by Al Myers
Last weekend after the Dino Gym Challenge, we pulled out the “Dino/JWC Challenge Wheels” for a little impromptu competition between a few of us. That seems to always happens after any meet at the Dino Gym. Often the real competition (for bragging rights) happens after the official competition took place! I’ve been saving this little challenge for a special moment like this. Last fall Thom Van Vleck gave me a set of train cart wheels with a rotating 2″ axle between them. It was off of an old-style push cart so the train wheels are much smaller than regular train wheels. This was the “matching set” to the cart wheels I gave Thom last summer at Nationals (I’ll let him tell that story). Thom really fixed up this Challenge Wheels for me – one side is painted Dino Blue with the Dino Gym name painted on them, and the other side is painted JWC Black with the JWC name painted on them. Half of the axle is painted blue, while the other half of the axle in painted black. It looks quite spectacular in appearance!
One day when I was looking at it in the gym I thought how symbolic these Challenge Wheels are. The black representing the “dark side” of lifting while the blue representing all the things good in lifting (I should mention that blue is a very patriotic color). Weightlifting is the constant battle of “Good vs. Evil”. At times when I’m lifting I really feel like the weights are my enemy, and in order to win the battle I must lift them. It often requires me to give peak performance to accomplish this goal in front of me, and takes me to my limits of physical ability. So in other words, the weights (the evil) brings out the best in me (the good). Now before you start thinking that the Dino Man has finally “lost his marbles”, think about this for awhile. Why do YOU LIFT WEIGHTS? It’s not about the trophies or awards, it’s much more than that. It’s about the sense of “conquering the iron” that makes you keep coming back for more. I sure don’t lift weights for my health either. If that was the case, I wouldn’t want ANY PART of some of these dangerous all round lifts and would buy myself a bow flex instead.
It gave me great satisfaction to lift the Challenge Wheels. Several of the other gym members lifted them as well. BIG POPPA Mark Mitchell strict pressed them at least a dozen times to top all of us. I have no idea what this challenge weighs, or really care to know. That’s not the point of it. Afterwards, these Challenge Wheels got hung from the ceiling and will reside there until the next lifter wants to “take a shot at it”. It will become a centerpiece in the Dino Gym for all to see, and hopefully, will inspire others.
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: In no way do I intend to imply that the JWC is evil because the JWC worships the color black and trains under ground level in a dark basement dungeon. The Dino Gym considers the JWC as a friendly rival, and much appreciates this wonderful gift from them.)