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‘Iron Tamer’ teaches students value of positive thinking

FORT KENT, Maine — When ‘Iron Tamer’ Dave Whitley performed for students in Fort Kent on Dec. 10, he delivered more than feats of seemingly superhuman physical strength — he shared a message of the importance of positive thinking.

Fort Kent Community High School student Reece Pelletier volunteers to assist ‘Iron Tamer’ Dave Whitley during a presentation at the school on Monday, Dec. 10. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Whitley is a strongman and motivational speaker based out of Nashville, Tennessee.

Fort Kent Community High School and Valley Rivers Middle School students attended the event which Too Far North Fitness sponsored.

While bending steel bars and nails and crushing a coconut with his bare hands, and performing other acts of strength, Whitley encouraged the students to think positively and to believe in themselves.

“The mind controls the body,” Whitley told the students. “We become what we think about.”

He further encouraged those who attended the event to perform daily acts of positive affirmation, using positive language and to make decisions with positive outcomes in mind.

“Cut yourself off from any other possibility,” he said. “Self image guides our behavior subconsciously. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.”

‘Iron Tamer’ Dave Whitley asks student Sydney Philbrook to verify the authenticity of a large nail Whitley bent during a presentation at Fort Kent Community High School on Monday, Dec. 10. (Jessica Potila

Senior Brandon Theriault volunteered during the event to participate in a tug of war in which he and five other students looked like they were trying to pull Whitley’s arms out of their sockets. Three students stood on either side of Whitley pulling on a rope attached to each of Whitley’s arms via a harness. Whitley flexed his biceps and held the students off, keeping his arms folded in front of him despite the students’ best efforts.

“I was a little afraid we were going to rip his arms off,” Theriault said.

Theriault, who plans to serve in the Army National Guard as a combat medic following graduation, said he learned some valuable advice from Whitley’s presentation.

“Fear is just something your mind creates,” Theriault said.

Students enjoy a presentation by strongman and motivational speaker Dave Whitley at Fort Kent Community High School on Monday, Dec. 10. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

“I use feats of strength to communicate the idea that every single one of us has superhuman powers that we can use to live a full and happy life, fully express who we are and make the world a better place,” Whitley said when contacted on Dec. 18. “My mission is to get the audience to think, ‘If he can bend steel with his hands, what super-powerful feat am I capable of achieving?”

For more information about Whitley, visit his Facebook page or website at

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