Everyone knows that I competed in Scottish Heavy Athletics otherwise known as the Highland Games for a long time before I was forced off the throwing field because of an incompetent doctor who repaired my Achilles. If you want to read the story then please scroll down the blogs and read the story.
Later I’ll write about my time traveling the world throwing heavy shit and turning big cabers but this is about a man that had a huge impact on my career today I want to write about Ryan Vierra and his impact on my throwing career.
In a field on a cold Texas winter’s day in February I was competing at my buddy Shadow’s games held on his huge property with some serious colorful characters like Shadow’s brother Mayhem who was later killed while he was a bodyguard for DimeBag Darrel (former Pantera guitarist), athletes from as far away as Canada and as close as Austin and there was a huge physical presence with professional Highland games athlete World Champion Ryan Vierra now let’s just say it …… a damm stud and top of the proverbial food chain. He was there to judge on Saturday and then the next day armed with his observations he held a throws clinic. Coaching us with drills to correct our different issues that he saw and then talking about strength and power training that would help take each of us to a new level. Yeah he did all this for $50….$50 damn dollars for a day long clinic and ended with Ryan out there throwing bombs that had us just standing there with our mouths hanging open and shagging his weights like ‘giggling school girls’!!!
I would go on to form an unbreakable bond and friendship with Ryan. I talked to him often, back when you actually called people, I’ve gone out to California to be coached by him and like all athletes that went to see him we stayed as a guest in his home. Ryan picked you up at the airport and took you to one of his favorite restaurants that served huge portions of Polynesian food then the next morning you’d get up and eat a huge breakfast then spend hours upon hours throwing before lunch of a huge burrito that if you finished it you’d get it for free before lifting weights, jumping and throwing medicine balls then doing throwing drills until you got it right before being fed steaks and enjoyed a few beers while watching videos and being coached even more until the early hours of the morning….. you’d do this for a few days before going home not just a better thrower but a better person. Every time I was on the same field as Ryan he would take a minute to watch my throws and remind me of what I was doing wrong or what I was doing right…. think more wrong than right at some competitions!!!! Hahaha!!!
Just as important as the throwing were the meals after the competition then of course the quest to find some ice cream and snacks for the hotel room to be ready for the next day’s throwing!!
Because of Ryan Vierra I had a wonderful career throwing stones, heavy weights and turning big cabers while traveling the USA and eventually the World. Besides his personal coaching Ryan and either Kurt or Jason Pauli (I can't remember and I'm too lazy to get up and look) put out some great instructional videos on VHS with drills and old 70's porn music!!! I still have them....hahaha!!!
It's through massive tears running down my cheeks that I will tell you that my mentor, my coach, MY FRIEND is battling prostate cancer and is currently in hospice so please say a little prayer for Ryan, his wonderful wife and daughters.
FUCK CANCER - the medical, research and pharmaceutical community can find a way to get rid of wrinkles on a person's face, find a vaccine in a couple months for COVID-19 and more but can't unlock and find a cure for cancer or maybe it's such a money maker that y'all just don't want to find a cure.
Thank You Ryan for everything
Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES