Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Sport of Spectating

As of last year, my super strong hubby has been participating in the sport of Olympic weightlifting. While he is setting personal records and competing in meets, I am participating in a sport of my own: the sport of spectating.

I enjoy going to these meets and watching Danny's incredible talent in lifting heavy (very heavy) things. For approximately 6 minutes (the lifter has 1 minute to make each lift), my heart is going bonkers and I'm holding my breath, until Danny completes his lift.  There are two lifts: The Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. The lifter gets 3 chances to complete each lift with the weight either staying the same (if they miss it) or increasing if the lift is good. Once Danny is done lifting, I can calm down and take in my interesting surroundings. Olympic weightlifters are a rare breed and certainly fun to watch.

One attribute that is common among Oly lifters is their large buttocks. While I promise I am not siting around staring at these giant bums, it is hard to ignore these monstrous rears, especially when they are wearing nothing but singlets (think leotards, but slightly more manly). I appreciate these large rears, not in a lustful way, but in the fact that my own rear fits right in.

There are always a few former Olympians in the room, my favorite being Butch Curry.  Butch is now the president of the PWA (Pacific Weightlifting Association). I have a few personal observations about Butch that I would like to share, mind you I have never actually spoken to Butch, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

Firstly, what kind of a name is Butch besides that of a Looney Toons cartoon character's and my dog's? Secondly, I would imagine a former Olympian to have the body of a Greek god.  Butch's body is more comparable to that of a jolly seasonal Santa Claus mall employee. Butch wears the same outfit to every meet that I have attended. His attire is all black, perhaps for it's slimming properties. His outfit consists of black shorts in the summer and black jeans in the winter. A black t shirt is worn under a tank top made out of synthetic material (that is also black) with a white ribbing outlining it. I am not sure if Butch is trying to relive his singlet wearing days, as this is kind of the effect it creates, or if he honestly thinks this is a good look for him. Either way, I say kudos to Butch. Sometimes I wish I could wear the same thing every day and if I did have that option, you bet I would choose black as my signature color.

For having such a tough name, Butch sure seems to be a happy guy. He is always chuckling and seems genuinely excited to spend all of his weekends at Oly meets. I decided to research Butch's Olympic standings. It turns out that Butch qualified for the Olympics and was ready to go and make our country proud. The only problem was Butch qualified to go during the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.... you know the Olympics that we boycotted. Everything that I have gathered about Butch from afar is making a lot more sense.

Butch in his finer days

The other Butch

A minor Looney Toon's Character, Butch

Oly weightlifters typically have a specific routine that is carried out right before they attempt the lift. To a newbie, these rituals can appear odd, a bit frightening, and down right silly. Animalistic grunts, pounding of the chests, strange breathing patterns, and slapping of the rears are the norm.  One recent female lifter that I had the pleasure of watching, did a sort of hissing sound while performing what appeared to be ballet moves. I suppose these rituals are to not only pump the lifter up, but to satisfy their superstitious ways. Danny does have a ritual, but it's nothing too crazy. He stares at the bar for a second, then quickly steps forward and stomps his feet rather loudly. He then grabs the bar and readjusts his position one time, even though it was perfectly fine the first time. Every now and then he will let out the classic weightlifter grunt...then goes on to make an amazing lift.

When the female lifters start lifting, I'm always a little jealous.  I think I may have missed my calling (athletically speaking) in life. My body shape is pretty similar to that of a weightlifter, having large quadriceps and glutes (the beloved pear shape... ) plus I've always had this weird obsession with being strong, even before I started getting into Crossfit. I quickly void my heart of any desire to participate in these events, as I do not like to be the center of attention and there is no way in hell that I could let out any type of animalistic grunt. Despite my reservations, these ladies are amazing. Their strength and confidence is thrilling to watch.

One more weightlifting phenomenon that I have noticed is that the amount of facial hair a lifter has may be propotional to how much weight he can lift. Take for example Danny, who is always sporting a full beard or our friend Buddy who even hopped on board the facial hair train at last weeks competition. Both boys did incredibly well. Some might say this has to do with hard work and determination, I say it has to do with the beard.

Despite my observations, my main source of enjoyment is the look on Danny's face after he realizes that he has made the lifts that he has been working so hard for every day. He and all these big booty lifters certainly are inspiring.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for pear-shaped, it's the best shape. :)