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Strongman Life: Kilted Wisdom

The day I graduated high school, I weighed 160 pounds. This probably comes as a shock to those of you who have met me in person. Yes, I am literally twice the man I used to be. My weight through my life has been an interesting ride.

I was a fat kid growing up until the summer before 8th grade. I’ve always loved food – shock number two for those keeping score – and one of my life goals as a kid was to be able to finish a Wendy’s triple. Since I can easily knock down two of them now, I’m calling it mission accomplished. Despite being a fairly active kid – I was known for carrying my football around the neighborhood looking for pickup games – I was still fat due to eating like a moose. Well, if a moose at cheeseburgers and ice cream and stuff, but you get the point. At the end of 7th grade, I was, ironically, about 160 pounds. I was also only 5 feet tall, making me roughly resemble a pasty stability ball with a moppy wig. That summer, I grew 6 inches and simultaneously lost 20 pounds by playing handball and racquetball with my dad a few times a week. It made the first day of 8th grade a blast since no one recognized me. The short, fat kid with the football grew up and got HOT!

This lasted until my freshman year of college. In 8th grade, I decided to take up wrestling to keep from getting fat again. The tried and true combination of starving myself and busting my ass constantly worked wonders in that regard. After high school, at the insistence of my future ex-wife, I stopped all my training related to wresting. I also resumed eating like a moose. This had an effect on my physique not unlike pulling a rip cord on an inflatable raft. You’ve heard of the freshman 15? Screw that! Being the overachiever that I am, I gained the freshman 80. That doesn’t rhyme or even match phonetically in any way, which sucks.

I look back on this time with a lot of humor. I sat at 240 pounds with a waist size larger than I wear now at 320. I was at my “fattest” when I was 80 pounds lighter than I am now. Anyway, I decided I couldn’t live with myself like that and carted my stretch-marked man boobs and belly into the gym. Well, “gym” is probably too strong a term. It was more like a pickup bar with some weights and shiny machines. But I went in there to work and made excellent progress for a while. Between the weight circuits and the step aerobics classes (seriously…I did step aerobics…stop laughing), I trimmed back down to about 200 pounds. An incident while training (this is a story for another time) made me realize I had outgrown that particular gym and I decided to find a “serious” gym.

I walk into World’s Gym – in the old school days when it was genuinely hardcore, and notice someone on the bench with 185, cranking out reps. Mind you, this was impressive weight to me at the time. I could bench 185 for maybe a triple…on a good day…and with a generous “It’s all you, bro” spot. The weight gets racked and the woman who was benching sits up and proclaims “That was too easy, I should have used more weight for that set.” Right then, the gym owner roused me from my slack-jawed stupor and asked me “So, what are your goals coming in here?” I said, “I’m not sure what they were when I walked in, but right now, I just want to get stronger than her.” My friend who joined with me starts giving me shit about my new, lofty goal. I explained it thus, “Not that she does want me and not that I would necessarily turn her down if she did, but in the event she ever does want me, I’d just like to have a choice in the matter.”

And this, kids, is why it’s important to have strength goals. They lead to more choices in sex partners…or something.

Random thought: I’m just excited as hell about the Arnold. Yeah, sure there are a lot of contests and stuff. But there are so many twats and douchebags wandering around the expo that I always come away with at least a half dozen epic stories. Gonna be another fun year!

Useful advice: While you’re on the toilet away from home, make sure to do a couple of rotational stretches before you get up. Make use of the rails if you’re in the handicapped stall to increase your range of motion. This way, you’re loosened up and a little warm before you reach back to wipe. This will reduce your chances of getting a lat cramp mid-wipe, but more importantly, prevents you trying to reach back quickly and coming up short to merely smack yourself on the ass repeatedly with the wadded up toilet paper before you finally get back far enough to get the job done. That really freaks out the people in the other stalls.

Chris is a strongman promoter and passable masters competitor, having spent his formative years training with Steve Slater. Chris was voted "Whitest Man in South Columbus" for three straight years and was recently named in an injury lawsuit by several Greenpeace volunteers who suffered multiple contusions after trying to drag Chris back into the ocean after he laid down on the beach.


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