Strongman Life: Kilted Wisdom

June 19, 2015

 “Stop worrying about the other guy’s shit and just figure out how to wipe your own ass.”  This was a bit of advice from my old high school wrestling coach.  I may be paraphrasing slightly. As you can imagine, a group of teen boys can bitch up a storm about other people in their sport.  You’d think adults in a strength sport would display a higher level of maturity than that.  You’d be wrong, too.  


I’d be that strong, too, if I did as much test as he did.  Ladies version – I could lift like that, too, if I was a man.  Yeah, if I could train all the time like he does, I could be that good, too – but I have a real job.  He could be great if he wasn’t such a pussy about needles. We’ve all overheard stuff like that over the years.  If we’re all perfectly honest, we’ve probably all said one or two of them here or there.  The point behind my old coach’s words was simple.  Stop worrying about whatever the hell the other guy is doing and work your ass off to get better.  I’ve heard a lot more of this as I have gotten around more powerlifters, but you hear it at strongman competitions (and on the web) all the time, too.  She got fast down signals because she slept with the promoter/judge/chalk boy…His record shouldn’t have counted because he didn’t hold the lockout…He didn’t hit depth…and on and on and on.  You hear it in regards to federations, too.  Oh, he’s not a real lifter because he only lifts in this fed.  She only competes there because she is afraid to go against so and so.


I’ve got four words (and pardon the language): So…the…fuck…what!    Seriously, people, who gives two shits about this stuff?  Does it matter?  In 100 years, are the history classes in schools going to call out someone’s squats as too high?  Sorry, Sally, you failed your test because you neglected to point out that Eddie Hall’s deadlift was bullshit because he used straps in your essay response.  


Unless you chose your parents very wisely, you’re going to lose from time to time in this sport.  The people who are beating you probably aren’t using near what you think they’re using; they may just plain be more athletically gifted than you; and they are almost certainly just plain out working you (or at least being smarter about their training).  You think there weren’t several guys who thought for sure they’d whip up on that Shaw kid doing his first ever strongman show 10 or so years ago?  And sometimes, shit just happens.  Derek Poundstone had Mariusz Pudzianowski beat in the 2008 WSM finals, until the last atlas stone rammed into the platform instead of going on top of it.  


Look, I’ve seen guys on enough test to give an African bull elephant a 96 hour erection get obliterated at a show by a kid so young you could still smell the Similac on his breath.  I’ve also seen guys who were solid competitors morph into elite strongmen by altering their “supplementation”.  You know what?  None of it matters. If someone in your class wants to shoot tren using a turkey baster and pop d-bol out of a pez dispenser, that’s their business.  Listen, there is a whole lot of stuff in this sport that you simply have no control over.  Throw a ton of effort into those things and forget the other crap.  Spouting off about the other guy’s shit does nothing to make you any better and it damn sure doesn’t do anything to make the sport as a whole better.  Gang, we’re in a niche sport that no one outside of our circle cares about.  We don’t need anything dragging it down.  Be about making yourself and the sport better.  Worry about your own shit.


Random thought:  I understand being proud of your body and being comfortable in your own skin.  Regardless, when you’re a 400 pound slob with nipples the size of small pizzas and enough back hair to hide two villages of Cuban refugees, wear a freaking shirt when you ride your motorcycle. I’ll have nightmares about that shit until my dying day. This also goes for some of you bastards who do stones shirtless. Seriously guys…Walmart has shirts for like $5.  I’ve got half a mind to start doing stones in a thong just to get even.  


Useful advice:  An old woman went to the doctor.  He gives her a thorough examination and then asks her if she has any concerns.  She says, “Only one. I have constant gas. I must have farted 15 times since I entered your exam room.  The odd thing is that they are always silent and never smell at all.”  The doctor gives her a prescription and tells her to return for a follow up visit in a week.  When she returns, she immediately tells the doctor “Whatever it was you gave me has made my farts smell horrible.  Now, I nearly gag every time I pass gas.”  The doctor replies, “Oh, good.  Now that we have your sinus infection fixed up, we can work on getting those ears cleared out.”  The moral of the story is that we don’t always know what our problem is, or even that we have one.  Seek the advice of those who know better than you at every opportunity.  


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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