By David Hochman
Updated September 04, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

My secret ambition in life is to become the World’s Strongest Man. I have spotted my competition — manhandling tractor tires and hoisting Volkswagens — at odd hours of the night on ESPN2, and I am convinced that with a few minor modifications, I can grunt, hurl, and heave my way to the title.

First, I will need a powerful name. Something Norse or Icelandic to intimidate Magnús Ver Magnússon and the other lumbering Vikings who do battle in this TV hernia-fest. Henceforth, I shall be known simply as Hochmus Von Hochmansson.

Next, I must beef up my once-a-month jogging regimen with manlier activities, like bending a two-foot iron bar around my neck or pulling a twin-engine airplane across a melting-hot tarmac, like they do on the show, among the highest rated on ESPN2.

I respect the way these Ivans and Evgenys tackle life. No Fiat is left unturned. No caber left untossed. No platform full of busty bikini models left un-squatted. And while these may be no substitute for more mindful pursuits — say, quantum mechanics or cooking with Emeril — they are, in their own curious way, an inspiration, a reminder of what one can accomplish with a shoulder harness, some industrial-strength rope, and a string of six stretch limos on a 100-foot course.

So while my path may be long, my muscles will be many, and my diet shall become rich in turbo-carb milk shakes and triple-decker cheeseburgers, topped off by a bushel of lingonberries. And besides, if all else fails, I’ll always be able to get a job unloading furniture at IKEA.

[BOX]

GUILT-O-METER
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