McNeese Strength Training Goes Medieval
By Jack Gamble
Last Friday I received a call to help with the construction of a new impact (barrier) wall at the Lake Charles Gun Club, and being that I had gotten off work early, I decided I would pitch in. When I pulled up, I realized this wasn't just any old simple addition being built to turn one big room into 2 smaller rooms. No. This wasn't going to be an "okay" wall; it was going to be a "great" wall! Off in the distance, between the 50 and 100 yard line markers, I could see huge piles of railroad ties. Three very large men were stacking these monstrosities, one atop the other, to form this wall.
Upon closer inspection, I started to realize these guys were a bit out of the ordinary. The expressions on their faces gave the impression that they were actually enjoying this shit. I had to ask, "what normal human being would get their rocks off to lifting hundreds of +300lbs cresol treated railway ties?" Since they decided to ignore my query with stoic smiles, I could only surmise that they were really from the planet of Krypton. I was skeptical when they claimed to be mere football players for McNeese State University, and felt justified in such when the Scandinavian shook my comparatively frail hand, and introduced himself as Thor! The gig was up. It wasn't Krypton, but instead Asgard from which they had came. Okay, so maybe I'm going a little overboard here, but, I am fairly certain that: if these guys had to go toe-to-toe with an Ice Giant, they'd kick its ass and use its remains to chill their mead.
The team consisted of McNeese's head strength coach Jason Little (there's nothing little about this man, by the way), and two of his players, Nick Gorman and Thor Miller. I want to say I participated with the wall, but I was really just there to watch. I was there as a personal favor, and, technically, so were they, but they were looking at it as an opportunity to gain some extra training time. As a strength trainer, Coach Little could see the silver lining in 19th century railroad labor.
We've all been to the gym to pump up that Summer beach bod in hopes of shedding a little baby fat, but how many of us can say we lifted a boulder or tossed railroad ties? As a Marine, this concept is not completely alien to me. Warriors of ancient times used similar techniques to gain the advantage of strength over their opponents. Take the Rocky IV montage for instance, with Rocky (Stallone) dead-lifting a horse carriage full of people and pulling a net filled with huge stones. All of this was done in preparation for Rocky's battling Drago- who trained in a state-of-the-art gym- and we all know how that ended. Spoiler Alert!: Rocky beat Drago.
When I was in the Marines: we trained with telephone poles, climbed ropes, and beat the hell out of each other in the mud and rain. I've done my fare share of weight training, and I'll attest to the fact that you can't beat good old fashioned Highlander/Spartan workouts to get your soldiers (or, in this case...football players) mad dog mean and harder than woodpecker lips. Nothing against the pretty boy, bodybuilder types who enjoy a relaxing workout in a climate controlled day spa, as well as frequenting tanning beds, but I can't help but think of all the money they're wasting.
I've got a perfectly good pine tree in my yard that needs to be chopped up and hauled away. The best part (aside from me finally not having that damn pine tree swaying over my house)? It's a workout that's free of charge. Hmmph...maybe I should start my own training regime and call it something stupid like Marine Corps Body 101. I bet it would catch on, too, especially if I made sure to wear one of those cool ear mics. People love ear mics. It would be the perfect scheme so long as one of those Prince Charming weirdos doesn't break a nail and sue me.
Speaking of which...Coach Little caught a railroad tie to the face and busted his upper lip pretty bad. With blood dripping down his sweaty face, he just smiled and kept piling ties on the wall. It's people like that who really entice the reminiscence of my days as a Devil Dog. With that, I'd like to extend a big thank you to Coach Little, Nick, and Thor. You guys are badass mofos.
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