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Shooting Stars


Teaching physical, spiritual strength



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Bulldog bends a steel bar on his head. Photo provided. (click for larger version)
May 19, 2010 - Have you ever seen a man rip an entire phone book in half, bend a steal bar with his head, run through a concrete or bench press a log over his head while lying on a bed of 10,000 nails? Then check out the Stand Strength Team at Bridgewood church this weekend for the three nights of free family entertainment.

"We have the privilege to travel all over this nation and we go into pubic schools, prisons, businesses, and churches," said Jerry Nalian, member of the Stand Strength Team better known as Shrek.

While using feats of strength, the team teaches five principles to youth.

"We're calling it Operation Youth Revolution," he said. We believe we're starting a movement and we're encouraging students wide to do five things: Say yes, I will not use drugs. Yes, I will not drink alcohol. Yes, I will maintain a high standard of excellence in school attendance and school work. Yes, I will provide random acts of kindness daily, and yes, I will influence others to do the same."

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Shrek also teaches three "Shrek Principles." Principle one: "believing in yourself beyond the circumstance."

"These kids are going through tough times, tumultuous times, we don't even know the depth of what they're facing at home or the peer pressures they have, but they can believe in themselves beyond the circumstances of life," Shrek said. "Dig in and work hard, stay focused, not give up and be determined nothing will derail them in their goals and desires they have in life."

Principle two: "Being willing to live outside yourself."

"The greatest thing we can do in life is to help someone else, encourage someone else, strengthen someone else, serve someone else,' he said. "The greatest people in the world are those who serve others. Our president serves the people, governors serve the people, police officers, judges, pastors, serve the people."

Principle number three: "Always making the right choices."

"Any dead fish can float down stream and frail piece of paper can be tossed by the wind," Shrek said. "It takes a real young man and real young lady to say I'm going to believe in myself I'm going to work hard. I'm going to stay focused and I'm not going to be denied."

The Stand Strength team consists of Strongman competitors, body builders, martial artist, ex NFL football players, and Olympic lifters. The team has been together for 11 years and does between 240 and 260 shows a year and been exposed to over 2.8 billion people around the world in several countries.

"What's cool about these guys is they apply the Shrek principles," he said. "They're not out trying to make a lot of money with endorsements. These guys want to travel the nation and make a difference in the lives of families."

Bridgewood church is located at the corner of M-15 and Ratalee Lake Road. Stand Strength Team program will begin at 7 p.m. on May 21 and 6 p.m. May 22-23. For more information call 248-625-1344 or visit www.bridgewoodchurch.com.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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