I watched as some more guys were eliminated on the 700. Now it was my turn. 700 was a big jump from the 630 I had got in training. It seemed unlikely that I would get it based off of that alone. But the 680 came off the floor with some speed so I felt there must be a little more left in the tank. It was game time.
If my lift was perfect it just might be possible… I approached the bar.
In the immortal words of Ronnie Coleman, "everyone wanna be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weight!" The same can be said of the modern-day strongman. Lifters want to be seen picking up weights from the floor while making the trip to the lockout as awkward as possible with the Steinborn squat and Zercher deadlift constantly being showcased. The truly impressive lifters don't have time for that riff-raff because they are either training, eating or competing.
It’s a Japanese ritual purification typically performed once a year that's been adapted to refer to doing something so hard one day per year that the effect lasts the rest of the 364 days. While most of the strongman competitions I do each year could classify as such, competing in Ontario’s Strongest Man epitomizes misogi.
While CNSM may be the ultimate destination for my competitive season, the athletes competing at OSM are without a doubt the best of the best in Ontario, and Canada as well. To top it all off, this test of titans was performed in the sweltering heat of Canada Day, where the mercury skyrocketed and the blazing sun with the humidity reached into the 40s.
Nestled under the trees and surrounded by the droning of hundreds of bagpipes and the rat-a-tat of marching drums is how we found ourselves as the 2018 IHGF Canadian Stones of Strength got underway. With the backdrop of Lake Ontario visible between and sword fighting lessons going on across the park from us, we couldn’t be in a better position to compete while still being shaded by the trees.