Strong Man Mentality

I’ve watched a few strong man competitions on television. The physicality’s that goes in to becoming a strong man are very in-depth. I often wonder what would make a man want to go through such an experience, but I’m guessing the reward of completing such an event is very gratifying.

A competition such as this is even more gratifying for a Middletown, Ohio teacher named Mike Diehl.

Mike, who’s an assistant teacher, also once held the position as a firefighter. Mike loved being a firefighter until the unthinkable happened.  He was guiding a fire truck back and his arm was pinned by the truck.  The damage was so severe to his arm that it was amputated.

Before the unfortunate accident, Mike loved hitting the gym to work out.

I can empathize with Mike, for I remember when I first lost my ability to walk, I kept thinking how am I going to be able to dance? I loved getting my boogie on and not being able to do something you love can really weigh on your mind. Unless you have a plan, you’ll fall into a depressed state of mind.

A plan indeed is what Mike had.

Ten days after his arm was amputated, Mike went back to the gym. He amped up his routine with one goal in mind,  to win the Strongest Disabled Man Competition.

To date, Mike has competed in many competitions and won a few, but he still is chasing his dream to be the overall strongest man in the world.

There’s a saying that goes like this, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Life is funny. Sometimes it’s good while other times, it’s bad, but you must have a can-do mentality if you plan to succeed.

I’m blessed to have many young people in my life including nieces, nephews, and godchildren. They used to love telling me how life was unfair, messed up, or unfair until they got old enough for me to give them the business.

Now, when they come to me whining, I invite them to spend a little time with me. Afterwards, they seem to have a different perspective.

I’m not big on whining. Instead, I focus on how to Make Things Happen.

Just by learning of Mike’s story I can tell he’s a make things happen type of guy, and I believe he will do great things. I’m no fortune teller, but I foresee many more titles in his future.

Note: I’m still dancing! It’s just on wheels now!

Middletown teacher earns World’s Strongest Disabled Man title (

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