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ASL Interview with Mark Keshishian

This is an interview with Mark Keshishian conducted on February 8, 1999

ASL: So Mark, I understand that you have news to tell us about your strongman debut right?

Keshishian: This past fall, I got the opportunity to enter in two StrongMan contests. The first was the Full Strength Challenge in Las Vegas. The second was The Strongest Man Alive contest in St. Louis. Las Vegas was fun, but dissipating. The first event was the Farmer's walk, which I thought I was well prepared for. I had been training with two 220lbs-acetylene canisters, and could go about 300 ft with them. The problem in Vegas was that the handles were much thicker in diameter, and since I am digitally challenged on my left hand (my left ring finger amputated), my left hand gave out going around the second corner. So, I think I only went about 140 or 150 feet. The sad part was that these implements were lighter than what I had practiced with. But anyway, I found a major weak point, my grip. All in all, I guess I did all right, I was the lightest guy there @235lbs and came in 13th, and my goal was to come in top 12.
St. Louis was also disappointing in some events, and rewarding in others. Again, I think I was the lightest one there. I got sick three weeks out and lost about 12 pounds, and gained some of it back the week before the contest. So, I weighed about 228 pounds. In the log press, I actually did one more rep at the contest than I did at the gym. Not that that helped me in the standings, but it was good. The Super Yoke turned into a challenge, and it wasnt in training. I thought I did well on the Push and Drag. I did very well on the wheel barrow push, and completed the pull, which I didnt do in Vegas. The Tire Flip went ok especially considering that I had never done it before. I had a nagging strain in my left biceps/forearm. So, after the second flip, I felt like I was doing it one-handed. Then came the Farmers Walk, I think I was over-confident on this one. The steps did me in. All in all, it was fun. I think I would have done better with the second day's events, but there's always next time!

ASL: So what is in store for you in 1999?

Keshishian: I plan to enter in several contests, to get more experience, and have some fun. My other goals will be to put on more weight, try and get up to 255lbs or so, and get a little more intense on event training.

ASL: Speaking of events training, I understand that you have some new "toys."

Kesishian: Yeah, we rigged up a car so we could lift and practice pushing it. Just recently, I completed my set of strength stones called the SAMSON STONES." They are 5 reproductions of the famous McGlashen Stones. Ive got a few other ideas in my head for some other equipment that could be used to train several events with one apparatus. All in all, Im having fun, and thats the most important part (except for winning of course), right?

ASL: Thanks Mark

Keshishian: Thank you