Charles Atlas was Bullied in High School

Follows a bit of history on Charles Atlas: the world's greatest bodybuilder.

This Italian hunk, baptized with the name of Angelo Siciliano, was born on October 30, 1893. His father was Santo Siciliano and his mother name was Teresa, a devoted catholic. He was about ten years of age when he came to the United States good old Brooklyn. His mother worked there as a seamstress.

Some state that he was truly born in Brooklyn in April of that same year. Regardless, the Italian boy grew to dislike school, especially high school, where peers bullied him for his pathetic appearance. His barely 90 pounds of weight were not enough to make it on the dating playground... and his classmates were as rough as ever.

He dropout from school and went to work in a leather factory, still skinny. He soon joined a gym, but didn't like the results.

Then he turned to the Gods. Good gods... the Greeks and the Romans kind of adopted him into what we call today isometrics.

Exercising Naked Allows for Better Body Awareness

The Greeks believed that it was their sacred duty to take good care of their bodies. Of course, social strata existed then as it exists now. But their ideal was to treasure the bodies the Gods entrusted them with, especially Zeus, for whom they created the Olympics, from Mount Olympus (house of the Gods).

Gymnasium and its derivatives actually mean "to train naked." Maybe is here where we inherit "the naked truth." In any event, in the privacy of your home, take a good look at your body. Maybe is about time you do. Assess your weaknesses and your strengths... appreciate yourself by the way, albeit you are under, over or at your ideal weight.

Eternal women discrimination took place, yes. Women were not allowed to watch the naked boys while playing (bummer). But there was a good reason for them playing naked. There is no way to be more aware of your body than when it is naked.

California governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, had his share of shame during his fatty times. He recalls that, in order for him to make his own self aware of the importance of loosing weight, he would go around showing his flabby abs. I think it was this constant humiliation what triggered him into becoming Mr. Olympia in the years of 1970, 1971, 1972,1973, 1974, 1975, and 1980.

In any event, you don't see him ashamed of his body. He does emphasizes the importance of having a true passion. For him, it was bodybuilding.

Sound mind in sound body is a passion we inherit straight from the Greeks, as well as the concept of the body viewed as a temple (which the Christians later adopted). Exercising the body evolved into exercising the mind for the Greeks. Gymnasiums evolved into schools. Christians later considered gymnasiums satanic as most were, well, naked, and women were not allowed, since men were, again, hanging around. Could not help the pun.

Mythology propelled Greeks (and Romans) to maintain a balance between mind and body. In a sense, upcoming religions discarded such importance for the body, since there is an afterlife. All this stigma have propelled certain dysfunctional behaviors, especially in women. Somewhere, embedded in our minds some have taken exercising as something vain and selfish, when it is truly our duty to be responsible for our bodies, for our divine selves.

The Greco Roman Influence is Evident

Of course naked!

Atlas on Top of the World