Legacy is more important to me with every passing year. I recently watched an interview with up and coming bodybuilder Sergio Oliva, Jr. on the Generation Iron YouTube Channel and it was pretty eye-opening. As the son of an iconic bodybuilder, you’d think that Oliva would have a leg up on the competition but he revealed that wasn’t the case. Apparently Oliva, Sr. was pretty bitter about how he allowed himself to be tricked by Arnold into losing an Olympia and the racism he suffered when he began bodybuilding in the IFBB. He allowed that to affect his relationship with his son to the point where the junior Oliva says that his father gave him zero help with his bodybuilding career. In some ways, Junior said that Senior actively made his career more difficult. Contrast that with another Cuban American father son bodybuilding team. Lee Labrada apparently gives his son Hunter a ton of support and advice to help his heir in his chosen career. According to Oliva, Jr. it’s an even more bitter pill to swallow because he’s sponsored by Labrada and sees the rapport between the Labradas on a regular basis.
It was a gut check for me. How am I supporting my own children? Am I supportive of their goals, dreams and aspirations whether or not they fit into my “master plan” for their lives?
I wasn’t introduced to weights by my father. My dad is not into lifting or any other kind of exercise for that matter. I found lifting through a series of seemingly disconnected events. But I am a father who is seeking to pass on the benefits of strength training to my own children. It’s yet another reason that I value training at my home. I wanted all of my children to grow up in an atmosphere where being healthy and fit were normal parts of life. That being said, I don’t push them into lifting. I don’t want to be overbearing or try to make them fit into some preplanned, cookie cutter career. I would hate, at the end of my Iron Journey, for any of my kids to say that I didn’t support them in their goals, whatever they are, and I definitely don’t want them to think I tried to stand in the way of their success.
I think that Mark Dugdale’s DVD Legacy is another great and eye opening discussion of the concept of a father’s legacy and I encourage you guys to check it out. You can order it from the store at markdugdale.com.
As for Sergio Oliva Jr.? Judging by this pic on Instagram, he’s figured out the key to not allowing his past to embitter him.
John Greaves III is a freelance writer in North Georgia. He is the founder of Garage Gym Life and a graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. John’s diverse athletic and writing background allows him to write about a variety of topics from sports to business. You can find out more about him including how to have him guest post on your blog, write for your magazine or ghostwrite a piece for you by clicking here.