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What makes you strong?

Cover of Strong
A review of Strong by Rob Kearney

There are lots of ways to be strong. When Rob Kearney was a kid he was STRONG. He was able to lift heavy boxes and open jars with the tightest lids. He tried activities that tested his strength. His favorite sport was weightlifting and he felt mighty and powerful like a superhero!  In fact, he had dreams of becoming the strongest man in the world. 

It turns out the road to the Strongman competition is actually paved with lifting logs, and stones and giant tires. Through training, Rob was able to lift weights over his head that weighed more than a refrigerator or piano. He also needed to wear proper workout attire that made him feel boring and gloomy. It was hard to focus on lifting when he was uncomfortable. After some encouragement, he decided to dress more like himself with bright, bold colors and a rainbow mohawk. The result was a success.

Strong is the true story of how Rob went from feeling sad and alone to becoming the first and only openly gay strongman in the world. The depictions of what training for the strongman competition is like are fascinating and something that I've always been curious about. The book includes further reading, photos of the real Rob, information about the Strongman sport and beautiful illustrations rendered in digital paint with handmade texture brushes.

Jul 14, 2023