Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bigger, Stronger, Faster*

When I was a kid back in missouri, I had He-man I remember looking at the little plastic doll, and thinking "that's what I want to look like when I grow up." Hell I already had the stupid "dutch-boy" haircut (thanks Mom). I also remember thinking that it wasn't really possible to look that way. That there was something wrong with this picture. I actually started lifting weights when I was 8 years old. I got a little bar, and some plastic concrete-filled weights and curled and pressed my little heart out. I never saw any difference (someone should have told me "hey kid, wait till puberty." Puberty came and I spent most of my time reading comics. Wolverine was my favorite character. A compact stocky loner. Prone to losing control of his emotions. I dreamed of being that lean, mobile, fast, and athletic. I identified with his singluar status, his inability to control himself.
When I got to High-school I spent most of my time lifting or working. Ever since I have read every scrap of information I could find on getting Bigger, Stronger and Faster. I don't think my experience was isolated. Chris Bell's movie explains his version of this story. His version isn't much different. He found power-lifting when I found rugby. We did the best we can with our potential, and people suggested to us that there is a way to go beyond those boundries. We both politely declined. The movie explores the stories of those who didn't, and in some cases still aren't. The movie explores americans who are feeling the crush to excell to excede their potential, the steps they take to do so, and the side-effects of those measures. It's a really well made film, and one that examines our national cultural afinity for excess.

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