It was to be the type of blizzard that the elders would tell stories of around campfires for years to come. February 19th, 1982 was a starless night and the ear-shrieking winds of the harsh Nor-Easter tormented the fragile sides of the little building. The snow had turned from inches to feet, preventing any entrance or exit. Inside a dimly lit room a woman waited in agonizing pain while a young warrior fought against the bonds of nature to escape. Soon the battle ended and the young conqueror emerged victorious. After that night nothing would be the same; that night the world would change forever…
Even as a child our hero craved glory. At 3 years old he left his home in search of adventure, where for two days straight he fought against fierce, bloodthirsty dragons in the eerie depths of a cave later to be known as his neighbors basement. He was soon taken captive by the cave's guardians and returned home to receive his first of many punishments.
It was early in his youth that the young warrior discovered his first love; the art of hitting a baseball as far as ones strength would send it. For many years he would strike fear into the heart of pitchers as he crowded home plate. It was not until his adolescence, perhaps at the age of 13 or 14 years old that he began to yearn for more. The young warrior grew bored of hitting balls and began to look for more animate targets to release his aggressions upon. The answer became perfectly clear: Football. The warrior's right of passage began as he suited varsity his freshman year and went on to start at defensive end by his junior year. Offensive tackles feared making eye contact, and trembled with fright as the ball was snapped and the patented hip toss was put to action. Later they would walk with their tails between their legs back to the huddle as their quarterback, the man whom they were sworn to protect, attempted to regain his breath while he laid semi-conscience on the ground.
The end of his last battle season marked a fork in the road, as our challenged gladiator struggled to move forward. It was here that he turned to the darker side: Steel. Built on a main road in the woods of eastern Connecticut was a dark, musty gym called Flex. Many would drive by, but few had the courage to enter. Here our hero joined a guild of fellow gladiators who knew nothing more than eating massive quantities of animal flesh and lifting even greater quantities of steel. This is where our hero's real transformation begins. Starting out at a meek 160 pounds, through a rigorous diet of meat and potatoes the undersized warrior was able to bulk up to 180 pounds before setting off on a journey to Rhode Island in search of knowledge and beautiful women.
It was in the month of September when this roaming gladiator arrived on his new battlefield. And it was that first night that he fell to the temptations of that one magical elixir that helps white men dance, fat women seduce men, and gives much lesser opponents the courage to challenge those of dominance: beer. Our hero soon became caught up in the glamorous college life style, revolving around girls, beer, and even more girls. It wouldn't be until later in the fall that he was able to balance him self and watch the scale slowly climb yet again.
The following summer he set off for New York, at a ripped 187 pounds to try his hand at his first photo shoot. With blonde hair and sunken cheeks he struggled an entire summer of working hard labor to keep his strength while maintaining 5% body fat. The weights on the bar became less and less and when the scale moved to the frightening left the warrior had learned his first lesson about over training.
It was in his second year, when the freshman fifteen had infected many of the URI girls that our hero decided it was time to take some major steps. He increased his calories to a gut-blowing 6000 a day and by his 20th birthday had bulked up to an intimidating 240 pounds. His face was puffy, his waist was wide, but his arms had conquered the 18-inch mark and he was dominating the college gym. By that summer he had cut down to a lean 220 pounds with 17-inch arms. It was also during that summer that his heart was broken for the first time; but a true warrior always learns from his mistakes. He used this emotional pain to create some of the most intense workouts of his life. By the end of the summer he had coined a proverb in reference to girls that he would live for by for the rest of his life: "I have far too much food on my plate of life to fret over one dropped morsel of meat."
At the beginning of his junior year our hero switched his major for the 5th and final time. By the end of his college career he had earned a degree in Communications Marketing and was weighing 225 pounds at six percent body fat. He was a sight to behold as he walked down the beach. The girls' jaws would drop, and drool would trickle down their chins as they watched him strut by. Guys would watch in envy and look down to avoid eye contact when their path's crossed. And now my friends your humble narrator must turn the pen over to the hero of this epic story, Big Red.
Thank you. Now please allow myself to introduce myself. I am Jay Cholewa, otherwise known as Big Red. I received the nickname in 7th grade when I was trying out for the basketball team. Not knowing my real name at the time, the coach said; "Look at Big Red, look how he hustles down the floor. He may not be talented or even a good basketball player, but by-god he gives it his all!" The nickname stuck, unfortunately however, I was a terrible basketball player and didn't make the cut.
Currently I reside in Griswold, Connecticut, where I work as a salesman at a local TV and appliance store. While I enjoy my job and I make good money, I'm not content. I always want more: more money, more fame, more adventures. I have an 80 thousand dollar degree and a million dollar a year mind that is being wasted as a commissioned salesman. Over the years I've learned a lot about myself; I know who I am and what I want. I'm highly confident (some would even say cocky), intensely creative and I love attention. In fact, I'd love to earn a living being the center of attention. I want everyone to know the name Jay Cholewa and I want opinions, both good and bad, to flair when they hear my name and see my face. I have two idols; one is my grandfather and the other is Arnold Schwarzenegger. I can only aspire to have the integrity of the prior and achieve the fame of the latter.
Looking back on the day we shot I must admit, I had a blast. It was a fun experience and great opportunity to work with John and hang out with Cedric and Dan. You always feel some apprehension meeting someone new for the first time, especially in this business. John and I talked on the phone a few times and set up a date to take some test shots about a month before the final shoot. John was very honest assessing my physique the first time we met and the constructive criticism inspired me to train harder. This only goes to show what a straight forward guy John is.
We talked on the phone a few more times to touch base on my progress. Going into Saturday's shoot I had only one worry: would the weather hold up? Luckily it was a beautiful September day, and by mid-afternoon had finally warmed up. The shoot went great, and I am very impressed with the results. My hard work and John's amazing gift for photography produced some fantastic shots with brilliant color and detail. It's rare in this industry to find someone as genuine, caring and honest as John Mitchell. I would like to take these last few lines to formally thank John for working with me, and I look forward to doing more great work in the future.
Site Created & Hosted by MetroHost.Com