Veteran, strongman change mindsets to cope with mental illness
Chris "Wonder" Schoeck, a recovering alcoholic from Queens, New York, said he manages the various mental issues that he has by bending steel. Schoeck strives to be a strongman, just like the entertainers from the vaudeville era who were famous for bending metal.
Schoeck performed at the conference. He appeared to bend a 6-inch spike in half, rip an entire deck of cards, contort a horseshoe and bend a structural steel bar. Bending steel requires "the ultimate embodiment of concentration" that is "almost therapeutic," according to Schoeck.
"Bending steel gives me a very personal sense of self-esteem that is not even comparable to an alcohol-induced sense of euphoria," he said.