Abandon all weakness, ye who enter here.

The Unbent Horseshoe

Some of you know the effect of just one day with Chris Rider, and why he's a mentor that will always be close to my heart. If you don't, I'd like to fill you in a bit.

Chris Rider is one of the top professional oldtime strongmen alive, and he hosts an event all over the U.S. called the Coney Island Strongman Seminar for people to get professional, one-on-one coaching on how to, you know, the simple stuff: bend steel horseshoes, drive nails through a board with your hands, scroll a metal bar like a pretzel, bend reinforced construction bars like taffy, etc.

(If you are ever at liberty to attend one of these seminars, no matter how interested you are in the feats, I'd highly recommend you go. The mental training alone is enough to positively apply to every aspect of your life.)

Having him teach me to bend horseshoes was an incredible turning point in my life, because something that seemed so incredibly impossible suddenly became not just possible, but accomplished.

After rolling up a frying pan like newspaper and ripping through some thick phonebooks, I bent two horseshoes in my first seminar with Chris: one that I fully hearted (bent into a heart shape), and one that I wasn't able to heart that day.

I've been training my overall strength daily since then, and I'm confident I have more than enough strength to bend the second horseshoe like Beckham, but I have found more motivation in leaving this horseshoe unbent.

To me, this horseshoe is a symbol. There are not many oldtime strongmen in the world, and to prevail at something uncommon, you need to put in an uncommon amount of effort.

It will be draining and painful, for sure. If it were easy, there would everyone would be jumping at the chance to put in some uncommon effort and perseverance. But when I look at this horseshoe, I remember two things: one, how gratifying that pain and effort became when turned to triumph and, two, that you can put in a world of effort, but there's always more work to do.

I now view the world as an unbent horseshoe. Note that I don't say unbendable; just because a goal is difficult or out of reach doesn't make stretching your arm impossible. But the world is there, unbent, waiting for someone with the power of will to shape it to their desires.