pretty bad turbulence. I’m also dreading the 17-hour flight to Sydney. I keep hoping the seat next to me will remain empty. I doubt I will get bumped to Business Class like my last overseas trip to India.

I still laugh at the look on Flex Wheeler’s face. Because we all fly a lot, we each had Premier Status, so the surprise look on ole’ Ken’s face was funny as shit when the stewardess escorted me to my business class seat. I was in the last row. There was a diver between Flex and me. He gives me one of those, “WTF!” shrugs and looks. You know, like some of his badass pictures from his company posters. All I could do was shrug and laugh as the stewardess closed the curtains on him.

Luck and fortuitousness is the key to happiness, Mr Flex Wheeler! hahahaha

Do people actually sit and watch Footloose Part 2? The woman sitting next to me is enrapt with it!

Before I left, I managed to put up a few articles on the Australian Pro. The competitor’s list is one of them.  I was still trying to arrange my suitcase when Robbie called me with my To Do list before I leave and while I am in country. He mentioned a second place Olympia qualification was a distinct possibility. We mused on who missed out and then I pretended to have a dropped cel call. I was tired. Had to wrestle my cat out of my suitcase, and I was only half packed after 4 days of trying.

Needless to say I was still packing when I called the cab. The driver was waiting for me while I was still zipping up the last of my bags, and damn if I couldn’t get that nagging feeling I left something at home. At least in Australia I can buy what I am missing. In other countries, forget about it! That includes Ohio and Iowa. What?! It’s bad enough trying to find a Starbucks when driving through those third world countries!

What should you expect while I am there?

Tons of pictures and lost of video. There’s no rest for the wicked. (Not sure why but it perturbs the hell out of me when people say ‘there’s no rest for the weary’ duh.

As soon as I land, I get picked up at the airport and will be escorted to Tony Doherty’s gym. Many of the athletes should be arriving about the same time. I’ll be getting interviews, pictures and all that other good stuff. Folks like the Mayor of Bodybuilding will find it ‘fulfilling.’ I find it to be a lot of work, but I enjoy doing it. Not sure what it’s going to be like, though after travelling 27 hours.

Friday, the next day, Phil Heath arrives from Auckland, New Zealand. Mr. Olympia will be hitting the gym, holding a seminar or two, and I will be there following him around. Maybe I can be Dave Bourlet the 2nd. Dave and Jay = Phil and Mike!

But that’s it! I made it to O’Hare. I made my packed flight. I am ¾ of the way to LAX, I need to pee and I have a lot to do over the next 6 days.

For those of you that do the Twitter thing, look for the hash mark #OzPro12 as I attempt to provide you all with immediate updates as the day progresses.