July 23, 2010
Chris Moore reflects on a quest for strength that pushed his weight to 370 lb. Now he’s on a path to strength and health.
I could not, for the life of me, take my eyes off the man. The guy was like a train wreck, a cataclysm and a sunrise all rolled up into one big, disturbing—yet somehow beautiful—package.
Picture in your mind, dear reader, a walking, talking kielbasa sausage at a national-level powerlifting meet. Four hundred pounds of man shoved into a 350-lb. bag. He could not have gone unnoticed: the guy was wearing the brightest yellow shirt you ever saw.
He wasn’t there to compete, but you could tell he was a lifter. Heavily muscled upper back. A corkscrew splattering of busted blood vessels along his neckline—a sure sign of more than a few max-effort attempts. Enlarged, coarsely calloused hands. He carried himself with an expected strut, a look that screams, “I am a fucking big strong guy, and I know it.”
What struck me, though, were all the features that seemingly did not belong on a trained athlete. That strut of his, while confident, was barely a snail’s pace, and it was performed atop two strained, purple ankles. He wasn’t really doing much of anything behind the scenes but somehow still needed that handy gym towel to mop up the ever-growing stream of sweat, now furiously pouring from every inch of his body.
What the hell had this guy done to himself? Was it intentional? All in the name of maximal strength? Then it hit me. There was a reason I was so fascinated. Only three years prior, I had been in that guy’s shoes.