73-year-old Garry makes a huge lift | NevadaAppeal.com

73-year-old Garry makes a huge lift

Charles Whisnand column

A cancer survivor, entertainer, stock broker or as he’s called at the Nevada Fitness Center in Minden, “That crazy guy that does all the weight.”

Whatever you want to call him, 73-year-old Martin Garry can also be called a world record holder. Garry set the record last week for his age group at the ThermaLink World Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships at the Peppermill Hotel in Reno. The event was sanctioned by the World Association of Benchers and Dead Lifters.

The Minden resident set the record for his age group of 68-74 in the 165-pound division in the dead lift. Garry, who is 5-5, broke the old record of 385 pounds by lifting 405 pounds on his first attempt, 425 on his second and 440 on his final lift.

“I can do more, but I want to have a little room for next year,” Garry said.

Garry almost didn’t receive the chance to compete. When he arrived for the event, he was two pounds over the weight limit at 167. Luckily, the European Health Spa was nearby and Garry needed three hours in the spa to lose the necessary weight.

Leading up to the event, he spent seven hours in a steam room. “No sleep, no warmups,” Garry said. “I was beat.”

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The performance was impressive since Garry has recovered from larynx cancer. The cancer was discovered in in January, 2001.

He went through 35 days of radiation, with his last treatment coming in June, 2001. Garry is now in remission and there’s no sign of cancer.

Garry said his physical conditioning helped in his battle against cancer.

“I took so many vitamins, my imune system was really up,” he said.

Garry, who doesn’t smoke, said the cancer came from singing in smoky areas.

“That was after five years of singing in bars,” said Garry about how he came down with cancer. “Second hand smoke got me. I sure wish they would pass a law here like they have in California.”

In California, smoking is prohibited in all public places, with few exceptions, including bars.

He actually sings better now than he used to, Garry said. “They said I wouldn’t be able to talk,” he said. “They can’t figure that out.”

During his cancer treatment, Garry stayed active. “I was lifting and singing through the whole thing,” he said. “I never quit. Quitters never win.”

He works out regularly at Minden’s Nevada Fitness Center. “I stick 700 pounds on the bar and do partial lifts, about 10 inches,” he said.

Garry said he’s been lifting for 60 years. “I started in junior high school when people beat me up all the time,” he said. “They still beat me up.”

His experience as a stock broker led him to write a book, “Bulls, Bears and Bastards,” which took him 13 years to write, he said.

In the book, Garry writes about his theory that led to the 1929 Stock Market crash. He said the conditions — struggline economy with interest rates falling before the market hit its peak — are similar now to 1929. “We have a situation that is parallel to 1929,” he said.

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.