Anyone who’s been involved in the sport long enough knows that bodybuilding feels like one big, frustrating puzzle at times. At one moment the pieces appear to be coming together nicely, all interlocking in place as they should. Then, in the blink of an eye things no longer make sense, the pieces don’t seem to be fitting together the way we thought, and now we’re left staring dazed and confused at one giant thousand piece train wreck of a mess.
That’s why it feels so sweet when things work – or when the pieces fit. At the 2012 USA Championships the pieces finally fell into place for eventually Middleweight winner Scott Turner after years of trying to solve the puzzle. I recently had a chance to catch up with Scott to talk life, bodybuilding, and everything in between. And you can read it all right here, in this Iron Affinity exclusive interview.
Q.) Let’s start with life before bodybuilding. Before you began training, did you have a athletic background?
A.) I played team sports all through my childhood and have always excelled athletically. I’ve been very competitive all my life, but at the same time it’s always been something I have enjoyed.
Q.) When did you first become exposed to bodybuilding? Who was the first bodybuilder you saw that truly inspired you?
A.) I can remember as far back as the early 90’s collecting Muscle and Fitness magazines. My first real inspiration was Shawn Ray. I wanted to have that combination of shape and size.
Q.) You graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Sports Medicine. What was it that made you want to pursue a career in Sports Medicine? Has some of that practical knowledge served you as you’ve pursued your bodybuilding career?
A.) I entered that field because I knew I wanted to work with athletes. My goal at that time was to get into training for a professional sports team.
That knowledge has helped a lot with my training. I’ve been able to stay pretty much injury free throughout my career and I credit that largely to my knowledge base with physical therapy.
Q.) As some fans may already be aware, you served in the Navy for a time, and are a Gulf War Veteran. How long did you serve? How did that experience at war change you as a person?
A.) I was in the NAVY for six years. It plays a huge role in my discipline today. The ability to set my goals and do whatever it takes to achieve them is something I don’t think I would have without a military background.
Q.) Let’s shift gears back toward bodybuilding. At what point in your life did training and competing as a bodybuilder begin to pique your interest?
A.) In 2003, after having been around the industry quite a bit, I thought I was ready to see what it was like to step on stage. I was very wrong. I wasn’t prepared mentally for what it takes to be a competitive bodybuilder. And I certainly did not know enough about diet or supplementation to be competitive.
Q.) Despite being a fan of the sport for quite some time, why didn’t really focus your efforts on fully pursing bodybuilding for quite a while. What was it about that time in your life that made the time seem right?
A.) By that time I’d been training pretty hard in the gym with some very good pro bodybuilders. I think I fell in love with the lifestyle before I actually knew that I wanted to compete.
Q.) When did earning your pro card become your focus?
A.) To be honest, it has never been a main focus for me. My focus was always the photo shoots and trying to get sponsored. One of my dreams was to be on the cover of a magazine. I’m fortunate to have had that dream come true. What a lot of people don’t know is that I hate being on stage. I’m very shy and I’ve had to work hard to overcome being nervous on stage in order to present my body the best way possible.
Q.) Let’s jump ahead to the 2012 USA Championships. Take us back to the moment where you’re standing onstage and hear your name announced at the Middleweight winner. Describe your thoughts and emotions during those first few moments when you realize that you’ve just earned your IFBB Pro Card.
A.) Two things instantly came to mind. The first was that I had done something at 41 years old that I thought I had missed out on. I was proud that I had finally earned pro status. The second was that I was going to be late for my photo shoot the next day because of the mandatory NPC photos that all class winners have to show up for that next morning.
Q.) We haven’t seen you onstage since that big win at the USA’s. Could you give us an idea of what’s next for Scott Turner?
A.) I had planned to compete here in Phoenix at the 2014 Europa, but with a lot of very good changes in my life this year, and a couple nagging injuries that I need to take care of, that plan got sidetracked. I hope to compete at least twice next year. The time off has been well needed though. My legs have been a weakness throughout my career and I needed this time to put on more muscle in order to be competitive in the 212lb class. Next year I think people are going to be shocked at the improvements I’ve made, and at 43, I’m looking forward to showing everyone this old man can still kick ass.
Q.) Is there anyone you’d like to thank for helping you along the way?
A.) That is a very long list. I have to thank everyone I’ve ever trained with, everyone who supports me, and anyone who’s ever cheered for me at a show. My Team PHATBOI athletes that have pushed me and pushed each other to perform at our best. Elise and Stephanie at Unique Physique Tanning for keeping me looking good on stage all these years. My close friends and my family. Carrie and Becca I love you with all my heart.
Q.) If someone would like to find out more about you, or contact you for possible sponsorships and guest posing opportunities, what’s the best way for them to reach you?
The funny thing about solving a puzzle is that it always takes longer than we expected. For one reason or another we can’t make things line up exactly the way we’d like them to, when we’d like them to do it. But that’s the beauty in finally figuring it out. Once things finally come together it all makes sense – it may not have happened exactly how we envisioned it, but it did happen exactly how it was supposed to.