My Strongmen are Strong Men

If you’ve known me more than 5 minutes, you know that my sons both compete in Strongman.  In case you don’t know what that is, you can check it out here or go on YouTube and search strongman training.  Basically, they lift really heavy weights in the form of strange objects and sometimes they have to move them quickly or sometimes they just need static power, it all depends on the competition. It requires a lot of training, patience, persistence and of course mental and physical strength.

The baby at his first competition lifting the frame at 620 pounds.

The baby is the one that started it all in our family.  He began training for the sport in November of 2015.  After only two months of training he competed in and won his first competition (Jan.16, 2016).  He accomplished some serious feats of strength that day with only a beginners knowledge of the sport, complete confidence in himself and his family there backing him up (which is code for screaming our heads off all day).

Our boys celebrating that first win. The older one supported his little brother all day long. Coaching and pushing when needed.

Getting ready for their first competition competing together.

After watching his baby brother compete a couple of times, the older kiddo decided to compete too.  He finished 3rd in his very first competition.  Both of the boys competed in that one (in separate weight classes) and they supported each other vigorously all day long.  It just so happened to be on their dad’s birthday as well.  Jeff said it was his best birthday ever.  He got to watch his kids do incredible things and then went to dinner with a huge group to celebrate his birthday and the “strongman crew’s” accomplishments that day.

Third place finish in his first ever competition!

Post competition dinner and Jeff’s birthday celebration!

Watching the boys compete in Strongman was a highlight for Jeff and me.  Anytime you see your kids do something that seems impossible, it’s hard not be overwhelmed with joy.  Jeff loved to tell everyone about the kids competing or even just their training.  His face would light up and he’d get really animated when talking about the things they had done.  The pride that came through his voice with each retelling was so genuine.  He was always proud of everything his boys did.

The baby doing atlas stones in his second competition.

Yet, Jeff would be the first to tell you, for all their training and competing with weights, that is not what makes our sons strong men.  I’ve come to see that being a strongman and being a strong man (yes, that space makes a BIG difference) are two completely different things.  Lifting heavy physical weights isn’t what makes our sons strong men.  What makes them strong is their personalities, their values and most of all their beautiful selfless hearts.

The oldest getting ready for atlas stone lift in his first competition.

That has recently been demonstrated more than ever before in their lives.  Their father’s death has deeply impacted all three of us.  I have watched my children bear the extreme pain of losing the most influential man in their lives.  They were both super close with their dad.  We were one of those extremely tight family units that you rarely see any more.  So when we lost him so unexpectedly, it was a devastating blow that would have felled lesser men.  Not our sons though.   They have stood strong throughout this ordeal.  They have proven to be the strongest two men I’ve ever seen.

I’ve watched them step into rolls that no early twenty somethings should have to.  They have both been the strongest support system for me and each other through this.  They picked up the pieces of their shattered hearts and kept moving.  They have weak moments, we all do, but they have shouldered this heavy burden like nothing I’ve ever seen before and they have done it with grace and humility.  They have stood strong and selfless when they could have, and should have, used excuses to be selfish and angry in their grief.  Instead, they have given others sympathy and love just as their father would have, while never asking for anything in return.  Further still, they have been extremely mature and level headed throughout this ordeal.

Baby getting ready for the lift with big brother watching and cheering him on in the background.


They always stand together (in the mbpower shirts) through the tough stuff. They are each others greatest support.

Perhaps it has something to do with all the training they have done.  They know that by lifting heavy weights you gain strength every day.  I think though that it mostly has to do with the example they had growing up.  Their dad was truly a strong man.  While he never lifted weights, he carried many heavy burdens and shouldered them so that the boys and I didn’t have to.  They learned from the best, that’s for sure.

I am beyond proud (and I know Jeff is too) to have such strong MEN as my sons.

The two strongest men I know. Couldn’t be more proud of these two.


  1. Sharon Rivers says:

    We are blessed and share several commonalities. Your two kids and mine are all stronger for the heavy loads they
    learned to bear! Great to read your messages!

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