|Ripley Archives photo|
Charles C. Russell is described in the book "The World Of Ripley's Believe It Or Not" as "an ice skating and barbell instructor at the South Chicago 'Y'". Let's slow that train down before it even leaves the station. Ice skating and barbell instructor? That's quite a combination, now isn't it? Apparently it IS fun to stay (and play) at the YMCA. Putting his skills both on skates and in weightlifting to good use, Russell achieved the bizarre feat of hoisting a bar over his head with a woman seated on either end (a total of 265 pounds) while wearing ice skates. To top it all off, both woman played ukuleles while raised in the air. Russell clearly outdid himself. In a previous similarly incredible effort, while on skates he raised his sister with one hand and twelve cups of hot coffee with the other. Talk about a double double!
Although Charles C. Russell's incredible feat is not known by many in skating circles today, we were importantly reminded many years later of just how much fun it is to stay at the YMCA with Rudy Galindo's campy and simply fabulous Village people program. If you don't feel like weightlifting in your ice skates, you simply can't not give yourself a smile and enjoy Rudy's program one more time. I'm sure Russell would have loved it.
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