‘Age is just a number’

A local bodybuilder is undecided about his future competing in the sport.

Long-time bodybuilder Mr. Michael Salmon says he eventually will retire but is not sure about any specific timeframe. Mr. Salmon said he would preferably like to compete in fewer events each year.

‘I’m going to do my last [international] show this year in New York. I want to take a break and I feel I need it. I don’t know how long that [break] will be, whether it’s a year, two years or whatever. At this point, I just don’t know.

‘Bodybuilders generally do at least 2 or 3 shows each year. I myself have 3 more lined up. I would eventually like to reach the point where I can do just 1 show each year so that I can relax my dieting and training,’ Mr. Salmon said.

According to Mr. Salmon, he sees himself as an active member of the bodybuilding community in the future, no matter if he is competing or not.

‘I got to find another sport to join first before I leave bodybuilding. But here in Cayman, the options are limited. Nevertheless, I will continue to follow the sport of bodybuilding and continue in my role as staff trainer at Powerhouse Gym. I will continue to recruit newcomers for the sport of bodybuilding.’

In spite of his age and the gruelling preparation process athletes like him endure, Mr. Salmon was adamant that health concerns did not factor into his decision.

‘I am physically fit. I always check with my doctor before every show I do. I am perfectly healthy,’ the 46-year-old former champion declared, ‘I am always seeking to push myself because I have to go against guys much younger and more muscular than me.’

Mr. Salmon also stated that in his opinion, he had not yet reached his physical limits.

‘Age is just a number. It’s all in your mind. When I see older people going to the gym and working out, lifting weights, I say to myself, ‘I can be just like them.’

Mr. Salmon took time to reflect on his career thus far. He mentioned how he came into the sport of bodybuilding and how he grew his love of sports.

‘I have been around bodybuilding all my life. I have been on-stage [competing] for 5 years. I followed bodybuilding from my days in Jamaica. I have been around for every show that Tiger Wilson was in.

‘I would say my career is pretty complete. I did 27 years of taek kwon do before I gave it up. I then did badminton, track and swimming, all for fun. After that, I turned to bodybuilding. I like to be active and involved in sports.’

Mr. Salmon went on to discuss the role Tiger Wilson played in his career.

‘I have a lot of respect for Tiger Wilson. He supported me coming up and really opened up the door for guys like me so that we could see the light of natural bodybuilding.’

Recently, Mr. Salmon competed in a local tournament in which he earned a professional license. Though honoured, Mr. Salmon was insistent that he was professional long before he became internationally certified.

‘Fame is like a flame to me. It burns bright in one moment and then it’s gone in the next. But I’m glad to have the pro-card. However, I was competing in the event [in which he earned the card] for the sport not the card. I actually feel proudest about helping youngsters come up in the sport.’

Mr. Salmon feels very encouraged by the current level of Cayman bodybuilding and feels certain of a bright future.

‘It is taking off to another level. In the past 14 years, there have been about 11 pros in Cayman. Before the end of the year, there should be 2 or 3 more pros. Bodybuilding is stepping up big-time.

‘There is a great future for Cayman bodybuilding. Every year I expect to see 3 or 4 more pros. The goal for the future is definitely to see more pros in the sport.’

Mr. Salmon also wanted to send along his thanks to all those that stood behind him over the years. Bearing special mention were his major sponsors including Powerhouse Gym, A&A Construction, and Dr. Howard Deosaron.

At the same time, he wanted to give some words of encouragement to anyone looking to follow his footsteps.

‘You can do bodybuilding naturally. Just keep positive. Dale Morris, Dale Davis, myself and others put Cayman on the map ourselves. We used our spirit and drive with no support from the Cayman government. Imagine how far we could have gone if we got help?’

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