Herald Columnists

July 26, 2012

Who knew I’d cover this?

OSKALOOSA — Never in a million years did I ever think I’d take photos like this.

At last week’s Southern Iowa Fair, I had the opportunity to take photos of Monster Arm Wrestling. Two of those photos ran in the Monday, July 23, issue of the Herald.

What is Monster Arm Wrestling, you ask?

According to the Monster Arm Wrestling Web site, they have conducted arm wrestling tournaments for more than 30 years in Iowa. Many of these tournaments have taken place at the Iowa State Fair, various county fairs, motorcycle rallies, among other venues.

Monster Arm Wrestling includes weight classes for both men and women in left- and right-handed categories, as well.

In watching a couple of these matches, I noticed that some of them are very, very short. At times, one arm wrestler will overpower the other in just a few seconds or less. Other times, the matches can last a few minutes with each second seeming like an eternity for those competing, I would guess.

For me, the photographer, the longer matches were much easier to photograph. At least one match was so short that I wasn’t even able to get a decent shot of it.

I’m sure the hot and humid temperatures the arm wrestlers competed in also played a factor at the Southern Iowa Fair this past week. They competed outdoors under a tent where those in the audience could view the competition from picnic tables. It wasn’t as hot outside as it is today, but it was rather warm.

What made the competition at the Southern Iowa Fair even more interesting was the Monster Arm Wrestling Machine and platform used in competition. Essentially, it’s a platform with handles for the arm wrestlers to grip as they use a connected set of handles to wrestle with. There’s also an elbow pad for each arm wrestler to position their elbow on as they compete.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to photograph Monster Arm Wrestling at the Southern Iowa Fair. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at the event. But, the competitors proved to be serious about what they were doing and I’ve got to respect that.

So, if you ever get the chance to see one of these competitions, I’d recommend it.

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