Sunday, December 19, 2010

I didn't think anybody was reading this blog.

Apparently there are a lot more people reading than I thought. Considering I thought there was only two or three before, "a lot more" doesn't necessarily mean much. I put almost zero effort into it and that's probably not about to change but finding out people are actually reading it has inspired me for the moment.

My History with Lifting Weights

I've told this story online a few times now and probably with a lot more detail in the past but whatever. It is what it is.

The first person I ever beat up was in the second grade. I don't even remember how or why the fight started. I just remember kicking this kid around the field. He started crying so I threw him into a puddle and walked away. Seems pretty silly the feeling of being so much stronger than someone else felt pretty good. I still talk to that guy sometimes. I started taking karate lessons in the third grade. That was my first introduction to working out. I got addicted to knuckle push ups and sit ups. I would do them constantly. The fourth grade was when I had my first official after school fight. I had cut in front of a guy in line and he got pissed off about it. We decided to settle it with a fight by the rocks after school. I kicked him in the leg a few times and could see that he was hurt so I grabbed him in a headlock and fed him a shitload of punches. He and I ended up fighting after school every day for the rest of that week. We lived only a few doors from each other so we would just punch the shit out of each other all the way home from school. It was fun. In the sixth grade I joined the wrestling team and was introduced to squats and started doing them all the time too. Around this time I also started lifting an old typewriter that my dad had given me. Presses and curls mostly. My high school didn't have a wrestling team so I got involved in competitive taekwondo instead. I started doing hill sprints all the time because it seemed to help a lot with that sport and there was a good sized, steep hill across the creek behind the apartment building where most of my friends lived.

There used to be a guy who taught kenpo lessons in the basement of that building. My taekwondo dojang was in the plaza across the street so there was always a bit of a rivalry between the two schools. When that guy went to jail on some drug charges, his dojo was abandoned. A friend of mine and I heard that there was a samurai sword hidden in the ceiling down there so one night during March break we broke in with a screwdriver to find it. We never found any sword but the place was full of weights. The old plastic ones with the cement on the inside. I had been bugging my mom for weights and a punching bag every birthday and Christmas for years at this point and she told me she would never buy me that stuff because I was too crazy to have stuff like that. Months earlier I'd been lifting in the high school weight room after school but some asshole stole something one night and they cut that off. I figured this was the only opportunity for a home gym I was ever going to get.

My friend and I came back with some hockey bags and filled them with weights. When we tried to pick up the first one the handles ripped right off the bag and the bag didn't even move. This idea was obviously not going to work. We went and found a shopping cart. It only had three wheels but there it was so we took it. We left it at the top of the stairs and loaded it up with weights. Dragging a shopping cart with only three wheels filled with weights through the snow was a fucking pain in the ass. We had to get it across the creek and up the hill, ankle deep in snow the whole time. Needless to say, we didn't use that method again. We left the door to the dojo open just enough that we could go and open it any time but nobody would notice anything unless they looked really closely at it. Nobody ever went down there anyway. We spent the whole rest of the week making trips back and forth between the basement dojo and my mom's house, taking turns carrying a barbell loaded with weights across our shoulders. I remember at one point I dropped a bunch of them in the creek but I didn't want to put the rest down to go and pick them up so I left them there for the time being. Somebody yelled from behind me, "Glen, are these your weights?"
And I yelled back, "Yeah!" expecting never to see those weights again. But they were still there when I came back.

For the next couple of years I kept finding myself coming across exercises equipment everywhere I went. I found benches and barbells in the trash and in those places that sell cheap used furniture to poor people. To this day you can look up my mom's house on google Earth and see her backyard filled with junk. We'd bring big stones back to the yard from the creek in shopping carts. We stole a railroad tie from the train tracks once. We ripped off some big tires from a yard where they specialized in tires for trucks and heavy machinery. We'd take shit from construction sites. Anything that looked like you could work out with, we'd take it.

That friend eventually lost interest in working out but I never did. I would lift every day in my mom's basement or backyard. In between sets I'd go flex in the mirror. I used to like watching the World's Strongest Man competitions on TSN. They looked like fun but in the back of my mind I knew I'd never be big enough to do one. Not on that kind of a level anyway, but my own workouts were pretty much inspired from them. Schwarzenegger movies too.

I'd been lifting weights like that for about five years when another friend phoned me up and said there was a strongman contest coming up in three days just a few towns away and there would be weight divisions. That was it. I had to do it. I got third place in the middleweight division that year and I've been competing ever since. I gave up on martial arts and focused solely on the weights. That was, I think, eight years ago.

Strongman is probably the most fun sport I've ever done. There's something about being able to flip a 700+ lb tire down the street that makes any drunk retard running his mouth at the bar pretty laughable. Good enough for me.


  1. "Apparently there are a lot more people reading than I thought."

    It's fun to glance at when I'm not looking at porn...

  2. Oh we have been watching you Glen..

    *queue up spooky music*

  3. Wait so basically, you robbed your first barbell???

  4. You're one lucky bastard.
    I paid mine and now I regret to not have searched every abandoned dojo.