FRASER — When Mitchell Spadafore attended Fraser High, there probably weren’t a lot of people who would have pegged him as a future bodybuilder.
In fact, Spadafore recalled that it was another student from the class of 2013 who received the honor of being named as the person most likely to achieve that feat.
Although Spadafore did lift weights, his former gym teacher, Jason Peach, said he was a “skinnier kid,” and that to say he weighed 145 pounds would have been pushing it.
Following high school, someone at a gym Spadafore frequented spoke with him about the notion of competing as a bodybuilder.
Although Spadafore, who said he has always stayed natural, previously thought something like that couldn’t be achieved without the use of steroids, he decided to give it a shot.
Spadafore competed in his first show in September 2014. Then, this past June, Spadafore received his pro card in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, when he finished first among Class B (based on height) competitors at the Junior Nationals in Illinois. Earning his pro card means Spadafore is eligible to compete for cash prizes.
“When I took first, it was by far one of the best days of my life,” Spadafore said. “This is like a dream come true. I wanted to be a pro athlete in major league baseball, the National Football League or something like that. I was always too small, never quick enough, never good enough. But the thing with bodybuilding is, it’s all about how much effort you put into it.”
Peach discussed the achievement of his former pupil.
“It’s amazing,” Peach said. “He really caught on to lifting weights his junior year, and even more so his senior year. I think it evolved into where he’s at now. The sacrifice that he has to make to do what he’s doing is unbelievable for anybody.”
Spadafore said he is 180 pounds, trains six or seven days a week, and usually eats five or six meals a day. Some of his foods of choice include oatmeal, eggs, ground turkey, ground beef, tuna and rice.
Along with acknowledging support he has received from his parents, Joe and Brynn, Spadafore also recalled the special relationship he had with his grandpa and “best friend,” Joe, who he referred to as “papa.”
“My grandfather believed in me, and he was my No. 1 supporter,” Spadafore said. “He passed away last year. I would pray to God a lot, and talk to God. I know my papa was with me on stage this year. I give a lot of my success to God as well.”
Although the significance of what he has achieved is not lost on him, Spadafore doesn’t intend to be defined by past success. With one huge accomplishment behind him, he has turned his attention to the future.
“I’ll be a pro for the rest of my life,” Spadafore said. “I’m humbled for it. … The thing with me is, I let my accomplishments go after I achieve them. So, yes, I’m still happy that I’m a pro, but now I’m ready to move on to the next goal.”
In the short term, Spadafore said he wants to win a pro show. Others may not even dare to dream what he wants to accomplish beyond that.
“The long-term goal would be to become Mr. Olympia,” Spadafore said. “It’s a really prestigious goal, but with anything you set your mind to, it’s possible. … I’ll be 22 in a couple weeks, so I have some time to develop.”