Just before Thanksgiving, there was a strongman traveling to a town to do a show, when I found out he was going to be heading only an hour away from my city, I couldn't pass up telling him I was near there. After his show we met up and trained outside in my backyard smashing tires with my Thor Hammers along with his Stronger Grip Sledgehammer and after getting my ass kicked while needing a few breaks this dude finishes with 1000 swings in 21 min. We ate dinner down the road and the first half was how awesome his son is doing, the other half was about training, putting knowledge and wisdom into my head and even talked some stories about Strongmen and even about his time with Matt Furey. We said our goodbyes but the story doesn't end there, there’s more to come.
After Thanksgiving has passed, the strongman came back because he had some traveling to do shows and I caught up with him again, this time it was more than just a few hours, it was for more than a day. He did a show no more than a couple miles from where I lived, I got to help out with the show and be apart of it by ripping a phonebook in front of 400 kids plus their teachers. It was an experience I’ll never forget and being a performer from a different era of my life it was nerve-racking but exciting at the same time. I learned how he performed and spoke in his shows and how to get an audience’s attention but getting his own message across in different types of situations. I’m sorry you’re probably wondering who the hell I’m talking about, my apologies. This is Professional Strongman and Motivational speaker Bud Jeffries.
After the show, Me and Bud packed up and were about to grab some food when he needed to get his oil done for the truck so we stopped at a shop and sat in the truck while we talked about wrestling, the old-timers and even about a cousin that was legendary in his own right, it was the Boxing Legend Jim Jeffries. He told me a story about him and Jack Johnson that was pretty awesome. After the oil was done, just before we left, he rips up a deck of cards just for kicks for the mechanics and one guy even said jokingly “Thanks for making me feel afraid of you.” We get a bite to eat at Subway and before we did this, this powerful and humble strongman tries to hook me up with a pretty girl not once but twice. Messing with him calling an a-hole it was pretty funny and I literally nearly turned purple from blushing really hard. We get dinner than its back home for the evening.
Before I continue with this story I just need to point out that being in his presence and admiring him for years it was like if a baseball fan spent the day with just a Barry Bonds or a Albert Pujols, it was that awesome. Training alongside him was an experience you can’t comprehend, not even at a workshop and I’ll tell you why later on. I couldn't keep up with him at times but how can I? I’m just learning the tip of the iceberg on conditioning and here he is just pounding on those tires. For the most part despite needing breaks quite frequently, he just about literally broke me down because I had jut gotten my ass handed to me and although he never said it I kept thinking of him saying “Come on man, keep going.”
This guy I felt took me under his wing and wanted to help me put things in perspective and understand what you can do to help people even more than what you’re doing now and make something happen. Learning from him was surreal and it gave me something to use for the rest of my life and do something nobody can do. I’m still young and I have far more to learn but for one night, it has given me a lifetime to use.
Continue on with the story, we’re eating and decided to put on the Expendables 2 and while watching this, we broke into little conversations about the actors and than for a brief pause during the movie we got to talking about each other’s obstacles and sharing funny stories and let me tell you and I know he may not admit this but Bud had stories that made Jeff Foxworthy sound dull and I just couldn't stop laughing at times because the way he expressed them was just priceless. If you truly want to know Bud, making you laugh is one of the best things he can put on you and it shows that we as strongmen are not big, tough and demeaning guys; we’re just like everyone else with different backgrounds and finding ways to make each other laugh.
After the movie was over we set everything back up, sat in the lounge chairs and went over stuff about the old-timers, steroids, guys in the upcoming Superhuman Workshop and helping me move more forward with my passion for Physical Culture and although it lasted only a couple hours, it felt like a lifetime in a good way just listening and sharing knowledge and wisdom. He truly is one of the best guys in this business and I’m proud to call him one of my brothers. He’s not just a mentor or a guy who helps you out a little bit in time, he was like an older brother and passing on his words of the business onto me. It was one of those things you just never forget.
Before I end this I want to tell you the difference between being in an idol’s presence one on one vs. being at a Seminar or Workshop. Being at a workshop, you connect with them and get to learn what they know so you’ll get better but no matter how you slice it, there’s another person sitting right next to you getting the same teachings and doesn't have that same feel if it was just the two of you. One on one however is a whole different experience, it’s not even the same league as being taught at a seminar, it’s just the two of you and going into much deeper levels of knowledge, stories and getting to know your idol on a very different level to the point where it’s not just a few conversations, you literally feel compassion and hold a place in your heart for them that you just can’t get anywhere else.
With Bud it wasn't just being with one of the strongest guys in the world, it was like being with that older brother you wished you had growing up and being apart of something that has a mystical feel to it and feeling like you’re a part of a family that you’ll always be happy with. Spending time with him was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I’m already getting a bit emotional just looking back on it and it’s something I’ll never forget until the day I die. I hope I get the chance to do it again in the coming years and learn from him as much as I can stand and pass on to my kids because he’s one of those people that you can’t help but like and get to be apart of something that you love and cherish. Thank you Bud and I’ll always be there if you ever need me, you truly are one of my dreariest friends and you’ll always welcome. Stay strong brother and never stop what you’re doing, you are an awesome friend, a loving husband and a damn good father to Noah, he is the luckiest kid in the world.