Saturday, July 08, 2006

Excellent Style

Greetings from Ribe, Denmark's oldest town. We got to Copenhagen from Helsinki yesterday morning, and then took a train to this sleepy tourist town near the west coast of Jutland. Tip: get reserved seats, or you'll find yourself standing in the space between cars for the first three-and-a-half hours.

Today we saw the middling Ribe Vikinges Museum and the excellent Ribe Viking Center. The museum wasn't up to the standard set by the Historical Museum in Stockholm, but then its collection of artifacts is far smaller. The center was a recreation of Ribe from 750 CE on, and is a fine example of how to do things in a decidely non-commercial, non-cheesy way. The falconry demonstration especially was excellent.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. On Tuesday I worked out with Jouko. Now, I lift heavy and am pretty good in a few movements, but heavy is relative and I knew there would be nothing I could do to impress this guy, who set a world record in Atlas stone lifting. Of course, I had nothing to prove, but I also hadn't hit the gym in a couple weeks.

We started with deadlifts. I was excited to do this movement, but also a little apprehensive since I hadn't done proper deads in several years and for some reason my back had been bothering me every now and again during the trip. We used Jouko's special Chinese bar, which he actually uses as the strongman in Invincible. We did several warmup sets, and my back seemed fine. Jouko did his top set with well over 200 kg for 10 reps, and at the top of each rep he sang the number in Finnish. Hilarious. I ended up pulling 140 kg for five reps. Jouko said I could have done another 40 kg, which is probably true, but I was happy to keep something in the tank and not stagger through the rest of my trip crippled. And Jouko said, "You have excellent style." I was pretty pleased, since it's not every day you hear that from someone who's pulled 435 kg for a single.

The rest of the workout was pretty straightforward: two or three sets of pulldowns, rows, overhead presses, tricep pushdowns, and curls. All machines or cables, which was interesting since I usually do free weights. I'm still pretty sore.

I was honored to lift with Jouko, and afterwards I realized that this was our version of golf.

The computer is about to shut down -- so I'll catch up in Copenhagen.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, quite like golf. I'm just thinking of all the analogies and similarities between the two activities.......what is it Ryan? Has the high fat contain of their Cod so thickened the critical thinking region of your brain that you can't see there are no similaries between golf and weight lighting.

Unless of course Jouko wanted to rip the heart from your chest and eat it like golfers do in any 'friendly match'.

Let's try sticking with what you know; sword studying, calorie counting, Haiku...let's leave the golf stories to those that play.

David *

*I'm not an anonymous poster, I just couldn't remember my password. (It's different than the one I use for the Yurt).

8:20 AM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

Don't remember your password or had it revoked? Tread carefully, sir, or I'll serve you smorrebrød, the local delicacy involving bread smeared with lard, topped with pickled herring. Mmmmmmm! I feel my Viking power growing!

3:40 PM  

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