• Feudal Nerds (sic), Instal(l)ment 28(2) (excerpted):

    Everyone is so nice to me.
    — Don’t worry – I cried at my first meet too.
    — Sorry!
    — It’s OK. We’ll get you in there.
    The coaches and other lifters let me cut the line to warm up.
    — It’s just nerves!
    — You’ll feel better once you get your first squat!
    Everything else disappears. I walk out, wait for the command, and squat. Then I stand back up. (Three white lights!) It’s the easiest squat ever!
  • One thinks back to Gay Games IV in New York in 1994, which I covered for the Voice.

    Compare [physique] to powerlifting, an unsung sport with a whopping 50 contestants (physique had 200). Day one of the event was held in an old gym in the Village on one of the hottest, muggiest days of the year. Even with turboprop-sized fans running nonstop, the air was oppressive and uncomfortable. Still, dozens of spectators stuck around all afternoon to watch women bench-press, deadlift, and squat up to double their body weight….The unglamorous grit and determination were inspiring: There is nothing quite like witnessing a 200-pound woman bench-pressing over 400 pounds.

    More to the point, the camaraderie in the room was palpable. The event was part of the Gay Games, but not everyone there was gay: People who were obviously straight, obviously not straight, and not obviously either happily worked together as judges, spotters, coaches, trainers, and announcers. Roles were fluid [forgive me for using that term – I was younger]; the biggest guy there (advertised as someone who once deadlifted 800 pounds) spent most of his time seated, serving as judge, while one of the smallest women present loaded and unloaded heavy plates onto the bar.

    Powerlifting is not exactly seen an “appropriate” sport for women in the establishment ethos, and audiencemembers seemed to sense this. If someone failed to make a lift, people applauded; if she did make it, the crowd went nuts. Women’s powerlifting was a high-water mark for the spirit of the Games.

    I walked out of the subsequent men’s event, an atrocity, after 15 minutes.

    I’ve been around a lot of sports, from the Dallas Cowboys dressing room to water polo to a dozen varieties of wheelchair racing. I don’t really even notice female humanoids in daily life, but Gay Games wymmynz powerlifting was the best sporting event I ever saw – still, to this day, a generation later.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2017.09.05 15:10. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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