with Gary Roberts and Travis Bagent
MEET RON BATH
The world of armwrestling has taken Ron Bath to many great places and
allowed him to meet many great people from all over the U.S. and the world.
This all started on Feb.15, 1962, in the small community of Wabeno, WI. Ron
was fifth born of eight, with six brothers and one sister. He is the son of
James and Barbara Bath. Ron was raised on a small family farm. Throughout
high school Ron played several sports: basketball, some wrestling, and his
best moments were playing football. Throughout high school and after
graduation Ron worked masonry construction for his fatherís company. He also
logged several winters when construction was shut down.
In 1985, Ron married his wife Cindy and stepdaughter Nicole. Right after
their wedding they moved to GA to work for a family friend who had a
construction business in GA. Over the years they have had three wonderful
and healthy sons: Ryan 17, Josh 9, and Matt 7. Ron and his family currently
live in Canton, GA where Ron runs his own construction company.
Ron enjoys most sports and coaching his sonsí sporting activities. Ronís
most success has come in the sport of armwrestling. His first taste of the
sport was when he was about 15, seeing the legendary Johnny Walker and
others on Wide World of sports. His senior year in high school Ronís phy ed.
class had a small type tournament. This is where he realized he had a
natural ability for this sport. Ronís first true tournament came the fall of
1980 near his home, where Ron took a first place. For the next 5 years, Ron
armwrestled throughout WI and Upper Mich., winning most of the time. Ron
managed to go to Chicago several times which gave him a taste of the best.
He got to see the likes of Cleve Dean, Dave Patton, Bert Whitfield, and the
chance to pull Johnny Walker. At this time Ron had no clue that in just a
few years he would be living right in their backyard.
So in 1985 Ron moved to GA for work, not realizing what would transpire over
the next few months. Shortly after moving, Ron went to a small tournament in
north GA. This is where he managed to meet Bert Whitfield in his first
match. Fortunately, Ron caught Bert off guard and after along, hard match
got a win on the smaller Whitfield. The next match was against the big
strong, though new to the sport, Dave Randel. Dave had no mercy on Ron. This
started Ronís journey into this fabulous sport. Ron started working out with
both Bert and Dave. So with their talents and Ronís desire, he worked hard
to climb in the sport. In just 3 years Ron would win his first of many
National titles. Ron won the 1988 Nationals in the 220 class. However, Ronís
biggest scare came in late 1999 at the worlds in Japan where he tore a bicep
tendon in his right arm. Over the next weeks he had surgery to repair the
tendon. During that surgery though a nerve was damaged leading to his hand.
This caused a permanent paralysis. Over the next few weeks and several
second opinions, the outcome looked poor. Six weeks later Ron had the
original surgeon and a neurologist operate again. This time with a lot of
prayer and the lords help in a few short weeks Ron could tell the
difference. The doctors had found a crushed nerve, and basically, as they
said pampered it and cushioned it with some fat they found in his arm. They
still were not sure how much use he would get back out of his hand. So back
to the desire Ron originally had and hard work. In early 2001 Ron entered
his first tournament and to his surprise pulled extremely strong. So the
intentions of pulling one tournament then retiring went out the window.
Within a year Ron was back to pulling with the best and winning a few times.
Ron currently holds 31 national and 7 various world titles. He Currently
pulls the 220 class, though he doesnít hide from the heavier weight classes,
as he is competitive in all the heavier weight classes. At the age of 43 Ron
has no reason to stop. Ron feels, with god willing and physical abilities
keeping him competitive, he will remain. Ron also has the latest push of his
sons who all show interest in the sport.
Ronís workout varies do to higher commitments. Like family and work. Though
he does get workouts in. Sometimes it might be only one a week or up to four
times a week. One a week will usually be at least a half hour to an hour of
various curls and pulling simulation for armwrestling. During the winter and
slower company hours, Ron will try to work out up to four times a week on
various and all body parts, with some type of pulling in each. Ron also
tries to armwrestle at least once a week, but more often then not it is
usually every two to three weeks. Do to the life Ron lives, which he enjoys
his workouts are very inconsistent. Though with age he is learning to try
and get it more consistent. That is still his biggest weakness.
As Ron reaches over 25 years in the sport his best advice to give others
It seems as though it was just yesterday he was a young and rising
champion. Today he looks at many years of memories. So if you are a young
and rising armwrestler remember work hard, study the techniques, have fun,
and leave it all at the table. For before you know it you to will be looking
at 25 years of memories. Try to never get mad about a loss, though never
like and never get used to losing.