If you’re apt to staying up late enough and your cable runs up into the triple digits, then no doubt you have come across the ‘World’s Strong Man’ competition on an ESPN channel. Men like Magnus Ver Magnusson, Jon Pall Sigmarsson, and Mariusz Pudzianowski, whose names are only dwarfed by the size of their biceps launching kegs over 30’ high walls, dead lifting telephone poles, and juggling VW’s all for the chance to test their strength. For good measure and to exert their alpha male position (and possibly avoid having their spleen erupt from their midsections) grunts, screams, and pose downs are also thrown in to highlight their strength.
My wife typically knows when I stayed awake to watch one of the Strong Man competitions because I inevitably try to showcase my strength every chance I get. My dumbbells, not seen for months, make an appearance in our living room. I’ll dead-lift as many of the laundry baskets at one time as I can. I’ll risk dropping the carton of eggs, gallon of milk and squashing the Pop Tarts just to prove to her that I’m strong enough to carry in the two dozen grocery bags sitting in the back of her car. I usually make some sort of snarling sound like a cross between a rhinoceros and a ’69 Camaro with a bad muffler.
It is my way to exert my strength. Granted in this day and age of dads talking about our emotions, complaining about being included, and finally figuring out what all the dials on the washing machine are for, the idea of flexing my muscles is an archaic practice but picking up the flat screen so my wife can dust underneath is an easier test of my strength easier than trying to flick a keg of beer over the garage roof.
I learned this appreciation for feats of strength from my Dad. He had an innate strength to lift and carry things normal humans shouldn’t be able to. This was the image of strength I grew up with, my Dad’s physical strength. What I didn’t realize as I negotiated the solid oak bureau up to the second floor of the house was, what my family would need was strength but not the kind I learned from my Dad. I was going to need my Mom…
Find out how strong my Mom really is for my Mother’s Day post at DADS ROUND TABLE.