Tag: contest

Fitness Flashback

Miscellaneous March 3, 2019

It was 1996 and I was 32 years old living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My gym was American Fitness and I was working out 5 days per week (3-on-1-off, 2-on-1-off).

One day, I noticed a flyer posted on the bulletin board, advertising for a strong man contest to be held in 2 weeks – who could bench press their own weight the most times? This was my favorite exercise, so I decided to enter the competition.

The contest would be judged, and lifters had to adhere to the following rules:

  • no bouncing weight off of ones chest
  • no arched back – ones back must remain flat, in contact with bench
  • to count, each repetition must be full and cleared as “good” by judge
  • contestants would compete based on a weight class bracket

The event was to be held at an old, industrial building near the railroad tracks on the east side of town, used at that time for a bar known as The Warehouse. Based on my weight, I was in the 175-200 lbs. weight class bracket.

When it was time, I arrived to see that many others were also interested in competing, and a local news station had their camera set up to record the event. The first order of business entailed stepping on a scale to be weighed by an official. Each individual did so in private without clothing, and I weighed 190.5 lbs.

It was at that point that I learned another contest rule – that is, that weights would be rounded up in 5-lb. increments. Thus, I’d be lifting 195 lbs. instead of my actual weight. It was suggested that I run outside around the building a few times – hoping to lose 1/2 pound – and that a second weighing would be made available. I thought about it but wanted to conserve my energy, so I declined.

I waited for my turn back in the main room, stretching my muscles and warming-up on one of several bench presses made available.

When I was finally called, I walked up onto the stage, listened to a brief review of the rules by an official, and then got into position on the bench. Next, as with each competitor, a judge (a.k.a., the spotter) assisted in safely removing the weight from the rack, thereafter releasing contact for me to begin lifting.

I bench pressed 195 lbs. for 29 clean repetitions, good enough for second place in my weight class bracket. First place went to a 178 lb. competitor (from my gym!) who pressed 180 lbs. for 31 clean repetitions.

All told, I bench pressed 5655 lbs. during that series of lifts, which (in consolation only) was a total of 75 lbs. more then the winner. My 29 presses were also the 2nd most of any competitor across all weight class brackets at the event.

Disc Golf Stories, No. 2

Disc Golf January 5, 2017

It was the summer of 2000 when Hudson Mills Metro Park hosted the PDGA World Disc Golf Championships near Ann Arbor, Michigan. To accommodate a deep field of competitors traveling to the area, six different courses were utilized, including Cass Benton Hills (Northville) and Kensington Metro Park (Milford).

Various side activities were also available during that week, where players and spectators alike could participate. One such event included a disc golf basket to be given away on the last day. To qualify for a chance to win the basket (worth several hundred dollars), preliminaries were held each day at every course, where people were charged $1 per shot. With any luck, their name would be added to a final list.

I thought I’d give it a try, but realized that day that I’d already spent my money on lunch. However, after rummaging through my car for a while, I found $1 in change and handed it over to the person in charge. He chuckled as I counted out the coins, informing me that many people where paying $20 at a time for a chance to qualify.

Nevertheless. Starring at the basket roughly 80’ away, I tossed my one and only shot…and made it! It was a moral victory of sorts, though I never did win the basket in the end.