Many years ago in a land far away there lived a poor boy who sought a better life. Though he had learned the value of hard work, he observed that many people in his community worked hard for very little. There’s got to be a better way, he thought. The problem was that he didn’t know what the better way looked like.
One day, he came across a magazine with a picture of Italian star Reg Park. The headline of the story read, in effect “How Reg Park became Hercules by Winning Mr. Universe.” The article told of Park’s 3 Mr. Universe titles, which attracted him to Hollywood Producers for the part of Hercules. Park became an international movie star, and later built a gymnasium empire in South Africa. The boy, pleased with what he read, discovered a new vision for his life.
“I want to go to America, to the land of opportunity, and this is the way I get there,” he said.
The next day the boy went to a gym and started working out. He immediately noticed that he was not dressed like everyone else.
“I really need some workout clothes,” he said.
It just so happened that the boy lived near a lake. During the summer there were thousands of people around the lake swimming and soaking up the sun. On one side of the lake there was an ice cream stand, with a line of people that extended a long way back. You know, the boy thought, if the ice cream was closer to everyone, then people wouldn’t have to stand in line. So the boy approached the man working in the stand and said,
“Why don’t you give me a bucket and I’ll try to sell this ice cream before it melts.”
The man agreed. After getting a bucket of ice cream, the boy proceeded to walk around the lake and sell ice cream to those he saw. He found one couple in some bushes making out. The boy didn’t let that stop him. He approached them calmly and confidently saying,
“Excuse me, would you like to buy some ice cream?”
The man in the bushes, obviously just wanting to be left alone, said aggressively,
The boy went to every person, one by one, and did not stop until all the ice cream was sold. Eventually he had enough to buy a pair of gym shorts.
As time went on, others would notice the boy’s efforts and inquisitively ask what was driving him to do this. When he’d respond that it was his ticket to movie stardom, he was often met with criticism. These were the types of comments he’d receive:
“You can’t do that!”
“Just who do you think you are?!”
The boy remembered the success he’d had selling ice cream. Again, he was determined not to let that stop him. Through the years the boy continued to work and save his money. At the age of 21, he became the youngest person in history to win the Mr. Universe Title.
His accomplishments got the attention of Joe Weeder, the founder of the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB). At Weeder’s invitation, the boy (whom you know today as Arnold Schwarzenegger) came to America with $27,000 to his name. Schwarzenegger went on to play Hercules, just like Reg Park…..and he also became one of the biggest movie stars of the 20th century.