Three years ago at my first novice strongman competition. If a picture is worth a thousand words then this one is it.

I fell in love with strongman three years ago. At my first competition I was 21 and a junior in college. My senior year of college marked my final year of rowing. Strongman was my next endeavor. The day I graduated I traded an oar for a log. You know you love something when you start tracking moments in your life by different competitions.

I stumbled upon a “MA State Strongman Competition” on the internet. I saw there was a women’s novice division and I was sold. I clicked “attending” via Facebook. Soon after that, I was bombarded with messages with women (also known as “The Gina’s”/founders of NEWs) offering me advice, and sending me DVDs in the mail. They asked, “Do you know what you’re getting into?” No, I didn’t but I knew I liked lifting.

The promoter told me I missed the cut off date to sign up but after calling him every day for a week, he let me sign up. I emailed Eric Dawson who I heard was a “pro strongman” and asked him if he could teach me atlas stones. Being a poor college student, I decided not to get any training because I couldn’t justify the cost, that’s what YouTube was for. To say the least, I prepared for my first competition for about a month without actually touching implements. Let’s just stay, an atlas stone is nothing like a medicine ball.

Strongman is a hobby, yes, but it impacts almost every aspect of my life. It influences who I spend my time with, who I let into my life, lets me eat more than the average person (everything), has helped me see myself in a positive light and has introduced me to friends worldwide. It’s the perfect example of “you get what you put in”. In no particular order, here are 10 reasons why strongman is the greatest sport ever.

  • Purpose: This is #1 for me. Not everyone that does strongman has a clear purpose; it may just be a hobby and something to try. However, strongman has helped me find my purpose. At one point in my life, when I felt secluded and alone, training and the atmosphere of strongman gave me a reason to get out of bed and improve my life. No matter how “bad” of a day I’m having, training always turns it around.

 

  • Fun: First and foremost is that at the end of the day, strongman is fun. Events like keg loads, truck pulls, and stone loads are fun. You’re running around with other competitors doing things that most people look at with raised eyebrows.

 

  •  An individual sport with a team atmosphere: You are competing alone most times (unless it’s a partner competition). At the end of the day though, you know what your PRs are, and what number you are trying to beat. You will always have a support team behind you. Even at competitions, you will find strangers encouraging one another. You can see someone struggle and it only takes one person to start cheering, or offering encouragement and before you know it the whole room is getting pumped, and you’re feeding off their vibes.

 

  •  Lifelong friends: There is something about bonding with other like-minded individuals. Sometimes personalities will clash, like any group, but you really have to trust someone with your life. If you’re spotting someone, your life is in their hands for a few seconds. The majority of people do not “get it” they do not understand why you strive to lift  absurd amounts of weight or run around with weird objects, but your strongman friends will back you.
  •  Family atmosphere: This goes back to lifelong friends; some of these people are more like family. I know I could move anywhere in the world and would feel at home with people in the sport opening up their gyms and their homes to me. When I was in Texas before the Arnold and needed a place to train, pro strongman Bryan Barret not only opened his gym for me but introduced me to his family and they brought me to their favorite BBQ place.
  •  Self-Reliance: While you have people supporting you and backing you, at the end of the day it’s up to you to set the standard and push the limits. You can have the best coach, best training atmosphere and best equipment in the world, but no one can do the work for you. With short term and long term goals, you set the stage. Strength is the perfect example of “the sky is the limit”. As you progress, goals are harder to achieve but there is always improvement to be made.

 

  •  Being a Role Model: The best compliments I receive aren’t on my lifts, or my strength, it’s how I effected or positively influenced someone else. I guarantee, if you do strongman, you will impact more people than you know. To a young kid, if you can lift a car or pull a truck, you are their hero. I feel complete when I know I’ve impacted the life a 16 year old girl to embrace the body she sees in the mirror for the exquisite machine that it is.

 

  •  Stronger: Physically and mentally. When you push yourself, and open yourself to being uncomfortable you grow. For me personally, the stronger I get physically, the stronger I get mentally. You have to practice both, and you are NEVER SATISFIED. Getting stronger will always be the answer to why I train. I’ll never be satisfied. You will be able to do things you never thought possible.

 

  •  Opens up doors: Strongman is open and accessible to all walks of life. If you told me years ago one of my best girlfriends would be from Australia, I wouldn’t have understood how.  At international competitions you will hear several languages in the same room. It’s amazing to be able to bond with like-minded individuals and be connected by one thing: strongman.  

 

  •  Gender Equality: This one happened fast as when I first started strongman I didn’t understand why women couldn’t make it “as far” as the men. In 2016 Strongman Corporation announced there would be a women’s pro class. When you are training or competition, it’s not about if you are male or female, what shape you’re in, what you look like, or what you’re wearing, it’s about what you can lift, move, and run with.

 

There are many more reasons why strongman is personally my favorite sport, but here were a few. It’s a goal of mine every day to educate people on strongman and show them it is for all walks of life: male or female, young or old, naturally athletic or just starting out. If you feel intimidated then reach out to someone you know and I’m sure they would be more than willing to help.

 

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