A BODYBUILDING legend has heartily revealed he enjoys being a father more than anything – including his eight Mr. Olympia wins.
Elite athlete Lee Haney, 63, took to Instagram to tell his devoted followers that some things in life are just so much more important than winning.
The veteran bodybuilder made it clear that his priorities are firmly in his family and posted an adorable painting of him holding his daughter as a young baby.
He wrote: “Of all that I have achieved, being a father is my greatest reward.
“Far above all worldly riches is a man’s strength in his children. As ordered by God. My daughter Olympia.”
The US athlete miraculously managed to dominate the bodybuilding world, despite making sure the sport was second only to his family.
During his decade-long career, he held the mighty Mr. Olympia title a whopping eight times between 1984 and 1991, establishing himself as one of the most decorated athletes in the game.
Haney, known as Hercules, had an incredible streak that rivaled Ronnie Coleman thanks to his incredible physique and phenomenal work ethic.
He even broke Arnold Schwarzenegger’s record of seven straight wins.
He preferred a three-day workout routine with one day off throughout his career – which allowed him to juggle his responsibilities as a father.
And yet, for all his talent and regimented routine, the star admits he’s suffered under the pressure.
“When you’re up, there’s nowhere to go but down,” Haney revealed in an interview with Labrada Nutrition founder Lee Labrada.
“The pressure, how do I stay here, what can I do differently to put together a better package than last time.”
Hercules continued, “All these things go through your mind – and if you don’t stick together, it can cause a lot of stress.”
The ex-athlete explained that it’s only thanks to the unwavering support of his beloved wife, Shirley, that he’s been able to “maintain his sanity”.
“My wife was with me,” he continued. “I was a husband, I was a father. I had two children when I was still competing.
“I think some people might say that was a distraction, but for me it’s helped keep my sanity.
“It kept throwing me off how many sets and how many reps.”
The 63-year-old retired at the age of 31 before turning to personal training and working with athletes like boxer Evander Holyfield.
He now posts a lot online about his family and shares tips and advice with his eager-to-learn followers.
He also promotes clean eating and a healthy lifestyle, but still kills him at the gym.
His longtime fans showed a lot of love and support for his family-run approach to the recent post.
One follower replied: “With that post alone, I instantly became my favorite Mr. Olympia.”
Another said: “I love that you put fatherhood ahead of your Sandow medals.”
“The greatest role model bb has ever had,” commented a third.