Shavuah Tov! (A good new week to all)
This past weekend I was in Columbus visiting my kids. I stayed at a Bed & Breakfast not too far from the Convention Center. This past weekend was the Arnold Classic 2019, the largest fitness expo in the country; it is held every March in Columbus.
You should know that I lived in Columbus for the last 16 years and not once did I ever attend this event. This year as well, I had not planned to visit, but on Shabbas afternoon there was not a lot to do at the B&B, so I headed out on foot to the Convention Center. It turns out you only need tickets to get into certain parts (including the marketplace), but there was still lots to see without a ticket. I was able to catch some weightlifting competitions, as well as fencing and ballroom dance (a mambo to the turn of “Baby Shark!”). There were also exhibitions of jump-roping and aerobic dancing. The place was PACKED and all those muscles meant it was even more crowded!
The marketplace has many different kinds of vendors (at least what I could see from outside the doors). Lots of sports nutrition products are available; many are certified kosher…but many are not, so it is important to check labels and ask manufacturers.
Still, it was worth the visit. Next year, I will try to go and get tickets in advance. The event starts on Thursday and runs through Sunday, so if you are Shomer Shabbat, it is possible to do a lot before Shabbat. It is not far from the Ohio State University, so it is possible to arrange to go to Shabbat services and dinner either through OSU Hillel or Chabad. If you are going to make the trip, plan ahead as hotels and home-sharing companies will book up quickly.
Take-aways? Even if you are not a body-builder there is a lot the Arnold Classic has to offer. The event has really expanded to cover many different forms of fitness–over 80 different kinds in fact. There is something for everyone–even if you do not consider yourself a hard-core athlete or fitness enthusiast.
In terms of the Arnold Classic 2020, I think there’s a good chance “I’ll be baaaahk.”