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Porter, first we'd like to thank you for taking
the time to do this interview with us. It's a real privilege to interview
someone of your caliber.
How did you first become interested in
When I was eight years old, my father took me to my first drive
in movie. It was Hercules, and my first view of Steve Reeves. From that point on
I knew I wanted to obtain that look. I didn't know what bodybuilding was, but
that moment sparked my interest in bodybuilding.
I watched Hercules movies every chance I could on channel 41.
Then I found out there were magazines. An older buddy of mine had some. Every
time I got an opportunity, I would run down to his house and look at his
magazines. Then when I was twelve years old, my brother was given a 110 pound,
concrete weight set. He never opened it. So I took it upon myself to open it,
and read the little manual that was in it. That's where it all began.
What influenced you to go into firefighting, and
then to study nursing?
By trade I am a certified welder/machinist. I went to seven
years of vocational school for this field. I started working and realized that,
even though I enjoyed it, it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Now remember, I had this dream in the back of my head that I wanted to be a
bodybuilder. But I was a realist and knew that bodybuilding wasn't going to make
me any money. So I believed at the time. I enjoy working with people. So I
wanted to do something that dealt with people, and at the same time offered me
stability. The fire department came into my life through an individual; the
chief of the department, Chief Russ Sanders. I met him and one thing led to
another, and I said,'this is an opportunity not only to help people and have a
great deal of self gratification in my job, but it offers me a stable career. So
I persued it.
I believe in destiny. That everything happens for a reason. The
incredible thing is that it not only allowed me to have a carreer, but to pursue
my dream of a career in bodybuilding which I have been fortunate enough to have
As for nursing, I'll retire from the fire department at forty
five. I don't plan on bodybuilding the rest of my life either. I think that
education is the most important thing that anybody could ever go after because
nobody could ever take it from you. I wanted to get my college education. So I
asked myself, 'what could I do that would bring me the enjoyment, stability, and
enable me to move anywhere in world that I wanted to move and work.' For me,
that would be nursing. So that's why I chose that field of study.
How do your two present careers fit together, and
how do you make them both work?
At the fire department, we work 24 on and 48 off. This allows
me enough time to train. And almost every individual in the fire department has
their off days job or career. My off day job is bodybuilding. If I need to go
out of town. If I have an appearance on the weekend, I can make a trade and I'm
off for five days. So it allows me that leaniency to pursue bodybuilding in the
same fashion that any other person was that wasn't working a carreer. It's just
that I have to use better time management.
How does the extreme precontest dieting effect
your work as a firefighter?
I don't have the stamina that I would normally have. The last
few weeks before a show you feel very lethargic. You do what you have to do
because it's your job. Your adrenaline kicks in, so you feel pretty good at the
time; but afterwards you're really blown away with exhaustion. I used to pray
not to ever have a fire right before a show. What I try to do, to be honest with
you, is not work the last two or three weeks before a show. I make trades or
schedule my vacation around that time. When I'm not 100 percent it could be
detrimental not only to myself; but, if I don't have the energy, my job might
lack a little bit and that could be harmful to someone else.
Are you going to be in the Olympia this
No. I'm not going to do anything until the Canadian (Cup), and
the Night Of Champions.
What do you do on your time off?
I'm getting my prerequisits out of the way for nursing school.
What I enjoy doing. I like listening to books. Talk radio, and I like keeping up
with current events. I love movies. I'm a movie buff.
What's your favorite movie?
I would have to say my favorite movie is a love story, called
"Somewhere in Time," with Jane Seymore and Christopher Reeves.
How are planning to prepare for the next
I'll tell you exactly what I'm planning on doing. First let me
say something. I've made it a point to take some time off after the Ironman. I
stepped back and looked at the sport and what role I played in it. And I realize
that over the last two or three years my attitude toward bodybuilding and my
ideology of what the sport was to me had changed. When I took time off, I
realized that bodybuilding hadn't changed. My attitude toward bodybuilding had
The question is should I be a mass monster. Should I try to
continue to get larger and larger. That philosophy has taken me away from what
actually gained my sucess in bodybuilding. So let me tell you. My future plans
in bodybuilding are to go back to simple, Porter Cottrell basics.
Define those for me.
Not worrying about mass. Coming in the same kind of condition
that I've always come in. Whether it be 200 lbs or 210 lbs or 215 lbs. I've
never worried about weight before. This time I got caught up in this size game
and my forte' has always been semmetry and condition and I'm going straight back
to that. And I'm going to use the same principles that I used my whole life. And
the key is balance and moderation in supplementation, nutrition, and so
What are your future plans for
In three to four years I'll retire from the competitive aspect
of bodybuilding. Your body can only take so much. But I hope to stay in some
area of the fitness industry.
We have a worldwide readership, If there were only one message that you could
to tell our readers what would it be?
That you can do anything in this world that you want to do or
be anything you want to be if you believe in yourself.
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