BY TOM BUSSELBERG
KAYSVILLE – He was bullied as a kid, stuttered, and had a reading disability.
More than one teacher told Scotty Martin to keep quiet, and his head down in class, telling him he wouldn’t amount to anything.
That, plus the loss of his mother and dad, both relatively early in life and at Thanksgiving and Christmas, could’ve spelled the end of it all for the Kaysville man.
“I’m lucky I had people come into my life, people I call angels, who would pick me up when I hit rock bottom,” the Texas native said.
Jim Bailey was one of those people.
“That was the time in my life when I didn’t care, when I gave up on everything,” Martin said.
“He had a left leg and left arm completely blown off in Vietnam. The only reason he was alive was because he crawled for two days on his back in the jungle, out of the woods.
“He told me then and there that if he could crawl through Vietnam I could crawl through life,” Martin recalled.
That teacher inspired him with determination to learn how to read Р not in the classroom, where he was made fun of due to his disability, but through books on tape.
“I was struggling to find out who I was. My sister living in Germany sent for me and that’s where I saw my first bodybuilding show,” he said.
“Mr. Air Force took me under his wing, trained me for the summer. I found out I was worth something,” Martin said.
But, as with many of us, that experience as a young man over one summer faded from memory.
“I had a dream when I was in California of making computer chips. I got fired from the company. They said I didn’t fit in,” he said.
Martin turned to binge eating, whether it was eating a gallon of ice cream in one sitting or downing a dozen doughnuts.
His young son unknowingly put a stop to that when he said, “I’m going to be just like you some day.”
“I had flashbacks to Germany, and Mr. Air Force. I knew then I wanted to become a bodybuilder,” Martin said.
He needed a personal trainer to get him to his goal but didn’t know how that’d be affordable, Martin said. But he calculated the expense of a healthy diet vs. the cost of the junk food he’d been consuming.
“I looked at the cost of all the pies, cookies, cakes, etc., that I was eating, and it was the same as the price for a personal trainer,” Martin said.
In pursuit of an ideal personal trainer, a dream he’d dismissed as being foolish when he was a youngster came true.
That was to meet Mr. Olympia one day.
Martin met Utah’s and Davis County’s own Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott, when buying a car. The dealership was adjacent to an office where Scott was working, Martin said.
The two-time Mr. Olympia told Martin “he was on his way” as a bodybuilder.
The Kaysville resident has since taken second place in his first-ever bodybuilding show, earlier this year in Vernal, and plans to compete in multiple shows next year.
“He is one of those individuals that never gives up at achieving his goals,” said Mark Atwood, manager of Anytime Fitness in Bountiful.
“He may have setbacks that delay his progress, but he stays the course. He doesn’t let negative feedback or detractors stop him. He has passion about what he is doing, and he is focused and determined to achieve.”
Atwood said Martin is like a sponge, taking all the information he can and learning.
“When I first met him, his goal was to be in his first body building competition. There was no mention about placing or winning anything, he just wanted to compete. So in his first competition he goes and wins a trophy. Today his goal is to place in three out of five competitions next year. I have a feeling he might just do it,” Atwood added.