Monday, 8 July 2013

UK's Strongest Man Not A Match For A TV News Cameraman.

When the mercury tops out in the mid 80's, your filming job is in a baking car park and there is nowhere to hide, it's a blessing that the job entails a few other blokes doing all the hard work.

I told him that i eat 3... yes 3, shredded wheat for breakfast. he was not impressed, as he eats cameramen for breakfast.

I found myself filming for the Challenge Channel, covering the qualifiers for the UK's Strongest Man, this being the day we find England's strongest man. Let me tell you, at just about 6ft tall and of reasonable appearance in the bulk stakes, I found myself feeling rather inadequate at the sight of some of these men, and anyway, rather than bulking out on weights and mass powder drinks, I bulk out on steak, beer and ice creams, which I think you will find is a more pleasurable way of getting larger than nature intended.

Testosterone was thick in the air. Muscles strained, veins bulged and eyes almost popped, but that was just me as I picked up my tripod and camera to shift a few yards to the weightlifting area. The weights actually being lifted, moved and manipulated by the strong man competitors put my moaning about TV gear to shame. I shall never moan again. (Yeah, right.)

It was a great time away from the day to day gripes of news gathering, no politics, perps or prosthelytising on industrial scales. Instead just the grunts, grapples and guts of some seriously big men doing some seriously big physical feats with an animalistic instinct to win. It was some tough, raw stuff from men who eat tough, raw meat for breakfast.

Anyway, after a day like that, I'm off home to soothe my aching back after 6 hours of on the shoulder camera work. I thought of telling them that pushing trucks, lifting weights and grappling stones for a day of competition, is nothing compared to the long hard years of tripod carrying, sound bag shifting and upper body camera workouts on the roadside news circuit.

I thought of telling them of my aches, my pains and my long hours. Of my serious jaw workouts on the court steps and my prowess in the standing up stakes. I didn't say that to their faces though, do you think I'm stupid or what..?

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.