375 Pound Bodybuilder Chocolate Thunder Says: Wear A Mask and Vaccinate
August 28, 2021
By: Irving D. Steel
Returning from a 24 city world bodybuilding tour and overcoming a tragic COVID contraction, Guiness Book of World Record holder Chocolate Thunder has one simple ask for people.
“I have just one simple ask, please wear a mask and get vaccinated,” Thunder told Cate Steel on the latest Stories Worth Telling, a local TV show with now over 1,000 subscribers.
“I’m not going to tell you what to do, as you have your own choices, but I’ve personally seen the impact of COVID on myself and others in the hospital,” he explained.
Usually traveling the world for bodybuilding events, he has personally seen the disruption that COVID and a global pandemic is causing.
“It was just crazy trying to reschedule these things (events),” he said.
Safety is a big concern for fans and particularly for corporate events.
“So, that was very challenging,” he said.
They did three events then came back home, or six events then came back home. COVID has had a longer term impact on some of Thunder’s recollections of the last year.
Chocolate Thunder has the Guiness Book of World Record for having the largest biceps in the world.
Thunder is now bigger than ever before to allow chest to expand over 70 and a half inches, and his biceps at over 32 and a quarter inches.
“It’s hard to not listen to me when I ask people to put their mask on,” he jokingly said.
Every two weeks he measures his growth to see what’s working and what isn’t– always focusing on the results. It’s all about keeping the routine and consistency.
“Never give up, don’t give up,” he said.
It was just like wearing a seatbelt when a lot of people didn’t want to. Then adding an airbag helped safety even more.
“For about three weeks I felt pretty winded,” he started detailing his experience with COVID.
I got into the airport and couldn’t walk any more.
So they wheelchaired him to the plane. He got on the plane and 30 minutes into the plane needed to have oxygen.
Police and paramedics were waiting in Baltimore and underneath the front on a stretcher to take Chocolate Thunder to the hospital in Baltimore.
And right when he walked into the door they knew right away it was COVID.
Even with that, the first test was negative.He had fluid in his lungs and some pneumonia. The doctors have been seeing enough to know his symptoms were COVID positive which a later test correctly identified.
He had to get pushed through the COVID ward at the hospital.
“Anybody who doesn’t want to get the shot should go through a COVID ward– all the ventilators and families in shock,” he said.
“If you have not gotten the COVID shot, you need to get it. You don’t only put yourself at risk, but also your family at risk,” he passionately explained to Cate Steel.
“What’s worse than unmasking your children?” he posed the question.
“Carrying a childrens coffin,” he answered.
“You can’t go back from that — just give it some real thought!.”
It’s real. The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken over a half a million lives in the United States alone, and millions globally despite vaccines being readily available to most the world with efficacy rates above 90 percent, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
He works with the American Red Cross in Uncasville to support however needed during these times.
The arts are hurting and it’s an important time to support the arts.
Thunder explained his own experience getting the vaccine. The vaccine was done at Mohegan Sun and everybody was nice and gave your name and got it done quickly and efficiently.
“The pluses outweigh the negatives and they just aren’t getting the shot out of spite because they’re telling me to,” Thunder frustratingly explained.
There’s people in the hospital ward who were saying they didn’t get it because they are conservative, he continued.
“Death by not following public health measures doesn’t have any political party,” he summarized to Cate Steel.
Chocolate was in Havana when the protests started.
What happened in the 20 years over a war in Afghanistan?
How does this affect you and what are you doing to stop it?
“This is the thing we need to do (examine how we are positively impacting) with everything like the environment and others,” Cate Steel said.
Thunder detailed his experience on the plane in the pandemic with reluctant mask seekers. He sat next to someone and made sure that they needed to have a mask on. So, he went and sat next to them to ensure they kept it on the entire flight.
“If you’re not going to wear the mask, we have a problem.” said the nearly 400 pound Thunder to the person sitting next to him.
He has 6.6 million followers on digital channels. So when he gets on the plane they often announce him getting on.
It was 115 degrees in Las Vegas. Death Valley had it over 140 degree with the effects of climate change front and center.
“The siding on the house was literally melting,” he said.
“Unfortunately, insurance wouldn’t cover anything as it was an Act of God,” Thunder concluded.