When I started bodybuilding I was always jealous of the bodybuilders that got to travel to all these far away places.  Visiting any country overseas was always a goal of mine and since signing with Scitec I have been able to visit numerous countries all over the world.

Funny thing is, its not all its cracked to be when you’re working and can’t really enjoy anything these beautiful cities have to offer.  I’m basically going to describe my weekend with the good and the bad for you so you can have a real idea of what a traveling bodybuilder goes through.

The ordeal starts Wednesday at 3:30am because I couldn’t sleep knowing I had food to cook.  My flight was leaving at 7:00pm Thursday and I was packed but food wasn’t cooked and still needed to be frozen if it had any chance of making it overseas and staying edible. So I got out of bed at 3:30am and started prepping food, four days worth of Turkey, Chicken, Steak, Eggs, Oatmeal and Rice.  Everything was thrown in the freezer because the next day it was going into a suit case with ice packs.  I was going to take the airplane meals with me and the rest would be frozen and packed, then checked at the airport.  I prepped every meal for four days and by the end it was 5:30am.  I ate a meal and went to back to bed.

I woke up Thursday hit the gym one more time before leaving, got a haircut, exchanged money and got home in time to take a shower and pack up all my stuff.  I cross customs at the Windsor – Detroit border and get to the airport.  It was good there was no lines really and I was early so I strolled through.  Stopped at a restaurant bought a water and got down a meal. 

I board the plane and I’m just praying from the second I get on that no one is sitting next to me, not only for my sake but for theirs because I will be leaning on them for 8hrs.  My luck is so good a senior high school boards the plane last and they’re sitting in my section…fuck, is all I could think.  You might think sitting in the isle is a good thing because I can lean into the isle.  You would be wrong, if I lean left I am smothering the person next to me, if I lean right, I get smashed by the cart or the stewardess everytime they come through to bring anyone anything.

I get to Paris at 7:00am the next morning (they’re 5hrs ahead of us) and now we have to sit in a cab for 90min while we endure morning rush hour traffic.  Just insane.  After getting to the hotel Cedric McMillan and I realize the rooms aren’t ready yet and we sit in the hotel lobby waiting.  We take turns kicking each other because we keep falling asleep and snoring so loud we’re pissing off other people sitting in the lobby.  Needless to say being bigger than 200lbs as a man is frowned upon their and we’re getting some looks.

Finally the rooms are ready but I realize I don’t have a fridge and I have 50lbs of food with me.  Scitec is always good at taking care of us so they get the restaurant right next door to the hotel to take my food and store it.  We have a free day so we sleep Thursday away because the jet lag is a killer.

Friday we have to be at the booth at 11:00am so I go down to the hotel gym and do some cardio before getting to work.  Trying my hardest to keep the diet schedule I have at home and feeling pretty good about it so far.  Friday at the booth isn’t too busy (industry day) but there are some people coming and going.  The day ends early and we get back to the hotel in time to shower, rest a bit and get to the gym. 

We go to this gym where we were questioned about why we were there.  They didn’t want to let us in a first because appearantly they are a ‘fitness’ gym and my kind isn’t really welcome there.  After my boss at Scitec has my back and has some choice words for the manager we are let in.  I noticed two things off the hop; one, the gym is tiny and there are TONS of people there.  Two, half the people in the gym left their ran out of deodarant that day!  I couldn’t believe how bad so many people smelled.  I couldn’t even train at some pieces of equipment because the guy next to me stunk so bad.  Regardless I had a great workout because the machines were different and a different feel can be a great thing when training.

Saturday at the expo was like a zoo.  Cedric and I basically only sit down every couple hours for about 15min just to eat and then its back to work.  Person after person looks at us and makes the camera taking a picture symbol and says ‘foto’ with their French accent.  They are happy to meet their bodybuilding hero’s but I can tell that about 50% of them have no idea who we are and just want a pic with a couple of gorillas.  Either way we’re happy to oblige. 

Again though, I think 50% of the people there must have ran out of deodarant that very morning.  I’m not gonna write this next sentence to be an asshole but more so because as a good friend to you all it should be said.  If you’re at an expo where you’re going to be in closer quarters with people and talking to them, there are some things you’ll need.  Take a shower and use deodorant and possibly body spray afterwards.  If you sweat a lot bring a little bag with more body spray in it.  If you sweat a lot I also suggest not trying to hug the people you’re talking to because you’re leaving your sweat on them L  Lastly, a pack or two of gum will go a long way if you’re at an expo all day and all you’re eating is protein bars and drinking protein shakes.  I love all my fans and I am only trying to help you out.  I would hope you would tell me the same if I needed to know 😉

Okay aside from that shit we had a great time.  Ced and I got on stage a few times and hit some shots for the fans and the one very promising thing between this year and last was, the expo had more bodybuilding fans.  France itself isn’t a bodybuilding country but the people at the expo were pretty cool and I believe enjoyed having us there.

All in all it was a nice trip and it is always exciting to see other countries, if I had my choice I wouldn’t do it when I was dieting though.  I guess that’s the thing about work, its not always about what you want to do but more so about what has to be done.

Sacrifice Without Regret,

Fouad Hoss Abiad