I was very lucky enough to get to know Larry Scott, the first Mr Olympia, him from 1990-1992. I happened to be stationed at Hill Air Force Base and vowed to see Larry Scott in the flesh.
He worked in North Salt Lake City at the time. He had just reinvented himself and the sport of bodybuilding by creating the BioPhase program. It was a scientific method of figuring out exactly what each client / customer / trainer needed to lift, what programs to follow, what to eat, and what supplements to take.
Because I wanted to see my hero badly, I bought his month-to-month program. It was more than I could realistically afford, but I was psyched to succeed.
BioPhase worked! I was in great shape throughout that period. But, more than that, I got to know Larry Scott through conversations we had in the customer lounge area of his workplace.
He was simply a fantastic person to know. He was very kind while at the same time very business-like. I would label him what I call a forced extrovert. Meaning, he was very shy but would pour out his vast charm and winning smile.
Through him, I got to understand bodybuilding, both the sport and how to train.
The peak of my hero-worshiping “high” was when I coaxed my wife and two children to come with me and meet him. Larry was so, so nice. In addition, I got to understand his personal life.
First of all, I loved his daughter, who was gorgeous, kind, and straight-forward. Susan Scott was 1/2 Japanese (my own children are half Thai) and at one time she wrote me a thank you letter (I loaned Larry a then-new Mr Olympia book by Joe Weider and Bill Reynolds) as well as a personal glimpse of her relationship with her father.
I have forever kept and cherished her letter. Even more so, I got to know Larry’s midst of what-would-be tragic circumstances surrounding one of his four sons.
At one point in time, his son had been bed-ridden in a hospital after a freak traffic-related accident. When Larry described what had happened, a tear was about to come out of his eyes. Then, suddenly … perhaps out of not wanting to show such personal emotion to someone like me who is not in his family circle … Larry Scott had INSTANTLY “snapped out of his state of mind” and talked in strong, happy tones.
He changed the subject and ended our conversation in the friendliest-yet-business-like way. I, who was still emotionally wrapped up with his son’s fate, put my arm on Larry’s shoulder.
Just as quickly as Larry Scott changed his mindset seconds before, I quickly changed MY mindset from one of consoling to that of FEAR!
The reason I felt that was because I was shocked that Larry Scott’s shoulder was ROCK SOLID! Yes, he was in his mid-fifties, but it didn’t matter. He was still working out up to 6 days a week, with him previously confessing that his goal was to Preacher Curl (Scott Curl) with 2 45lb plates on each side of the barbell (225 lbs).
I immediately let go of his shoulder, with a stupid thought that Larry could kill me with one punch! Thank Heaven he was such a gentleman, but I was totally convinced that Larry Scott is a super-strong bull!
As it would happen, his son passed away, and maybe 4 years later or so, another son died (suicide). On that, I had called him from my newly assigned Air Force Base in Illinois.
Again, Larry had that magical ability to let you know that he loved his son (he had 4 sons and 1 daughter) but had a very healthy perspective or outlook on his life, which helped him to continue working out and keeping his muscles.
It is now 23 years later, with Larry passing. I believe I adopted some of his personality traits.
I, too, learned how to turn my emotional ‘switch’ on and off. It is a necessity.
I love Larry Scott. I was a nobody, but he never treated me (or anyone else he ever met) as if I was.
When I bought his brand new book called Loaded Guns, he wrote on the inside cover, “Kevin, it is good to know you as a friend.”
How could I not love the guy? Bless the Scott family, and I hope all is well for Susan!