April 14, 2010
Dinner with Mr. Israel
My old friend Ephraim Kivelevitz returned from Israel to spend Passover with his family in New York, but not before hitting the outdoor gyms of Venice Beach for some hardcore power training with some fellow professional bodybuilders. California, says Ephraim, understands and respects his devotion to bodybuilding. Israel does not.
"They don't treat us seriously," lamented Ephraim over a tilapia pita sandwich (hold the pita, too many carbs) at Murray's Falafel & Grill, a glatt kosher restaurant near Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan. Rather than give support, onlookers in the Israeli gyms will often heckle and get all up in his grill. I find this hard to believe, since this allegedly occurs while Ephraim is deadlifting the equivalent of a medium-sized sedan.
Having won the Mr. Israel 2009 competition, Ephraim plans to start competing internationally, to qualify for his pro card from the IFBB. According to Ephraim, the pro card will open new windows of opportunity, ranging from sponsorship to commanding higher fees for private personal training sessions.
Until then, if you see Ephraim working out at your local gym, just stay clear, or you might make him angry. And you wouldn't like him when he's angry.