×

Geist did his share of heavy lifting

Rick Geist was best known to all in central Pennsylvania for his 34 years of honorable work as a politician.

But his love for weight training extended long before and after that time.

He was the oldest active member of Jake’s Gym from the 1960s to when it closed in 2001. He first joined in order to recover from a serious automobile wreck which almost killed him. Due to these injuries, it left him only to concentrate on lifts that he could do while lying down.

This meant the bench press was something he could excel in.

Many years later, he asked me to come into the gym as he wanted to show me something. That night I was witness, as were several other members, to one of the most unbelievable feats of strength and endurance we’ve ever seen.

Geist had the loaders put 300 pounds on the Olympic bar. He laid back, and after deep breathing, proceeded to do 10 perfect presses with that enormous weight. This is an achievement that I had only witnessed very few times in my life and usually done by national champions.

In shock after seeing that accomplishment, I gave him the title of “Mr. 300” forevermore, which was quite an honor.

You were considered to have arrived as a very strong man if you could earn the 300 bench press trophy by doing this just one time.

We were the first club in the nation to give out this award and long noted for our state and national powermen in this lift.

Rick Geist, who passed away last month at the age of 74, was more than a gym member to me for over 50 years, as we experienced many adventures together.

He was an avid reader and knew I loved books, having amassed a collection of over 10,000 titles on every subject. I know I supplied him with hundreds of books on health, which we were both interested in researching.

Rick was a wonderful, honest person and we extend our sympathies to his loyal wife, Jean.

Jake Webb, Huntingdon