So this past weekend has been a whirlwind of carnies and good time greezy fair “food”.
The fact that IRONMILL was “ambitious” enough or lets be honest just plain crazy/ignorant: that we thought it a good idea to not only open a gym, but promote a huge contest during that opening was cause enough to plead insanity!
I sit now exhausted! Thinking about all of the hour car rides to York, Pa, the 16 hour days in the heat “peddling our wares”, entertaining the crowds, moving equipment and avoiding sunstroke/heart disease from fair food. Whewww. You gotta wonder where the energy actually came from. That answer: Sausages. Delicious Sausages and Giant Turkey legs.
Needless to say;
Working out time has not come at a premium.
My workouts during the week mostly consisted of hoisting heavy ass strongman equipment up and down flights of stairs or into trucks or doing 1,000 grip exhibitions all week.
I gotta say!!! My forearms were sore as hell from trying to out do the York Fair nation of carnie strength wonder!
Could not believe how many people randomly picked up 125 lb. 3-inch handle circus dumbells with one hand or deadlifted a 550 hummer tire off the street with no belt.
Amazing! Really was.
Matt Amendola called me a “snake oil salesman.” He said I draw people in by my mesmerizing charm and tone on the mic. What do I do with my precious gift of gab while they are in my trance?
I get them to buy t-shirts and try to do ridiculously hard strength feats. Maybe I should have an investing scheme set up next year?
I was proud of that skill though. My 12th grade public speaking professor never saw that shit coming did she? ! I used to develop a stutter in front of anyone but my mom or close friends.
Painfully shy kid. Then I found saved by the bell and thennnn I found alchohol to loosen me up! Nothing worse than a drunk 14 year old that thinks he’s Zach Morris. It’s downright dangerous actually!
Literally, I once ruined a best friends reception because I got too hammered and started my comedy hour that ended with bridesmaids chasing me around the table while I was screaming, “waaaait, I have nice things to say!!!”
Sometimes I remember that, and cringe, very deeply.
But the point being, public speaking takes energy and pizazz and it NEVER came easy. Especially trying to convince people to pay your gas bill $2 at a time through side shows and strength feats at a fair. How many of you can say that!
Ya, I paid my bills watching 300 people pay 2$ at a time to pick up heavy shit. Crazy thought man.
Most of Team Ironmill came up the first Sunday and trained for the crowd. An exhibition of strength if you will.
We had probably about 200 people just watching these guys/gals press the hummer tires on their axle. Cheers would go up and people would clap and yell. Just imagine for a second, during your training if people went nuts while your were lifting. A crowd of people living and dying off each of your lifts! It was hilarious. And fun. Very fun.
My high point of the show was Friday night. We had been out in the sun all day, Pennsylvania’s Strongest Man was the next day. My last seven days were spent sitting in that same parking lot spreading the Ironmill gospel to one camo clad boy and pregnant dirty girl at a time.
Some teenagers were taunting us that no one could pick up the 800 pound hummer tire deadlift I had set up to show the crowd what was to come the next day at PA Strongest. I took the high road, of course, when Matt Markara told the kid that I would do it for 20 bucks. I was interested to see if the kid would bite on it. There was a big crowd around so my interest piqued and eyebrow raised. He gave Matt the 20 bucks so I grabbed a belt and rocked that 800 lb hummer tire for 2 reps without warming up! Not too shabby with broke feets!
I gave the kid a T-shirt so he didn’t tell his mom the 300 lb. strongman took his 20 dollars so it was a fair trade
Looking forward to getting training this week! Is there really a need to train when your running 500 lb. pieces of equipment up flights of stairs?
All of this complex training and principal and here I am getting in shape putting giant stall mats on my head and walking up stairs.
Note to self. The reason rent was so low on the upstairs gym. Is because it’s upstairs!!!!! No wonder smart people choose not to move the heaviest equipment on earth up 20 stairs. I have nightmares about them.
Come nationals when I’m smoking through the medleys and destroying young men’s dreams, everyone will ask.
“What was your secret ?!!”
I will answer matter of factly
“Buy a 75 lb. 4 x 6 foot stall mat. Put it on your head. Walk up stairs. Repeat 40 times until your gym floor is covered with them.”
“But Lou, what about all your awesome diet advice ? “
Dryly I will reply, “Sausage man. Italian sausages. Best in the land at the York Fair.”
After PA strongest was over and I promised Billy Red and the Philly guys I would drink with them I had one of the most surreal experiences of my life.
We probably were 10 beers deep (Billy many..many more!) sitting in Friday’s at midnight eating delicious sirloin and cheesy potatoes. Everyone was sitting around shooting the shit and Billy pointed to the TV and said, “your on the TV dude. “
It felt like a bad Bruce Willis cop movie where he got interviewed earlier in the day for doing something wrong and had to sit through the questions being aired on tv while he sat over a beer in a dingy bar with everyone looking at him.
I sat and watched myself on fox 43 with PA strongest man highlights from earlier in the day with a mouthful of steak and aloe lotion on my face from sunburn. Almost as cool as Bruce!
Maybe I was just inebriated, but when the bar cheered and everyone pointed it was for sure surreal and provided a great memory not many get to have.
It’s been a great week. One thing I can say about this year: it has NOT been boring.
But alas, no rest for the weary. We must keep moving! Its like they always say in the NFL. No time to celebrate. We’ve got next week to worry about.
All we had time for was a quick celebration at the back of Billy Reds truck in a Best Western Hotel Parking lot till 4 in the morning after a delicious Friday’s steak: then back to work. I found about 6 Bud Lite Lime bottle caps in my pockets doing laundry this week from that night so everything must’ve turned out A - O.K.
Just the way it’s supposed to be!
Thanks for reading!