Tags: Arnold Schwartzenegger. Famous people. Actors. Celebrities.
Boy Arnie’s Vision:
Stay Hungry ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
Who would have ever thought that an unhappy little boy, born in 1947 in Thal, the tiniest of villages in the Austrian Steiermark, would become an international icon with a life more interesting than even he himself could have dreamt of? But that is Arnie Schwarzenegger all the way!
And why unhappy? Well, his father, a policeman, noncommissioned army officer and member of the Nazi Party, (unlike Arnie, a lifelong member of “Friends of Israel”) displays a strong and blatant favouritism for Arnie’s older brother Meinhard, because of an unfounded suspicion that Arnie is not his biological child. But Arnie loves Meinhard and looks up to him for everything, yet does not attend his funeral, when Meinhard is killed in a car accident in 1971, as he cannot bear to see his father.
The father would never listen to or understand young Arnie, lavishing him with corporal punishment for the slightest thing. But at 14 Arnie wins the battle with his father of taking up bodybuilding instead of soccer. Besides, I so sympathize with Arnie’s regimented parental upbringing, as I too, also Austrian born and close to Arnie’s age, suffered the identical problems, all of which makes you strive for the impossible and by persisting you do achieve it.
My favorite song ‘CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN’ beautifully portrayed in ‘THE SOUND OF MUSIC,’ summarizes it perfectly and has been my life-long motto. Arnie is already a savvy, self-made millionaire before even starting his first major movie to be released in 1982, ‘CONAN THE BARBARIAN.’ But the name of his first film ‘STAY HUNGRY’ last year (1976), means more than just a movie title to Arnie. Stay hungry is his motto for the rest of his life, hungry to achieve, hungry to be the best at everything he touches, hungry to win, hungry for accolade, fame and fortune and accomplished friends in every walk of life. It is something very Austrian.
- Arnold Schwartzenegger in the movie “Conan”
My father too always encouraged me to find friends who were smarter and more intelligent than I, so I would learn from them. But with his innate ability to succeed, Arnie does not have to learn too much. From his bodybuilding career and winning the Mr. Universe, Mr. World, Mr. International, and Mr. Olympia contests many times and, having been the youngest man ever at 20 to do so, he never spends his winnings. Instead, he invests them in an apartment building, world-wide real estate, privately controlled companies, stocks, bonds, sporting events, business ventures and even achieves a business degree from the Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
I first meet the 30-year-old prolific goal setter for a most unusual luncheon in the most exclusive French restaurant in London’s Piccadilly. After my urgent veterinary consultation at Regents Park Zoo that morning, there is no time to take my tiny Squirrel Monkey, Kya, and her baby back home to Middlesex. I can’t leave her in my soft-top 280SL Mercedes, as the risk of someone stealing this precious little creature with even just a pocket knife through the roof is far too great.
I feel embarrassed, but turn up with Kya on my arm, asking the maitre d’ of the restaurant, if they might have a storage room where she could stay while Schwarzenegger and I have lunch. But instead, Kya is served delicious food on a silver platter under our table. “I didn’t get any more satisfaction out of competing and winning by 1975,” Arnie’s gruff voice is quite distinctive as he explains. “Bodybuilding was a stepping stone, a means to an end, and as I finished my competitive years, I was using it more and more as a vehicle. It helped me a lot in business and in other areas, because if you have a ‘name,’ you do much better.
You can get loans from the bank for business. Subconsciously people are just impressed with size and winners.” At this point, Arnie forgets his food in his earnestness to touch on a subject very interesting to him. “Through all the different civilizations it’s been proved that the presentation of the body is always very important. Whatever it was, Hercules, the Greek statues or the Roman soldiers, they were all muscular. Look at the way Michelangelo painted his male figures and the way Rodin sculpted muscular ones. It was always a presentation of power.”
You don’t necessarily agree with every word Arnie says, to appreciate that he has studied his subject and thought about it at length. And you’d be made of asbestos not to succumb to the boyish charm that robs the words of pomposity and keeps them just the right side of the comic. Looking across the restaurant table I find Arnie slimmer and slighter than expected, and apart from the biceps that thrust outwards against his sleeves, he is not bulging in any unusual places. Only the excessive ratio of his shoulders to his waist, two to one, gives away that this man does not make his living sitting behind an office desk.
“I have been really fascinated by the people I have met in the last few years,” he continues in a wondering tone, “people I would otherwise have had no chance to meet, like political leaders, Presidents, Prime Ministers, the Kennedy’s. The Kennedy family invited me to Hyannisport and Rose Kennedy gave me two copies of her book, inscribed in German, one for me and one for my mother.”
If occasionally Arnie gives the impression of having approached his dream-come-true position with just a shade of too much calculation he will mitigate it by revealing the side of himself that is still as breathless and starstruck as a school-boy, his nose pressed against the windowpane.