Cheers rose from the audience as Gerald “Heavy Duty” Krueger cued the music and set to work, wowing our Native American students with feats of strength fitting of his title as a former professional wrestler, including tearing a full deck of cards and a license plate in half.
Now a certified addictions counselor, Krueger had a powerful message for the Lakota (Sioux) students: hands are for helping, not hurting.
Krueger shared stories from his lifetime when he was the bully, but also about times when others bullied him.
“I had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way,” he told students. “I got into a lot of trouble when I was growing up. I liked to run my mouth and not listen. I got into fights; I had cops at my house all the time. I wasn’t making good choices.”
It wasn’t until a car accident took the life of a friend that Krueger realized his life was worth living.
“When life calls on you to step up to the plate and do the right thing, I hope you do,” said Krueger. “I hope when someone else needs help, you can be a friend to them. If you need help yourself, I hope you ask for it. Being tough isn’t about being big, strong and breaking things. Being tough means making good choices when nobody else is. Being tough means forgiving others and having a clean heart. Tough times don’t last tough people do.”
Read more about Heavy Duty’s message on Fr. Steve’s blog!