Inspiration Photos

by Al Myers

An autographed photo of Steve Stanko, which is displayed in the Dino Gym, courtesy of Dale Friesz.

I have been collecting pictures for a long time – and if you have been to the Dino Gym you have seen my collection covering the gym walls. There are now over 100 photographs lining the walls of the gym! I find that these photos of lifters, some famous and some just lifters that I have great respect for, inspire me to train harder. I can’t really explain why – it’s just that when I look at these pictures during a workout and KNOW the hard work and dedication that each one of these athletes put into working out – it is INSPIRATIONAL to me. It makes me want to workout even harder! Most all of my pictures in the gym have a story behind them. I didn’t just didn’t pick them out random and throw them up on the wall for a little gym decoration!

My favorite photos are the ones that have been autographed. So far, some of my autographed pictures include great lifters such as Wilbur Miller, Norbert Schemansky, Bruce Wilhelm, Joe Dube, Bill Pearl, John Grimek and Terry Todd. I also have autographed pictures of great throwers such as Al Oerter, Al Feuerbach, John Godina, and Brian Oldfield. Among others are great athletes including Vince Young, the “best Highland Games athlete of All-Time” Bill Anderson, Jesse Marunde, and Tom Manno. I probably have some more that I didn’t mention here. I am not the only one that has this fascination with inspirational photos. Thom Van Vleck has more pictures in the JWC Training Hall than he has weightlifting plates (and he has TONS of plates). I have been in Thom’s gym several times and each time I notice a photo that I hadn’t seen before. When I attended the USAWA Club Challenge this spring hosted by the Ambridge VFW Barbell Club, I noticed the many pictures they have lining the staircase as you descended into the dungeon of iron that is known as the Ambridge VFW BBC. By just looking at their photograph display, you are motivated to lift before you even enter the gym!

This is one on the many reasons why I prefer small club gyms over commercial gyms. You very rarely see pictures on the walls of commercial gyms – instead you see promotional posters trying to sell you something. Inspirational photos give a private club gym the “personal touch” that you don’t get in a big commercial gym – and this results in a better workout!