After a day of hiking around Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest, we have returned to Port Douglas. Here, it is imperative that I perform a feat of strength. For tonight it is the Full Moon.
Alas, finding feats of strength in a tourist town like this is not easy. Of hats, there are plenty. Of delicious breakfasts, there is a limitless choice. Of mighty deeds, however, this town is lacking.
After a not-insignificant hunt, we finally discover Fitness Paradise (which seems to be the only gym in Port Douglas), only to realise is is $14 for a single use. With only an hour until closing time and only one big lift on the agenda, this does not seem like a sensible investment of my rapidly diminishing adventure fund.
I explain this to the owner, complete with an explanation about the Full Moon and the might of the Guild. Being Australian (and therefore lovely), she very kindly agrees to let me use the gym for free, to perform the ancient ritual of lifting the heaviest possible thing.
Quickly, I assess the equipment that is not being used. Realistically, I am limited to the squat rack. Alas, I have no time to warm up and know for a fact I will tear something major if I attempt a feat of squatting strength without letting my body power up beforehand.
Instead, I choose a slightly raised deadlift off the rack and limit the weight to 180kg. It is still risky without a warm-up, but there is no time to spare – the Moon is rising and I must perform the rites of power!
Swiftly, I load the bar and lift. It does not go well. The weight comes as a shock to my cold, tight hamstrings and they panic – sending my weight forwards onto my toes. From here, the pressure shifts from my lower back to my middle back as I drag the weight from the ground and, legs shaking, complete the lift.
As an experiment, I try 200kg. It does not move. The message is clear; “You were lucky this time, Gamester” the Moon mocks me.
We call it an evening with regards to feats of strength and divert our attention instead to feasting on steak and cake, washed down with beer and wine. For today may be the Full Moon, but it is also Alli’s birthday – and she has spent quite enough of it showing me around the rain forest and taking me to perform feasts of strength.