More great stories!
Karl, yours in quite unusual, in that you had to see the guys in the flesh to get truly inspired, rather than the mags/television that puts a rocket up most up most of our asses.
Frog, you musta had something else going on if you got the girl while you were still a bag o' bones!
Mooseman, my first-time-in-the-gym story has parallels with yours.
I began training with my legs foremost in my thoughts. Since I was old enough to be self-conscious (i.e. adolescence) I'd used every excuse in the book not to wear shorts. Looking back, a bunch of my classmates were skinnier than me from the waist down, but anxiety can distort reality, especially at that age.
Anyway, when I borrowed Arnold: The Education...
from a buddy who'd bought it but wound up ignoring it, I took on board what Arnold said about legs, and the common temptation to neglect them.
What particularly struck a chord was what he said about calves being the prime muscle of the leg. He pointed out that a guy with poor thighs but great calves will draw compliments for his great legs, but a guy with big thighs and no calves, he'll be singled out as having poor legs.
I went back to the gym with this stuff circling in my head. My workout was squats, standing calves, then whatever else. Perhaps partly as a result of that, my calves are now probably my best muscle group.