Tales from being a strongman (ignore the naysayers)

So as you may or may not know I enjoy hanging out with some friends at a bar on Friday nights in a town not far from where my Personal Training Studio is. I have a few beers, sing a few karaoke tunes and just have a good time when doing it. In this bar the ones that I talk to know that I’m a strongman and some have even donated to my St. Jude fundraiser that I do for my birthday knowing that I bend steel to help raise money for sick kids.

Well not that long ago (and I won’t go heavily into details with this) I was out at the bar saying my hello’s to the karaoke dj and I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in a pretty long time. Probably about a 7 years if I were to guess and we decided to catch up. He was visibly drunk slurring his speech and that sort of thing and things hadn’t gone very well for him which I was a bit bummed to hear. Long story short, alcohol had ruined some things in his life.

Now when I gave my story I told him about me being a strongman and showed him my strongman promo video to which he had a different reaction to what I was expecting.

So before even watching the entire thing, he asks me if I can bend a bottle cap backwards to which I reply “I’ve never done it but I probably could.” (the Man of Steel Sonny Barry who also learned from Greg, bends them with one hand) and goes and gets some from the bar. Shows me how to position my hands and I proceed to bend it the way he wanted me to, even switching my grip to finish it with 2 fingers. He goes and tells me I can’t bend a bottle cap (I just did) and that me rolling frying pans is bull shit and they are rubber and what have you and that I’m a fake (everything I do is legit, and I have people come up during my official performances to verify every feat I do) and even tries throwing the bottle caps in my buddies beer….trying to ruin a beer??? that’s the last straw.

So I pull him in closer so that people can’t hear what I’m going to say to attempt to minimize his embarrassment and I tell him “Dude, you’re acting like an asshole, knock it the fuck off”. To which he replies “I don’t care, I don’t give a shit” (He’d give a shit if the ‘fake’ strongman started slapping him around…my patience has limits while my strength does not… but I’m trying to prevent this from escalating) at this point the opening of my song comes on for karaoke and I get up to sing it and he walks out of the bar.

Now let’s look at this for a moment because there is a lesson or two in here for you.

When I was studying with Greg he said to me that strength stuff hits men at a very primal level and can damage egos and make people dislike you because of it. An example he used was when his assistant in his railing business severely disliked strongman Chris Schoecke.

Chris is the star of this documentary which I CANNOT WAIT to see.

And he disliked Chris because Chris isn’t a very big guy…but is a very strong guy (the steel that this guy bends is astounding). Now I’ve seen Chris perform and talked to him (nice guy btw) and know he’s about my size but bends some really crazy steel bars.

When I saw Chris bend that steel bar, and I talked to Greg I thought to myself “Well Greg taught him to do that, and he’s my size so if Greg taught him and he can teach me, then maybe with effort on my part I could do it also.” I was in awe of Chris’ talents (and to some extent I still am) and not threatened by him. That’s the better way of looking at it rather then trying to claim it’s bullshit because you can’t do it. There’s more of a lesson in here as well.

Obviously life wasn’t going so well for the one I bumped into in the bar. Not for nothing but currently my life is not too shabby and is in the process of getting even better which seemed to bother him. There’s going to be people like that in your own life whether you are trying to build a business or trying to take charge of your health. Instead of being happy for you and supporting you in whatever you do, they will try and hold you back and prevent you from living to your potential and chasing what makes you happy. It’s a shame really because I wonder how much potential was ruined because of it.

Watch for those people in your life…and if what you are doing sounds crazy (like bending steel with your nose) but it’s something you want to do, then go for it and don’t let anything stop you and don’t let anybody tell you any differently because there will be naysayers. There will ALWAYS be naysayers.

Arnold could never be an actor because his accent is too thick and his last name too hard to pronounce (btw I just looked up and saw my copy of Terminator 2 on BluRay) Yes that was what they told him…now whenever I hear the unpronounceable name “Schwarzenegger” in movie promos I get giddy.

Arnold’s approach when someone tells him that it’s never been done before is “Oh good I get to be the first then” then works his ass off till he gets what he wants…like a real life terminator.

As for my buddy, he came back in the bar and tried to kiss the bartender then shook my hand and left (I made sure he wasn’t driving). The bartender is a heterosexual male and was none too thrilled about it. Yup, my buddy was “that guy” True story.

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