It had been 25 years since Cairo High assistant football coach David Johnson had competed in a bodybuilding competition.
The last was when he won the Mr. Alabama Light Heavyweight championship.
But last weekend in Andalusia, Alabama, Johnson tried his hand at the sport he's always loved again.
And again, he won.
Johnson was named the Male Masters' champion at the Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness Pro-Am Competition at the event.
With the win, Johnson not only got back in the game, he achieved a lifelong dream: earning his pro card.
"Every young person that starts lifting weights and wants to be a bodybuilder has that aspiration of being Mr. Olympia, and I know I'll never be able to do that," he says. "But to be able to call yourself a pro bodybuilder and compete for cash prizes now, that's a dream that you always have. It's a reality now."
Johnson, nearing his 50th birthday, got the itch to compete again while watching his nephew in competition several months ago.
"At my age, it's not about being the biggest, baddest guy on the planet. It's to basically stay in shape and look good for your age," he says. "It keeps you healthy. It keeps you going. It keeps you feeling young, even though you're not as young as you used to be."
So twelve weeks ago, the Syrupmakers' defensive line coach began training and dieting, which he says was the hardest part of getting back into bodybuilding.
He dropped from 230 to 195 pounds, but says it was all worth it.
"To see how you can train and set a goal, and achieve that goal, it's always satisfying to do that," Johnson says. "Hopefully, you can motivate somebody else to train as hard as you do."
He won't compete in pro competitions until after football season, but says he already has his eye on a few contests in early 2014.
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