I have a clear memory of meeting Sol Neelman. A photographer with an infectious zeal for his craft and, like many other photographers, a photographer that saw something that I didn't. I remember reading the small autobiography on his website. An athlete from a young age, using sports to help things at home. This is something I never understood. I never understood sports. I was never active as a kid. I stayed inside and built computers, listened to music and drew. The connections made with other humans while engaging in an activity was lost on me. Until recently. The power of sports and athletics has been slowly unraveling itself to me. Showing me the beautiful things it can create. Selflessness, community, confidence, strength.
Two months ago, I met Brandi for a burger (and a damn good shake) to discuss my idea of following her around on her way to the USS National Championship in Indiana. The thing that drew my interest wasn't only the event (which is really freakin' awesome) but Brandi. A woman of small stature and enormous tenacity, work ethic and want. A pixie blonde, tattooed, five-foot five-inch woman with the heart of a warrior.
What ensued is to follow in images. Through the course of this journey, I've learned much about Strongman athletics and the power of sport revealed itself to me even more. Weeks and months of training, sacrifice, dieting, weight cuts, mood swings all coming to a peak. To a moment of greatness. A 121.3 pound, 5'5" woman propelling herself to the podium to become the 2nd strongest woman at 123 in the country.
I present to you: