If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s how to make the right call.

There are times for each of us when we’re confronted with decisions that can carry life-altering consequences.

In 1982, I was faced with a decision that would have altered my quest to become a professional bodybuilder. Here’s how it happened:

My goal in 1982 was to shock the world of bodybuilding. My training partners and I were putting in three to four hours a day in the gym, consisting of two to three different workout sessions. Eating and training was all that was on our minds.

Everything was coming together as expected. I was adding quality size and separation to my physique like never before. Time spent posing was paying off in a big way.

The icing on the cake came when my training partners and I reached out to a bodybuilding great (I choose not to name the IFBB professional here) to seek information concerning contest preparation. The information given was enough to help me take my first 1982 victory—the Atlantic USA, which was a qualifier to the next level of competition.

Wow! I was on top of the world, and so were my training partners. We celebrated and cherished the victory together. 

All the hard work was beginning to pay off.

Since the Atlantic USA was a qualifier, the question for us was: A qualifier to what? None of us had a clue where to go from there. We were uncertain because of the turmoil brewing at that time between the AAU and the newly formed National Physique Committee (NPC).

As athletes, we wanted to make sure we were heading in the same direction as bodybuilding legends like Robinson, Arnold, Franco, Coe, Mentzer, Platz, Zane, and Callender, just to name a few. That was where I wanted to be.

Not knowing which way to turn, we sought out the advice of the professional bodybuilder who had helped with my past contest prep. His recommendation was to go in the direction of the AAU, which hosted the Mr. America and the Mr. USA. Perplexed by the advice given, we searched for contact information for the new NPC office. After finding the contact phone number, we made the call.

Answering the phone was the NPC president himself, Mr. Jim Manion. As he shared the mission and the vision of the NPC, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is where I belonged—the NPC was the route to a promising professional bodybuilding career.

It was 35 years ago that I made the right call to choose the NPC instead of AAU, and I would do it all over again if asked. The right place, the right time, the right call…the NPC!