That’s a video of me doing the keg carry/load at the Beer City Brawl, my second and most successful strongman contest. I finished second but it was competitively odd. There were only three people in my class. One was way stronger than me and one wasn’t even close to as strong as me, so I was in second place basically by just showing up. I still went at the events pretty hard and actually won the one in the video.
It took months of training to get my technique together to where I could do this stuff reasonably well. That keg carry/load (which, since I won the event will be the only thing I’m talking about) is where you have to pick up 4 total kegs and load them over a bar. The kegs weigh 170, 200, 225, and 254 pounds and have to be carried from 25′, 20′, 15′, and 10′, respectively. We didn’t have a 250-pound keg to train with so this was the first time I’d picked one up. It was heavy.
Strongman is pretty fun. The training can get to be kind of damaging. It’s cool to build that functional strength but it sometimes hurts to build that functional strength. Since I’m a card-carrying member of North American Strongman I’ll probably get another contest or two completed before my membership expires (August 2016).
Every year I say “I’m going to pay attention to baseball” and every year the Mets stink so I quit watching by mid-June. This year has been an exciting exception. It was a summer of trading text messages with my dad over game results and talking over box scores with Mets-loving pals. They have exceeded even the most outlandish expectations and are currently on the brink of losing the World Series. It would be really cool if they come back and win but it doesn’t really matter.
The ride from the All-Star break to now has been totally worth it. I forgot how much fun it was to have good things to say about the Mets after the 4th of July. Almost all of the stories around these Mets have been feel-good (which is also unprecedented). A giant 20-something Viking sharing the mound next to a 42-year-old professional “athlete”? The Wilmer Flores traded/not traded fiasco? The arrival of Yoenis Cespedes (for the rest of us)? Saint Daniel Murphy going on a Postseason home run tear to end all home run tears? Even the Harvey Innings Limit kerfuffle wasn’t enough to kill the good vibes.
I’d say that I’m excited for next year but the root of what made 2015 so great was the complete lack of expectations.
And just like that, I’m right back into my comfortable Mets-pessimist groove.