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1stCoC

The First Blob , The Man Responsible Returns!

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1stCoC

Today a tall, athletic ,older gentleman showed up at our facility and although working with the power company was drawn to our new door. He asked for me and walked in my office. After a smile in a slow smooth southern drawl said" you remember me" I said " you do look familiar"" but the voice instantly reminded me of bygone days. Mr. Bill was in his young years a tenacious committee head of The Columbia YMCA and fought tooth and claw to improve the many small rooms and halls dedicated to the weight room. He knew I was a "black Iron "lifter in the first Y room and he trusted my work. In his first major buy after I entered the business in 1980 was to renovate the bench and dumbbell section. The bells were all round head sphere ,and first generation York aspirin head "Fatman "Dumbbells. Everyone liked the bells but each was cursed in one way or another. Broken, loose heads, stolen single( in gym bags) and most every thin 1 1/10" handle bent into a rainbow shape. I came up with a method of welding plate loading bells into a solid unit by including an integral compression ring that made the bells resilient to breakage and handles a bit thicker to resist bending. The deal was struck and I schlepped the new bells up stairs ,down corridors and literally over benches to get to their new resting place. As I was happily ready to retreat with my check I was stopped by a Bill and the Y Director " Jeep" and they said "aren't you going to take the other trashed bells away"? I thought they were cool but mostly junked and destroyed but, I agreed. Hand carrying those twisted bells and clumsy broken ends just wore me out. I brought them home and instead of scrapping or throwing them away they just sat collecting dust. One day in a "massive "cleanup effort in my shop garage I removed all the broken pieces and as I went to snatch up the last ones the broken pair of 100s I was stopped cold by lifting the 50 pound chunk one handed. Mad , I tried harder with no luck. Being interested and having some talent in grip I rethought the situation that if tried hard enough perhaps some man or I could lift it. I saved the 4 broken 50lb.ends . Sent one to Dr.Strossen, one to Dr.Ken Leistner, lost one in the river as a boat anchor, and kept one and finally lifted it. A lot of history followed. The first "brother " other end of the bell resided at Leistners gym for many years and a great friend Sreve Weiner returned it to me, and Dr. Strossen's was lost in transit to an expo for Wade Gillingham.

Mr. Bill Yarbourough responsible for my first Blob smiled deeply when he asked 30 years later" remember that first job we did with you".? I deeply thanked him and said his gift of sorts has become a world wide standard of grip interest.

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Eric Roussin

Thanks for sharing this!

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RTvG

Great story!

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jvance

Great read!!

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kodyburns

And the rest is history ! Great story Richard !

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richcottrell

Did you get a photo together?

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Frank Pizzo

Great piece of Iron history!

Thanks for sharing.

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acromegaman

It's really neat getting to hear how blobs originated. I really appreciate the share.

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Jedd Johnson

Awesome story.

Anyone who owns Lift the Blob has read of this awesome story before, as Richard did the Introduction to my Lift the Blob ebook.

Thanks for sharing, Richard.

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3Crusher

Richard-

If I did not purchase that blob from Iron Island gym, who knows where it would be today. Dr. Ken was not the owner of Iron Island anymore when I purchased it. I made the purchase from his former partner Ralph Raiola. A few years later, Iron Island changed hands once again, and became known as South Shore Fitness and permanently closed its doors after Hurricane Sandy destroyed it. So, that blob would have likely been "lost in the shuffle" or would be used as a doorstopper somewhere, a piece of Iron Game history lost forever. After having it in my gym for a few years, I knew I had to get it back to the guy who would appreciate it most and we made a trade that we were both happy with. I have lifted other blobs, but never that one, no matter how much I tried. I tried so much that I wore off the inscription that read "what man can lift me? with the Richard Sorin signature under the inscription. That is the full story of how the blob got from me to you.

Steve

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king crusher

Very cool story. Never knew but now I do.

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Alawadhi

Thanks for sharing this awesome story :rock

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Kashtan

Great story!

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