To be short, I needed something to do….that’s it.
Now the actually story. I moved back to Williston from college in 2007 and continued to lift, but for no purpose. I was lifting at Anytime Fitness just going through the motion and it was getting old. I continued to lift there, but I did not want to become these two types of guys I would see: the guy that would sit around the bar telling old war stories of high school football or the other guy that would boost his ego on the cable machines. I needed a competitive sport to train for, something that would push me beyond bar league darts.
So I had no idea where to start, but I thought if I started an evening class at the high school coaching weights I would keep myself fresh in the movements and have fun. I did that for a year or so and in mean time I found an old tire, a few rocks and built a few cheap and very caveman style implements to train with on the weekends…nothing fancy, but it worked. I felt strong and felt good about the progress, looking back I’m laughing at this, but it was a start!
I googled strongman competitions and at that time (2008) there were maybe 15 meets in the country per year. I ran across a page called “The Anvil” (the OG’s will know how awesome this was) it was a forum for strongman and everyone put questions, answers, anything on there. For the new athletes it was the original Starting Strongman you see today on FB/IG but it was the best in my opinion. I scrolled The Anvil and found a meet in Minnesota called “Minnesota Strongman Championships and a few of you have done this one now. This meet has been going for about 20 years a real classic. I signed up and a week before had to email the promotor and back out as I was lucky to get my 6th time with phenomena. So a first of many setbacks hit me, but I continued on. I tried again as there was a meet at the end of summer in Iowa, but was a (another old term coming) Platinum Plus show, all the big dogs were going and I could barely do 1 out of 5 events. Since novice classes were not a thing yet I decided not to go and continue to train. A year goes by, I stuck with training at the local high school and a little at Anytime Fitness, no coach, just me and the “trial and error philosophy” but I was getting stronger. I found a meet in Chicago in March of 2009…that was my debut show! My two years of perseverance paid off, I won this competition, met my wife and brother-in-law, and was hooked!
I got back to Williston and everyone I knew asked questions about the meet which was very nice, but all asked the same question, “will you do another or are you done?” This was the moment in life that it hit me, not everyone will understand your goals or passions and that is ok. As long as you are enjoying yourself while getting closer and closer to that goal they will continue to wonder why. Deep down, I believe most will do this as they are envious of the fire inside you as they are still searching for their own flame.
My fire inside is still burning bright and soon I will compile a list of competitions I have done as it is around 50 or more! I will put my next meet on that list, until then I will keep you guessing on my next move!