Paying tribute to Bob Kennedy – Fitness supporter and accomplished artist

Robert Kennedy is a huge advocate of the bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle, and he affected my life in a profound way.

In 1974, Kennedy launched one of the first bodybuilding magazines,¬†Muscle Mag and would go on to publish American Curves, Reps!, Clean Eating, Maximum Fitness and my favorite, Oxygen. He’s good friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger and is the husband of Tosca Reno (famous for her book, The Eat-Clean Diet).

He was recently honored at the Arnold Classic for 38 years of dedication to the sport of bodybuilding and dedication to advancing the cause of fitness worldwide. Arnold himself gave the award.

I remember when I was 16, roaming through a random grocery store during Spring vacation in the middle of the night, and coming across Oxygen magazine. I had been a fitness enthusiast from a VERY young age. We’re talking age 9, I was trying to exercise when I was home alone. When I was 12, I would sneak my stepdad’s bodybuilding magazines up into my room (Yes, Muscle Mag), not to look at half naked, muscled men (lol), but to learn about weight training and healthy lifestyle methods. That hunger, I don’t know where it came from, was as strong as my love for art. And I felt so strange as a girl to want to weight train. Not alot of women were into that. I was the only teenaged girl heading to the gym after school to weight train. I was the kid who took fish supplements while my friends were trying not to starve themselves. I slugged down protein shakes while they were skipping lunch. I understood the lifestyle and wanted to be the best of myself I could be. I wanted to be like the hardworking superheroes (Batman, duh) in my comics.

So when I came across Oxygen, it totally changed my life. And my perspective. Not only did I finally find women who pursued a healthy lifestyle and bodybuilding, but it was encouraged. It was NORMAL! I not longer felt weird going to the gym. In fact, it only fueled the fire.

Fast-forward 13 years later, I’m still weight training. In fact, as of 2010, I got myself back into the lifestyle after a few tumultuous years in Los Angeles. I’m 30 lbs lighter and almost back to the solid muscle and weight I was at as a teenager. I love this lifestyle and my art work is better because of it. My life is better because of it. My relationships are better because of it.

BOB KENNEDY AKA WOLFGANG KALS

What people don’t know about Robert, is that he is also an accomplished artist and art teacher! He taught art at the Tottenham Technical College in England for eight years, and then taught for five years where he lived in Ontario, Canada. He goes under the brush name (brush de nom) Wolfgang Kals, painting pop art abstracts of celebrities and artists. His works sell for thousands and has done pieces of Barack Obama, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson. His art is great and I wish that there was more about his work online. It’s very hard to find his artwork just by Googling, as his brush de nom and his fitness career are so very separate. I admire how he was able to do both, and am excited to read his new book, Bull’s Eye.

A update regarding Bob’s health is on his wifes blog. He has been battling terminal lung cancer and they’re saying that all efforts have failed to help. I’m very sad to hear this, and send my prayers and thoughts to him and his family. He is a great man and has done so much for the world in so many ways. I hope that people will remember him for all that he has done, including his work in the art world as a teacher and artist. Thank you, Robert Kennedy for inspiring me and so many others.

We are forever grateful for you.

You can see more of his beautiful work at http://www.wolfgangkals.com

Official publishing site: http://www.rkpubs.com