In March 2012, my strongman mentor, Grandmaster Dennis Rogers, invited me to perform at the Arnold Classic Sports Festival. We would be performing on the main stage between the strongman competition and the amateur bodybuilding competition.
In the hotel room the night before, we went over the feats Dennis had in mind, one of which was bending a 3/8”x12’’ spike. He had some spikes with him, I tested one out and we were all set.
When it came time to do it for real, Dennis was standing onstage with a mic, announcing for me. I stepped up, braced the spike over my thigh and pushed. It went from straight to about 45 degrees worth of bend. Perfect.
I paused for a moment and held the spike up some that the crowd of 5000+ people could see. The next move was to crush it down while holding it between my legs.
I got into position, feet together, knees apart and the backs of my hands braced on the inside of my legs, just above the knees. When I applied pressure the spike didn’t bend. Instead my foot slid across the stage. Chalk dust and other debris on the stage from the strongman competitors made the smooth surface very slick. I repositioned and hit it again. No traction. Same result.
As this was happening, an image of legendary strongman Joe Greenstein, the Mighty Atom flashed into my mind. I remembered a passage from his biography that talked about his mental game….
“You must first succeed in your mind. Beginning and end in one thought and motion….like a bullet fired from a gun.”
I flipped the “crazy switch” in my mind, determined to keep going until the steel was bent. I moved to a different position, bent slightly at the waist, one hand against my thigh and the other against my chest. I knew that I was not as strong in this position, but the state of the floor left me no other option. I applied pressure and…….nothing.
I pushed down for what seemed like several minutes, then BOOM.
I could hear Dennis over the PA system saying “There it goes!” I held the piece overhead for the crowd to see. Task completed.
Sometimes, we run up against problems. They may seem unsolvable, but by definition every problem has a solution. Often that solution lies in the ability to persist. This ability can be learned and trained. Do you think that if you had that ability that it would make an impact on your life?
What would your life be like if you had enough confidence in yourself to keep going even when circumstances around indicate that there is no way you can win? Not just with physical strength, but every area of life?
Thank you to special guest author and friend Dave Whitley, The Iron Tamer. You can access his site by clicking here: Iron Tamer Dave Whitley | Motivational speaker and strongman
I really recommend his book. I’ve read it, and it makes a great supplement to what appears here on The Intro Machine. I get nothing from Dave for you working with him, other than knowing others are building themselves for excellence. You can get his book for just Shipping and Handling here: www.superhumanyoubook.com.