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Strongman Mike Jenkins' legacy lives on, as people workout together
Reported by Ewa Roman (ERoman@sbgtv.com)
At Crossfit Gamma in Derry Township, they're doing their best to get through the workout.
The toughest part isn't the heavy lifting.
"There's a lot of sweat, there's a lot of tears," said Brandon Mason, who coaches Olympic weight-lifting.
The Crossfit crew was originally suppose to be at the gym on Thanksgiving day to workout with strongman Mike Jenkins.
But the Dauphin County man unexpectedly passed away that day at the age of 31.
On Saturday, they honored him by completing the last workout he created.
"Oh it was tough! Even in his passing he really knows how to kick your butt," said Jamye Bonanno, who worked out with Jenkins.
"We're celebrating his life today and I'm doing my best trying to coach and encourage people as they make it through this workout, physically and emotionally," said Mason.
"The Crossfit community is a very tight-knit community and this is what we do," said Patricia Condran, worked out with Jenkins and friends with his wife.
Jenkins was 6'6" tall and weighed 400 pounds. He came in 4th at this year's World's Strongest Man Competition in China.
But the people whose lives he's changed say there is a lot more to the man behind the massive muscles.
"He was a big man, a gentle giant. As big as his muscles were, as big as his frame was, that, in no way, compares to how big his heart was," said Mason.
"Such a loss, but such an amazing person," said Brock Bonanno, who worked out with Jenkins.
As they finish the hardest workout of their lives, they know Jenkins is looking down on them smiling and still pushing them to be better and stronger than the day before.
"He would be overwhelmed, because his whole being was to help people and bring out the best in everybody and he would be shocked (to see) how much support he really has," said Jamye.
"Thank you Mike, for all of the wonderful memories and we're going to keep pushing hard to make sure we honor the legacy that you started here," said Mason.
A native of Westminster, Maryland, Jenkins also played college football at James Madison. He is survived by his wife, Keri.