I went to the Fitness Expo in Las Vegas last weekend. My boys are heavy (I made a pun – of sorts) into bodybuilding and the Fitness Expo, along with Mr. Olympia competition, is like the mecca for which every bodybuilder must make a pilgrimage to. All the big names in bodybuilding were touted to be there. My boys, ever since they started this bodybuilding expedition about 18 months ago (see Getting the Gains), have been watching these people’s instructional videos. Mike O’Hearn, Kai Green, Bradley Martin, Kali Muscle, Stan Efferding and perhaps even Arnold Schwarzenegger (yes – the former Governor of our great state) were supposed to be there.
Now why would a slightly plump, middle-aged mother want to attend such an event? I wondered that too. But in support of my boys and all the amazing accomplishments they have made over the last year and a half, it was the least I could do to show them I was behind them 100%. So, off we went to Las Vegas. It is about a 6 hour drive from our little city here in the Central Valley of California. I can tell you it is not an exciting drive through Bakersfield, Barstow, and the Mojave Desert. Now that the boys are older and with licenses, it sure does make the trip much more tolerable as everyone can share in the driving. Every time I make that drive through some of the most inhospitable land our great country has to offer, I wonder several things. First – why would anyone want to live out there in the Mojave – there is actually a town named Mojave, and secondly what drug-induced, delusional state would one have to be in to think it was a grand idea to build a town way out in the middle of nothing (Las Vegas)? Obviously it worked, but everyone must have thought they were completely bonkers with such a vision.
Of course my kids get a huge kick out of driving to Las Vegas, because they get to see all the landmarks that are featured in the video game, Fallout – New Vegas. They still get excited about that, and my youngest is on countdown mode until the next Fallout comes out. Last update I received was about 44 days for the release of Fallout 4 (just so you know).
The evening we arrived in Las Vegas we decided to eat dinner at the Heart Attack Grill. This a place that serves an 8,000 calorie hamburger. All their customers must don hospital gowns before they are seated. There is nothing diet here, I couldn’t even get a Diet Coke and when I asked the server, he seemed quite put out that I should even ask. I then timidly asked for a glass of water, which surprisingly seemed to be an okay beverage. Everything is cooked in lard and if one is brave enough to order the Quadruple Bypass Hamburger, they had better eat it all – or the customer gets spanked with a paddle. What the heck? Both my boys ordered the Triple Bypass burgers and struggled to finish them.
The Heart Attack Grill is in the middle of the Fremont area of Las Vegas. It is decidedly an interesting area. The traffic was unbearable and we couldn’t really figure out why, we weren’t even on the strip. But it dawned on us something was up, while waiting for a light to change, we saw two naked girls dressed only in some kind of body paint and those fluffy boa things cross the street in front of us. At first we nodded knowingly to one another – What happens in Las Vegas stay in Las Vegas. We have seen the Hangover movies, so we know how crazy things can get in Las Vegas. It wasn’t until we left the Heart Attack Grill, which happened to coincide with the end of the Las Vegas Gay and Lesbian Parade, that we understood.
I spent several hours being jostled about by massive people, all with artificially dark tans, and I guess all those muscles produce an enormous amount of heat. It was sweltering in there. People stood in lines for hours to meet their bodybuilding heroes. I never realized how huge these people really were until I got up close to them. They all had this underlying aroma of pre-workout emanating from them. I finally got fed-up and went out of the main convention area and sat on an empty shoe-shining stand to rest and wondered if people still had their shoes shined. I watched all the female bodybuilding competitors come in through the side doors with their entourage of people. I guess in the eyes of bodybuilders these people are super celebrities. They really are truly beautiful specimens of the human body.
The First-Aid center was right next to the Shoe-Shining stand. I went in to introduce myself and met Cyndee, the nurse on duty. We had a lovely conversation about Nurse Practitioner school (she is presently getting her Masters) and nursing in general. We talked about all the unusual injuries she has had to attend to. What an amazing and fascinating lady.
After several more hours of waiting, the boys reappeared, laden with plastic bags of t-shirts and a cooler. It turns out many of exhibitions were throwing t-shirts and products out to the throngs of crowds. I have noticed many people that are heavily into bodybuilding are not exceptionally tall. Which meant my boys, who are both well over 6 feet, especially my youngest who is probably pushing 6’6”, were able to catch most of the items being chucked out to the crowds, hence the large bags of goodies.
We then made the unbearable walk back to our car in the blazing desert heat. I was exhausted and hot and thirsty and verging on grumpiness. No rest for the weary though, as my dear old Dad says, because we were on our way to meet Kai Green, who was having a “meet and greet” at the City Athletic Club. That in and of itself is worthy of another post. Stay tuned.
Mojave Desert – commonswikimedia.org
Heart Attack Grill – ign.com
Las Vegas – vintagelasvegas.tumblr