* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where the squared circle of wrestling meets a round peg named David Henne who doesn't quite fit in. But we think you'll love to see him get body slammed anyway, even if only metaphorically.

Address To Graduating Class At Bennington College Of Wrestling

By:
henned@gmail.com

I hope you will all be very happy as members of the professional wrestling class in America. I myself have been rejected again and again. Mostly from consciousness. By unforgiving steel chairs.

As I said at the Royal Rumble in Pittsburgh not long ago, it isn’t often that a WWE referee is invited to speak in the springtime. I predicted that outside interference would plague the main event of WrestleMania, and outside interference has plagued the main event of WrestleMania.

One trouble, it seems to me, is that the majority of wrestlers who compromise the title, who wield brass knuckles and kendo sticks, are giants or degenerates. The giants want to chokeslam every authority out of existence. The degenerates want us to act as though hair tugging and closed-fist strikes are just a part of life. These are not always the best solutions — particularly in the fields of pompadour maintenance and general cognizance.

And I urge all of you to please notice when you are awake, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, then I don’t know whose sledgehammer this is.”

Recently I was a graduation speaker at a little preparatory school for wrestlers who were reliant on foreign objects. I told the students that they were much too young to brandish steel steps, boa constrictors and deviancy.

I often hear managers say to their green talent, “All right, you see so much that is wrong with the jobbers in the back — go out and swing a 2×4 at them. We’re all for you! Go out and crack them over the head with this megaphone!”

You are four years older than those prep school wrestlers but still very young. You, too, have been swindled, if a manager has persuaded you that titles can change hands as the result of disqualification.

It isn’t up to you. You weren’t raised under the tables-ladders-and-chairs desperation of the Attitude Era. You don’t have the appearance of grave maturity — even though many of you wearing masks today may be gravely mature.

Do not take the entire division on your shoulders. Do a certain amount of skylarking, as befits wrestlers of your age. “Skylarking,” incidentally, was the original term for the moonsault, which was a minor offense under the early laws of the luchador.

What a charming crime. I would love to have a dishonorable discharge from the lucha libre sanctioning body — for skylarking not just once onto a dazed opponent, but again and again and again.

Many of you will undertake physically grueling work this summer, helping the heels and the ignorant and the awfully old get over. Good. But skylark off the top rope for a decent pop of your own, too.

Before I leave, I should like to give a motto to your class, a motto to your entire generation. It comes from my favorite event, which is the 1993 King of the Ring. In the first match of the Pay-Per-View, you will remember, Papa Shango — Kama Mustafa, who would later become The Godfather — enters with Adam Bomb, who would later become Wrath. They arrive at the entrance ramp and immediately receive news that the third member of their three-man tag team has been blinded by the atomizer of The Model Rick Martel. Papa Shango says this, among other things, and this is the motto I give you: “To weep is to make less the depth of grief.”

Again: “To weep is to make less the depth of grief.”

We already have plenty of sound suggestions as to how we are to act if things are to become better in the squared circle. For instance: clasp a downed combatant’s wrist, raise it skyward thrice, and you’ll be amazed at the transformation you inspire.

All that is required is that we become less selfish than we are. Because after all the fanfare and pyrotechnics fade, there’s only one rule that I know of, babyfaces — Goddamn it, you’ve got to be kind.

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are proud to present all of the fitness news that's fit to print. And when it comes to fitness, there is no one more fit than David Henne to present the strange and horrible world of CrossFit trainers.

This Oversized Tractor Tire Is Not Going To Flip Itself

By:
henned@gmail.com

Nobody panic. It’s just an abandoned oversized tractor tire. A perfectly contoured, premium-tread tire, yearning to be hoisted and dominated physically. In all likelihood someone flipped it over to this lonely meadow before realizing he’d forgotten his sledgehammer, slosh pipe and kettle bells.

Course, there’s also a chance deranged teenagers dragged the tire out here for no reason other than to watch it rot.

Christ my mind is racing like crazy.

I mean, as full-time CrossFit trainers, we have an obligation to see to it that equipment is not left littered across the natural landscape. That responsibility accompanies us wherever we go, no matter what weekend winery tour we may be on at the time.

And clearly this oversized tractor tire belongs in a converted warehouse, displayed in front of floor-to-ceiling mirrors as dozens of hard bodies have at it. Not cast off away from the cypress-lined vineyards and forgotten by civilization.

Okay, for the time being, we should consider setting up camp — at least until we know what’s what. We can keep this oversized tractor tire in motion for several hours by rotating designated flippers between the five of us.

Never mind the scheduled tastings and carriage ride!

We are going to fix this. Just like we fixed the industrial steel chain outside the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum that was not being pulled during 30-second sprints. Or that idle boulder just loitering there during our vacation to the Grecian Ruins. Took us hours to find the right pillar to hoist it onto, and we missed most of the Apokreas festivities that night, but we friggin’ did it.

Dammit, we’re wasting daylight!

I nominate Todd and Becca to start us off — the couple being the only members of the winery tour group who stayed behind to examine the tire with us. It’s unfortunate you two mistook us for extraordinarily toned guides lecturing on the history of the Northeastern Tractor Tire, but the error has been made and there’s no point getting lazy and unmotivated because of it.

As for the rest of us, thankfully I packed several heavy ropes in my knapsack in case of emergencies like this. We can still salvage a decent circuit out of this mess if we traverse from the tire flipping station to the rope whipping station without complications.

All right Todd and Becca, get yourselves in there and dig.

That’s it. Diiig! Visualize success!

This isn’t an oversized tractor tire, no, it’s the player piano your mother wants so desperately to move from the basement to her study but can’t because she’s too weak. Meanwhile, her husband’s bedridden from his dialysis treatments and her only son’s moved to the city for steady CrossFit trainer work.

Visualize dominance!

This oversized tractor tire is your first marriage — your first wife, Debra, frustrated because you’re too committed to your CrossFit training. That’s it! Stop your children from climbing into a strange man’s SUV, weeping as they beg you for an explanation on why you couldn’t flip this failed marriage like you flipped so many oversized tractor tires before it.

Apply that valuable energy into overturning this sentimentally void husk of rubber.

That’s it! Great job!

At this rate we should be done by sundown. Hopefully the owner of this oversized tractor tire will return by then, offering us an opportunity to exchange niceties and core complex techniques.

From there, we should have more than enough time for a two-mile cool-down jog around this meadow before the two-mile walk back to the hotel.

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