A most difficult lift

Many, many pictures were taken of me lifting Peter Hensel. With my left hand, first I lifted him a little and quickly brought him down. Then immediately I lifted him properly with my left hand. He is the heaviest person I have ever lifted. This became my new record.

Since my left hand was successful, I wanted to try with my right hand. Then my right hand gave me trouble. At first, I lifted it just a little, but I was not satisfied, so I brought it down. The second time I lifted, the result was the same. I lifted a little, but my arm was not fully extended, so again I brought it down. Then I got disgusted. For everything we get three chances. So I said to myself, “I have one more chance. This time I have to lift.”

I told Peter, “I am taking two minutes’ time.” He knows what I mean. I am sure he also used to take time between lifts when he was weightlifting. Sometimes two minutes’ rest is absolutely necessary. So I took rest and then I took off my tracksuit jacket and in my T-shirt I approached the apparatus for the third time. This time it immediately went up. Then it was all over. I was so happy.

Was it not stupidity on my part? When I had done so well with my left hand, it was not enough. Why did I want to show off? Such a heavy weight! One hand was not enough?

8 October 1988