Mark still going strong
Local strongman Mark Parsley (47) ‘not stopping anytime soon’
PIETERMARITZBURG’S strong man Mark Parsley has once again showcased his mighty strength by singlehandedly pulling a 180ton steam train.
Parsley (47), who is a traffic officer, weighs 125 kg and is 1,86 metres tall. He was given the stage name “Mighty Mark” because of the strength display show he does to entertain people.
“I have been doing the strongman display for approximately 15 years now. I have done body building and now participate in powerlifting and strongman shows.
“In June I participated in the annual South African Powerlifting competition in Pretoria and took first place in my age category for lifting 700 kg weights.
“My love for weightlifting and muscle building was sparked after entering the junior Northern Natal body building competition while I was in the army.
“I didn’t make it very far in that competition but the love for the gym remains with me.
“I love entering strongman competitions and showcasing my strength to entertain people as many are fascinated by the strength I have.
“On Sunday I pulled a 180ton steam train for the crowd that was attending the 2017 Creighton Aloe Festival.
“I also pulled a 40ton water tanker coupled with a 30ton carriage so all in all it was 70 tons.
“Months of preparation are required to ensure that I am fit and healthy for every competition and show I participate in.
“I eat every three hours. My food intake include foods high in carbohydrates and proteins as they assist in muscle building.
“I train three to four times every week at my gym, Mark’s Gym in Thornville.
“My family is very supportive. I have been married for 27 years and have four children.
“My one daughter, Lisa (25), is my number one fan, she accompanies me and supports me everywhere I go.
“Injuries are part of this sport. I always say a good powerlifter is dependent on how one gets through their injuries.
“Powerlifters lift massive amounts of weights and if your footing and hand positioning is not in the right place you can injure yourself badly.
“I have injured myself several times. I have pulled muscles on many occasions and I once dislocated my pelvic socket and my spinal disk but managed to work past that.
“It’s just all part of the sport and I have managed to recover well from all my injuries and my body is great.
“I also help train other youngsters who aspire to participate in the weightlifting and strongman competitions.
“This is something I really enjoy and I’m good at.
“I don’t see myself stopping any time soon as there are still opportunities even when one grows older.
“I am affiliated with the Strength Club in Durban and my trainer is one of the top weightlifter trainers in South Africa, Rory Scheepers, also from Strength Club,” said Parsley.
Mark Parsley pulling a steam train at the 2017 Creighton Aloe Festival on Sunday.