Pfister, an internationally known and recognized competitor in the sport of professional strongman competitions, came to WHS as part of his acclaimed “Tour of Schools”.
Pfister presented a Powerpoint presentation along with his address to the crowd of nearly300 students, parents, faculty, coaches and community members from the Williamson area.
Pfister spoke about having a plan for life, dreaming high, and then making a plan and taking the necessary action steps towards achieving your goals.
“A lot of people have dreams for what they want to do in life, but they never accomplish them because they don’t do anything to make them become more than dreams” Pfister told the students. “Dreams are nice, but you’ve got to take some action to make them more than just dreams.
Pfister told the crowd that there were three steps to making dreams become reality.
“Setting goals is the first step towards achieving them.” Pfister said. “You’ve got to set them so you’ll have some idea of where you want to go, what you want to do.
“You are responsible for both your successes and failures in life.” Pfister told the students that “you determine your own destiny. If you succeed, it’s on you. If you fail, i’s on you as well.
Finally, Pfister told the students that there was a reason for the old saying “Opportunity Knocks”.
“The door of opportunity is not open...you have to figure out how to unlock it.” Pfister told the students “that means, you have to be able to recognize it and then be educated or trained enough to be able to open the door and make something happen.”
Pfister spoke for about thirty minutes and used examples such as Warren Buffett and General Chuck Yeagar as examples of individuals who took steps to fulfill their dreams.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Pfister explained how it happened that he came to Williamson High to speak.
“I got to know (W.A.C. President) Mr. Jerry Hurley several months ago when several Williamson High and Middle School students participated in a weightlifting competition held at South Charleston High School. I found them to be a great group of kids and Mr. Hurley was really up on their dedication.”
Pfister said ,”We started talking about me coming to speak here and that’s how it happened.”
Pfister said that while he still actively competes in the World Strongman competitions, the bulk of his work is spent talking with young people and trying to turn them on to the an educated future.
“I;m no sure how many kids we’ve spoken before, but I try ti instill the message that in this age, unless you finish high school, got to a college or university and get a degree or go to a career-technical year and learn a skill,, you’re going to be out of luck trying to fulfill your dreams and goals.”
When asked his opinion on the recent proliferation of drugs in professional sports. Pfister was very clear.
“It’s a shame and a disgrace to professional sports. No doubt about it.”
Pfister said though the source of the proliferation is not found solely in athletics. “I understand why athletes are tempted to use them. It’s trying to live up to societal influences - everyone wants to see more home runs, everyone wants to see more touchdowns, everyone wants them to score more points. And the steroids and drugs are ways to they find to do that. But there’s more that professional athletes need to consider than just what society wants them to do.”
Pfister also speaks passionately about his home state. “I’m proud to be a West Virginian. There’s only two places in the world that I would want to live.” Pfister went on” Those two places are West Virginia and Hawaii and I love them both for the same reasons - they both have beautiful mountains and they both have wonderful people. may move to Hawaii some day, but I’ll always come back to West Virginia”.
And of his sport of professional strongman competitions?
“I don’t recommend my sport to anybody!” Pfister said. “It’s very hard on the body, it’s very demanding on time and it takes years of dedication and hard work. Plus there is a lot of injury possibilities as well. It takes a lot of time away from you and your family. “
Pfister says that he still is competing in different events, mostly because “it’s hard to put aside those competitive yearnings. But I am at the point where I do miss the time with my family and that’s the most important thing to me now.”