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Guest Steven Zarella

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Guest Steven Zarella

Hi everyone! My name is Steve Zarella. I am not really a weightlifter, but I grew up in the sport. My dad was Joe Zarella former world champion weightlifter, arm wrestler and powerlifter as well as the first President of the United States Powerlifting Federation and a national committee member of many of the major strength sports organizations that exist today.

I got to see many of the legendary feats and event of the 70's and 80's. For example I was present during the Mt. Park (Holyoke, MA) filming of Pumping Iron (although I was only 4, I still remember meeting Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger). I watched Ted Arcidi break his first bench press record at that same locale several years later--at that time only 615lbs...only! I witnessed the first legitimate competition squat of over 900lbs. I saw feats that would make Newton rethink his theories of gravity. It was an amazing ride and it was made possible by one of the most humble, God-fearing men you would ever want to meet. I got to see history. I met all the greats of the game. Bob Hoffman, John Grimek, Ed Jubinville just to name a few of the real old timers. I saw the women come in and take their rightful place next to the men. Women like Cindy Reinhoudt who with her husband Don were an amazing couple to watch. I saw all the men considered legends in the sprot now. Arcidi, Pacifico, Kaz, the list goes on and on. And most of it was in an orange and white gym in the Nashua, NH YMCA. A place dad joined because he liked their sauna.

An interesting fact about the Nashua Y. My dad was a lifetime member. So anytime he ran a meet there, he just had to reserve the room and he got it free. However, after every meet, he would give them a cut. I remember vividly him handing them over $1000 towards the end of his meet directing days. He never made any money off of the meets. As a matter of fact, he lost money in a lot of cases. But, he would maybe sell the bench from the meet to someone, or get a few orders for gym equipment here and there and be able to justify the loss. (He ran Big Bear Athletic Equipment which eventually became New England Health Equipment and had over 200 pieces of equipment available--and if he didn't have it and you had the design, he'd make it!)

Anyway, I feel privileged that I am allowed to participate in this forum and discuss the good old days with you all. Some of my memories may be hazy, and they are generally from the point of view of a child who followed around his idol, so forgive me if I misspeak. Hopefully my dad's great friend Pete Vuono will keep me honest! :)

Well, thanks for reading my incessant ramblings.

-Steve

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Tom Ryan
Hi everyone! My name is Steve Zarella. I am not really a weightlifter, but I grew up in the sport. My dad was Joe Zarella former world champion weightlifter, arm wrestler and powerlifter as well as the first President of the United States Powerlifting Federation and a national committee member of many of the major strength sports organizations that exist today.

I got to see many of the legendary feats and event of the 70's and 80's. For example I was present during the Mt. Park (Holyoke, MA) filming of Pumping Iron (although I was only 4, I still remember meeting Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger). I watched Ted Arcidi break his first bench press record at that same locale several years later--at that time only 615lbs...only! I witnessed the first legitimate competition squat of over 900lbs. I saw feats that would make Newton rethink his theories of gravity. It was an amazing ride and it was made possible by one of the most humble, God-fearing men you would ever want to meet. I got to see history. I met all the greats of the game. Bob Hoffman, John Grimek, Ed Jubinville just to name a few of the real old timers. I saw the women come in and take their rightful place next to the men. Women like Cindy Reinhoudt who with her husband Don were an amazing couple to watch. I saw all the men considered legends in the sprot now. Arcidi, Pacifico, Kaz, the list goes on and on. And most of it was in an orange and white gym in the Nashua, NH YMCA. A place dad joined because he liked their sauna.

An interesting fact about the Nashua Y. My dad was a lifetime member. So anytime he ran a meet there, he just had to reserve the room and he got it free. However, after every meet, he would give them a cut. I remember vividly him handing them over $1000 towards the end of his meet directing days. He never made any money off of the meets. As a matter of fact, he lost money in a lot of cases. But, he would maybe sell the bench from the meet to someone, or get a few orders for gym equipment here and there and be able to justify the loss. (He ran Big Bear Athletic Equipment which eventually became New England Health Equipment and had over 200 pieces of equipment available--and if he didn't have it and you had the design, he'd make it!)

Anyway, I feel privileged that I am allowed to participate in this forum and discuss the good old days with you all. Some of my memories may be hazy, and they are generally from the point of view of a child who followed around his idol, so forgive me if I misspeak. Hopefully my dad's great friend Pete Vuono will keep me honest! :)

Well, thanks for reading my incessant ramblings.

-Steve

Thank you for your post, Steve.

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Bill Long

Sounds like you had a great upbringing....Welcome

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