Agraha's Weightlifting

Jim Smith is dead against my using dumbbells. He said that using a dumbbell with one hand is not good, whereas barbells give better protection. You can see if anything is going to happen.

He was giving a demonstration with a 60 or 70-pound barbell. Then he wanted his best friend Agraha to come and join him. Agraha, poor fellow, was absolutely miserable. First Jim Smith requested him; then it became almost a command. So Agraha went to try.

First Jim Smith told him, “Now lift up the barbell to your knees.”

So Agraha lifted it up to his knees.

Then Jim Smith said, “Don’t look at me. Only look at my shoulders. Now you have to lift it to your shoulders!” The command was coming absolutely from the commander-in-chief. So Agraha lifted it up to his shoulders. Afterwards, his face was totally pale.

Then Jim Smith practically shouted at him, “Now you have to lift it over your head!” It was such a powerful command that Agraha did lift it over his head. They are such good friends!

— 16 November 1986