Sometimes, daddy needs a little coaching.
A month ago, Ray Hickman of Joseph planned to attend a weight lifting competition in Tri Cities, Wash. as a spectator. Training before the event, he had strained the tendons in his right forearm. Injured, he would go to the meet just to help his friend Greg Brink. But Ray's son Brock, who is in the seventh grade, expected better. So Ray took a chance and pumped iron at Tri Cities. He returned home with a championship and a new record in his division.
"My kid said something about me not finishing what I started," Ray recalled. "Once he tells me that, I had to lift."
It seems as though Hickman has no limit. Once again, he fixed his named atop the record books of 165-pound power lifters. His 545 pounds surpassed by five the previous mark, set by Don Leonard. A year ago, Leonard had bested Hickman's 535.6. In 2002, Hickman did 429.9 and won the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters' championship.
Preparing this fall for Tri Cities, Hickman almost disabled himself. His typical gradually training adds weight over several weeks. Eventually, he builds his body by practicing with a huge mass that requires the help of a spotter. Shortly before the event, Hickman set his "overload" at 600 pounds. But he lifted the bar out of position. Instead of his torso, it hung over his neck. Then, he felt a slight pull along his muscles and the bar slipped closer to his face. Fortunately, spotters saved him.
Hickman had been getting ready for future meet in April in Texas. However, Tri Cities offered a shorter driving distance and quality competition. More than 60 men benched. Among them, Brink set a new state record for the 181-pound class. The Joseph resident lifted 415 pounds.