“Roger LaPointe to the store front desk, please.”
I loved to hear that request echo from the tinny, feedback filled York Barbell intercom. It was ALWAYS going to lead to something interesting.
That day was no exception. Twenty years after I first encountered him on the big screen, I met Darth Vader, I mean Dave Prowse. Yes, I instantly became that shocked six year old in a movie theater seeing a light saber for the first time. It was 1997 and Dave Prowse wanted to meet “the lifter” at York Barbell. Fortunately for me, Dave had dealt with plenty of star struck fans. It didn't take long before we were talking about weightlifting, gyms and the fun of a real Highland games. We genuinely had interests in common.
Dave has a really outstanding sense of humor and loves the strength sports. He also has a great voice to top off his commanding presence. The photo above shows Dave choking me in the York Barbell Weightlifting Hall of Fame.
Years before, Dr. Bob Suchyta had told me that if I take my lifting seriously, it will take me to amazing places. The beauty of weightlifting is that it is just you and a barbell. The barbell is an inanimate object. If you don't do anything, then it will also do nothing. The same can be said of stone lifting, or throwing a caber. The lessons of the iron are great.
Dave Prowse told me the same thing as Dr. Bob. In their humility, just meeting each of them was already something great. Look up Dave's biography. It reads like Charles Atlas. He really was the sickly kid who went on to lift the unliftable stones. Little did I know, my lifting would take me to the stars, to battle with the most notorious villain of all time, or at least the actor who played him.
All the best,
“Today is a good day to lift.”
P.S. My, now seven year old, son tells me that it's obviously not Darth Vader choking me in the photo, after all, “where is his cape and helmet?” (Raspy breathing sound effect: “Jackson, I am your father.”)