Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why you may not want to pick a fight with me

If you're like me, chances are you never knew there was a community of people out there bending nails. Not only that, but there are levels of nail-bending, and IronMind (link below) offers five nails: white, green, yellow, blue and RED (Blue Nails are the equivalent of a 60-D nail). I put the red nail in caps because there is a 'Red Nail Roster' of the men who have been officially certified as having bent an IronMind Red Nail -- and it's not a long list! The reason? Probably because it's a piece of CRS (Cold Rolled Steel) that measures 7" x 5/16" and people are bending it in half. There are rules for certification, and I believe part of it includes that the two ends of the red nail must be no more than two inches apart.

How do I even know about any of this? I had the opportunity to see my brother Trevor (whose biggest Red Nail bend to date is actually 6.5" x 5/16") bend several red and blue nails during our Fourth of July visit with family. He had told me well before this visit about his nail-bending ventures and I was intrigued, as I am with most mind plus matter shows of strength. I'm not talking about showing off, mind you, just about raw strength that people have and prove it by, you know, bending steel and stuff. After all, I am the same person who saw Demi Moore all those years ago doing one-armed push-ups in G. I. Jane (shush, you know some of you watched it as well) and said to myself, "Well if she can do it, surely I can!" and I set out to accomplish the one-armed push-up, and I did! I don't know if I can still do it, since it's been a good ten-plus years now. (Of course, mentioning it makes me want to try again.)

Back to the nail-bending. Trevor had brought all of his supplies...again, if you're like me you would have had no idea all that goes into this. But you can't just pick up a nail and start trying to bend it. Please don't do that. There are wraps that you need to use, not to mention specific techniques. Without the wraps, you can possibly do serious nerve damage or even pierce your hand. Without the proper technique, you probably won't have as much success -- or any at all -- in bending a nail as you would the correct way.

One of the first things out of my mouth upon seeing all the supplies and nails that Trevor had brought was, "I want to try it!" I guess this comes from seeing a very unique challenge in front of me and wondering if I could overcome it. I had no idea how it would turn out, but come on! Trying to bend a nail? Who doesn't want to try that?!?

Trevor gave me a green nail (level two, for those keeping score...and to quote my brother, "keep in mind that's a starter nail for men") and put the wraps on it, then proceeded to explain the proper technique. Had he not done that, I would be clueless, and I would account much of what I accomplished to his direction alone. What might seem like a very small thing is actually very big, because you use your entire body when bending a nail. And if you are truly putting your all into it -- mind and strength -- you feel it everywhere, and by the end you will be tired.

I did bend that green nail (seriously, would I be posting about this if I hadn't?), and I went on to bend two more that evening and one more a few days later. I also used smaller wraps that Trevor had to bend the first nail down even more. I mentioned how bending that first nail left me very tired, but the feeling of accomplishment afterward was amazing. Three years ago I had just been released from the hospital after a three-month stay, and I don't know if I could even have picked up a nail at that point, much less bend the thing.

To me this speaks volumes of what God has done, because doing this took my mental strength as well as physical, and three years ago my mind was in a very different and dark place. There were days I honestly didn't care too much about what was going on around me. Getting out of bed to brush my teeth or walk across the room sometimes took all I had. So I don't want you to think that I am being boastful about my own strength (maybe in a fun way, yes). The beauty of it is that others can see God's strength in me.

Now for the fun stuff: pictures! First you'll see both of my brothers bending a nail -- Russ first with the Blue Nail (and by the way, he had never done this before either and started with blue, which measures 6" x 1/4") then Trevor with the Red Nail, then me with my green and my final results from the first three. Also, here are some links if you're interested in learning more...

IronMind: 'Stronger Minds. Stronger Bodies.'

Red Nail Roster

Why Bend Steel? Article by 'Unbreakable' Adam T. Glass

Russ laughing in between working on the Blue Nail

He may look a little evil here, but trust me -- he's a very nice guy.

Trevor bending the Red Nail
(He had barely started and already you can see the thing bending!)

You can see how he's changed his grip here as he reaches the end

The defeated Red Nail and its conqueror
(I have to mention that from the time Trevor began until the time he held up the nail in this photo, only 34 seconds had passed. Also, he was having to hold back because he had an injured shoulder. His fastest time is 15 seconds, while the fastest in the world are about three.)

One of five or six photos of me bending the Green Nail
(While my brothers look manly doing this, I look...not all that ladylike.
So I wasn't about to show all of my photos!)

My first three Green Nails - they measure 5" x 1/8"
(The one I'm holding is the one I worked on more with smaller wraps.)


Richard said...

Well, that's put my in a Christmassy mood! [grin] It's nice to see your family again. Especially since I'm so far away from you crazy sons of guns.

tracey said... took me a second to get why you mentioned Christmas! Yeah, we're pretty crazy. :)

Syndi said...

That's awesome Tracey! I've meant to comment for a while, but haven't. I won't make excuses! I have been thinking about you a lot and praying that you will have strength through the coming year. You and Casey are extra special to us and we hope all will go well for you! And has Trevor been working out?!

tracey said...

Oh, don't worry about not having commented -- I'm not keeping score! (Syndi, 5 points.) Thank you so much for the prayers and thoughts, we appreciate it so much. Trevor has definitely been working out, haha! I liked getting to share about him and Russ on my blog.

Thanks again!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...