Eric Boyle has been a bodybuilder for 32 years, and says the steroid problem is worse now than it’s ever been.
“Steroids are totally out of control,” he said. “I don’t think there’s enough enforcement out there. Kids want to get bigger and they want to take the shortcuts.”
That’s why he and fellow competitor Patti Schneider are working to bring natural bodybuilding, a performance-enhancing-drug-free alternative, to Southwest Florida.
Two North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation events are scheduled in Naples in the coming months. The first, the Naples NANBF Drug Free Classic Fitness, Figure and Bodybuilding Show, will happen Saturday, May 13 at Naples High. The second, the Greater Naples NANBF Drug Free Classic Fitness, Figure and Bodybuilding Show, will happen Saturday, Nov. 25 also at Naples High.
The NANBF promotes drug and steroid-free competition. Competitors are drug-tested and must be drug-free for at least seven years before eligible.
The 60-year-old Boyle — owner of Better Bodies by Boyle, a personal fitness company — began his journey into bodybuilding after rehabilitating a leg injury at age 28. He’s kept it up ever since, even diversifying his athletic interests. He said, after doing some research, that he’s the first man in America to win a bodybuilding show and a tennis tournament in the same year, and did it twice.
Boyle said he has to drop 25 to 30 pounds from his bodybuilding weight to get ready for tennis and, when you’re putting that weight back on naturally, it’s not that easy — a stringent diet and a fiendish workout regimen.
But it’s the right way, Boyle said, and he wants young athletes to know that. He’s talked to schools before about the dangers of steroids and would like to do it again locally. The two Naples events will feature feats of strength and special guest professional posers. Tickets to the events are $10 for adults and $5 for students. That’s a way, Boyle said, to draw in younger athletes and show them the benefits of drug-free fitness.
“A lot of kids end up going the drug direction,” Boyle said. “We want to prevent that.”
For more information on the Naples events, contact Boyle at (239) 634-2691 or (239) 279-4957.
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The Pompano Beach-based trio of Chris Thomas, Marc Wilson and Greg Haskin won top honors at the recent Marco Island Contender/Mercury King Fling fishing tournament, at Cedar Bay Marina in Marco Island.
The three, fishing as Hold’em Hook, edged runner-up Never E-Nuff (Mike Rinaldo, Kent Allen, Spencer Bass, James Heinbaugh and Chad Schroeder) by less than a pound.
Hold’em Hook won more than $7,100 in cash as well as a Rolex watch valued at $7,500. Never E-Nuff pocketed $2,000 for second place. The teams of Legal Limit (Mike Gourley, Jeff Silverthorne, P.J. Myers and Jeffrey Smith) and Fin Addict (Tim Packord and Russ Jones) finished first and second, respectively in the 23-foot classification.
Rhonda Wicker was named top lady angler, while Sarah Stephenson was named top junior angler, with Mike Guitard Jr. in second.
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The next Southern Kingfish Association Division 11 competition begins Saturday with the Naples Contender Kingfish Classic, held out of the Naples Bayfront Center. Fishing lasts from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, with scales open at 3 p.m. on both days.
Awards will be handed out Sunday at 6 p.m., paying through eighth place. Top prize is a 21-foot Yamaha-powered Contender boat.