From Boxing to Worlds Strongest Man to Actor, Franco Columbu, set the example for Black Sheep all around.
Hello Ladies & Gents, I hope you are having a great weekend. It is Olympia next weekend for those who don’t know. The Olympia is an extravagant event held each year where the worlds top Bodybuilders come to compete for the title of Mr. or Ms. Olympia. Among the Olympia events, there are many other spectacles and feats to witness first hand such as the World’s Strongest Man, CrossFit, and Powerlifting events. Needless to say, its one big party after another. Unfortunately, today won’t be the day where I fanboy over such sports. No. Today I wanted to take the time and write about someone who is a part of the Black Sheep family, Franco Columbu. I chose to write about Franco, not only to commemorate all that he was, but to help you learn how to be a Black Sheep!
Sadly, Mr. Columbu passed away earlier this week. Many knew of him from the documentary of Pumping Iron. Several more knew of him from his close ties with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Countless more saw Franco as someone they can look up to for a variety of reasons.
Regrettably, there are countless out there who did not know him at all which is why I’m writing this.
By now, I am sure you have figured out I have very close ties to the fitness community. I spent a majority of my professional career within some realm of that field either as a practitioner, athlete, coach…etc. However, there are those out there without many ties to said community and have lost the opportunity to know of one of our Black Sheep which is unfortunate to say the least. Which is why I am now writing this for you.
Now, why is he a Black Sheep? Why should you take the time to know his name?Well as I said earlier, he is great example for you to learn how to be a Black Sheep!…
Francesco Maria Columbu was not only a bodybuilder, but an actor, powerlifter, author, coach, boxer, and practitioner. More importantly, Franco was a father, friend, and role model.
Mr. Columbu did what many cannot do to this day. He pursued what was not easily foreseeable and attainable in order to create a legacy that is beyond fitting of a Black Sheep. Mr. Columbu is a direct representation of what it means to be hard working and tenacious individual. Why? Well its simple, there aren’t that many people out there who can work in the fields as a shepherd and still manage 30+ wins as a boxer while still being a kid.
This trait is a rare commodity of a dying generation.
Nowadays, we do not hear of kids having to work. On the contrary, if you do hear of kids having to work, you’ll also most likely hear the term “child labor laws” closely following in its wake.
Nonetheless, he set an example for the rest of us that there is no excuse available that we can use to stall for an outcome yet to be achieved. Franco showed us a Black Sheep does not limit himself. No matter, what country, what family, or what socio-economic status, a true Black Sheep keeps moving forward.
Fortunately, this was not the end. As a result of bruises, scrapes, and hits to the head, he found a greater love in bodybuilding. Later on, he moved to Germany as a kid, where he found his best friend and ally, Arnold. Evidently, this iconic duo paved the way to what we know to be fitness today.
But this was not all it takes to learn how to be a Black Sheep!
Franco believed that it was necessary to accompany aesthetics with strength. Having won several bodybuilding titles, including Mr. Olympia, he threw his hat in World’s Strongest Man and placed fairly well, but this just the tip of the iceberg. To make him an even deadlier adversary, he competed as a Powerlifter as well and broke several records in the clean and jerk, squat, bench and dead lift movements. Clearly, proving once and for all, that big muscles are not just for show.
Folks, anyone of us with time, money, exceptional genetics, spot on nutrition, and an optimal exercise routine would be able to do the same (not really, but you get my point), but this man accomplished all of this while working as a brick layer.
This is not an easy feat…
Take it from me, brick laying, is a workout in and of itself which would put most in a sofa coma after coming home. The burnout alone from the weather and excessive loads would put most on a “no workout” regimen, but this did not stop Franco. He continued to work in order to supply his goals with the necessary capital to receive a return on his investment.
Unbeknownst to most, bodybuilding was not a lucrative sport. Most athletes lived on a small stipend and whatever they got from sponsors to make ends meet. To make matters more difficult, it was necessary for most to have a second or third job just to make ends meet to pursue their goals. Clearly, these individuals show us that we have no excuse nowadays because they have taken any possible justification with them.
Now back to Franco…
In contrast to his fitness pursuits, Franco was an actor as well, he starred in several roles alongside his friends Arnold and Sylvester. Fortunately, he did not stop there. He went on to get his education as a chiropractor in his later years and added to his repertoire of skills by writing several books that would help others achieve their goals as well.
Black Sheep do not limit themselves in their personal or career pursuits. Franco clearly represents the values we have here at Black Sheep Heritage. He did not allow himself to be boxed or roped in by the culture or any other limiting factors. He, like many other Black Sheep, merely pursued what was right in their mind and helped others along the way. To learn how to be a Black Sheep is not an easy feat and can be lonely at times, but clearly the rewards and freedom are incomparable! Can you do it?!