Everything You Missed At The 2017 Arnold Classic

Everything You Missed At The 2017 Arnold Classic

There are new kings and queens ready to defend their thrones.
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On March 3-5, fitness enthusiasts from around the world traveled far and wide to enjoy and experience the biggest fitness expo of the year - the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. One of the most exciting events each year is the Arnold Classic, where the best of the best IFBB professional bodybuilders come together to battle for the title. Here's a recap of our new reigning 2017 champions:


Cedric McMillan - Bodybuilding

Cedric McMillan (USA) put on 20 pounds to help him achieve his first Arnold Classic win. The judges' decision was unanimous and the check for $130,000 left in his hand. McMillan gave a history-making acceptance speech that will be remembered for years and years to come. In an interview with Tony Doherty after his big win, McMillan shared, "For me, this is, you know, where the hard work begins. Now that I know I can do it, I gotta try to duplicate it."

Ahmad Ashkanani - 212 & Under

Ahmad Ashkanani (Kuwait) is about to make a big splash in the IFBB professional bodybuilding league. After one year of competing as a pro, he's already won the Arnold. In 2016, he was the runner-up at the Olympia. There are only more wins and success in his future.

Harold Kelley - Wheelchair

Being restrained to a wheelchair hasn't stopped Harold Kelley (USA) once, and it never will. In a unanimous judge's decision, he won his second consecutive Arnold Classic title against competitors from USA, Sweden, Italy, and the Czech Republic. Kelley said to JM Manion in an interview, "It just hasn't sunken in yet. It feels awesome, man...phenomenal."

Ryan Terry - Men's Physique

Ryan Terry, an athlete from the UK, took his first win at the Arnold Classic this year after a 2nd place finish at the Olympia in 2016. Not only did he take out last year's champion, but also 34 other professional athletes in his division from around the world. He came in 5 pounds heavier since his last stage appearance, but kept the same look and conditioning. "It's the best I feel I've ever looked," Terry confided in Tony Doherty, "but there's still room for improvement."

Daniely Castilho - Women's Physique

Daniely Castilho, from Brazil, has swept up a career-changing win at her second professional show ever. Being brand new to the IFBB league, her accomplishment is monumental. Castilho took the title by one point but managed to rise above 30 other women. In her interview, she tells, "It's a dream come true. I didn't expect this!"

Oksana Grishina - Fitness

Oksana Grishina (Russia) is one of the most decorated Fitness professionals of all time. She's been unbeatable since 2014. Athletes from Canada, Uraguay, Germany, and USA fought to steal her throne, but yet again, Grishina proves she's the queen. In her interview post-win, she broke the news that 2017 is her last season competing. Instead, she's "going to help others live their dreams."

Candice Lewis - Figure

Candice Lewis (USA) rose above last year's champion and 13 other competitors to unanimously earn her first Arnold Classic win. After several 2nd and 3rd place finishes over the years, Lewis has finally taken the title. "It's a great feeling to work so hard and be the champion," she says to Tony Doherty. When asked if she has any advice for her fans, she says, "Just keep going. Don't let anyone stop you. When you fail at something, that's your cue to just get better."

Angelica Teixeira - Bikini

Angelica Teixeira (USA) not only surpassed the 2016 Arnold Champion, but also the 2016 Olympia Champion to secure her first Arnold Classic win. After a 2nd place finish at the 2016 Olympia to Courtney King, she stepped up her game and took the title by one point. She told Tony Doherty in her interview, "Believe in your dreams. I did everything. I followed my dreams, and look, I'm here today. You can do it, too."

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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Sorry, Real Life Doesn't Have A "Safe Space" For Your Excuses

Your excuses are invalid. Take responsibility for your actions.

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If I had a penny for every time I heard a college student use a pathetic excuse to get out of something, I would be a millionaire. It seems like every other person I meet these days has zero sense of responsibility in life. They're too sensitive, too unmotivated and just all around lazy. What's up with that?

Something that I don't think a lot of college students realize is that when this is all over, you get thrown out into the real world. You can't email your boss asking for project extensions; they will laugh in your face. You can't use "I have anxiety" as an excuse to get out of doing something. You can't get butthurt every time your boss comes down on your for not doing adequate work. That is life.

Sorry, but real life doesn't have a safe space for you. Your future employer won't baby you and hold your hand every step of the way. You won't be able to call in sick and skip work 3 times a week like you skip class. The real world has expectations and believe it or not, they are WAY more grueling than college.

People will judge you. You will get yelled at by your boss. Hard deadlines will be expected to be met. If you can't deal with it now, good luck to you out there because it only gets harder. I understand that everyone has their own issues in life, but if other people can get past theirs enough to work hard and be successful, your excuse is simply that: an excuse.

Life was never meant to be easy. The whole reason we applied to college was to be challenged and readied for our future careers. I will bet that almost every college student promised themselves they would work harder in college. Giving excuses isn't working harder, it's looking for the easy way out. The easy way might seem better in the short run, but it teaches you nothing and prepares you for nothing. Not to mention, people will get to know you as "that one moron that always has an excuse to not do their work." I don't know about everyone else, but that is the LAST way I would want to be known.

Instead of making an excuse, work harder. Be responsible. Meet deadlines, do your work early, manage your time. It really is simple when you look at it that way. Yeah, life gets stressful. Are you going to be the person who begs for their "safe space" and cries or are you going to get going and do what needs to be done? I know which person I would hire, that's for sure.

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