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President’s Corner – September 2012

There’s a place that sells monster truck tires on the way to my
wife’s dojo. Recently, I’ve been thinking of buying one. It’s not that I
have a big compulsion for monster trucks. Certainly, my 3-year old
son wishes I did. But no, it’s just an interest in monster truck tires. I
was piqued on the first night of the Olympics. NBC aired the final of
the 400-meter individual medley swim competition, which they treated
as a personal grudge match between Ryan Lochte and Michael
Phelps.
Phelps, who went on to become the winningest Olympian of all
time, was the reigning champ, whereas Lochte was the runner-up
four years ago. Of course, NBC had to air the preliminary humaninterest
interviews before the competition took place. Instead of
starting with Phelps, with his Mom and sisters explaining how they
think he has another Olympics in him, they started with Lochte and
his all-consuming four-year obsession about beating Michael Phelps.
The interesting thing about their piece on Lochte was that nearly
half of it focused on his training. He explained that he spent more
time at the gym lifting weights. And this is where the monster truck
tires come in (and you thought it was just filler). Lochte would flip
monster truck tires on their side – over and over again down his block.
Now I’m no swimmer, but I’m always interested in how athletes
train. What really made this piece interesting is that my wife, who
used to be a competitive swimmer, speculated that the training
would help his push off from the wall.
Push off, I thought. Hmmm, interesting. It sounds like there
might be some cross-sport applicability here. Runners push-off too,
constantly. I keep trying to add weight-bearing exercises to my training,
so maybe there’s some potential here.
Of course, there’s one problem: it’s unlikely that I can quickly transition
from my 15-pound dumbbells to a 650-pound monster truck
tire.
The trainer at my gym told me that about a year ago, when a crew
tore up part of the parking lot to build a power station there, he
asked the construction crew if they could leave a spare truck tire behind
when they were done. They didn’t, which luckily spared me the
humiliation of trying to flip one around people who know me.
During one of my Sunday long runs up by my house in Wayne, I
took a few laps of the track at Wayne Valley High School, which also
doubles as their football stadium, and noticed that they left a few
monster truck tires out. I tried to flip a few. Needless to say, I couldn’t
budge a single one.
I’m almost positive I can flip the doughnut in my car’s truck. I can
probably even flip one of the tires on car. So maybe I should ask the
folks at Firestone if can workout with one they’re throwing out. With
all of the times I went there for an oil change and got stuck with a
belt replacement, you’d think this was the least they could do……
….On the other hand, I might find it easier to workout with one of
their cardboard floor models….
Mark Frankel

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