Within just a few weeks, Csaba Arnold Kolozsvari won a bodybuilding competition, bought a house and became an American citizen.
Hard work is known as an essential element to the great American dream. Success only feels like success if you've got blood, sweat, and tears to show for it — and Csaba Arnold Kolozsvari has done his fair share of sweating.
A lifelong bodybuilder and co-owner of Revive Health and Fitness, Kolozsvari moved to the United States from Hungary 17 years ago in pursuit of becoming like his idol, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though he never admitted it out loud, one wonders if that's why everyone around here calls him "Arnold."
Kolozsvari started training when he was 13 years old, soon after seeing Schwarzenegger for the first time and started competing when he was 19 years old. Though his original goal when he came to America was to become a professional body builder, he's glad it didn't happen.
"I always said I'm going to live for my body, and not my physical capabilities," he said. "Unfortunately there's just too much risk taken, which I don't believe in. I'm glad somehow life transferred me to the things I'm doing now instead of me focusing on me just going crazy trying to become a professional athlete."
Even though his focus shifted on to something more attainable, Kolozsvari said that didn't make it anymore attainable. During his first five years living in America, he struggled to make ends meet, lived in a home without a bathroom and was almost blackmailed by an ex and sent back to Hungary.
"I tell my clients when you go through hell, keep going," he said. "Just like Winston Churchill said. So I kept going, and a year after all that things started to get better."
In 2010, he opened up Revive Health and Fitness and eventually joined forces with his best friend and co-owner, Daniel Legault. He said he's grateful to have had clients who have followed him from location to location, eventually landing in Ormond Beach. And while he's felt the success of his American dream for some time, this past month it became official.
"I took the citizenship test Sept. 3, and I bought my house Sept. 15," he smiled. "I thought it would take awhile to get sworn in, but they called me a week later and told me the ceremony would be on Sept. 30. And then the day after that I won my contest."
The contest being the 2016 Daytona Beach Classic, a National Physique Committee bodybuilding competition. Kolzsvari won first place in the Masters over 40 Division and third place in the Novice Division, where he said fellow Ormond Beach competitor Mark Cunningham "accidentally" beat him.
Looking forward, Kolozsvari plans on updating the home he bought in Plantation Bay and competing in another competition at the end of the year. Though the process of swearing in was moving in itself, he said when he passed the citizenship was the moment his big American dream felt real.
"Knowing I passed the test, that moment hit me the hardest. It was when I realized I had actually made it all happen."