Once a week for the last six years, Fresno's Michael Hendricks religiously makes the one hour trip to Los Banos to train with his coach. What may seem like a hobby or social entertainment to most, arm-wrestling has become a passion for Hendricks and his training partners.

"There's a lot of technique to it," said Hendricks. "It's not just a power game. It's not about how big you are. It's more of just the dedication to the sport and making sure that you're constantly in there."

His dedication has paid off. This past August, the right hander won the Unified National Arm-Wrestling Championships 165-pound weight class. Hendricks will now represent team USA in the World Arm-Wrestling Championships in Kazakhstan, in late November.

"It's just about timing, and it's about going in there and having the right mindset," Hendricks said. "I think I'm there right now."

The adrenaline rush that comes with every match has the 28-year-old real estate agent hooked on the sport.

"That is a rush on its own," Hendricks explained. "You get the jitters just walking up there. Your hands get all clammy. You're ready for it. You get right up to the table and you're just waiting for the go. I mean, you are just waiting for it!"

But rather than try to explain it, he'll show an occasional sports reporter, proving actions do speak louder than words.

"It's taken me seven years to do this," Hendricks said. "This is something that I've really been wanting for a long time. It's something that I'm going after, even after I get my world title. Because I will have one sooner or later, and I'm hoping that it's this year."

"He lives 75 miles away," said his coach, Bill Collins. "We train once a week. He does not miss a lick. His dedication is on the mark."

With unparalleled commitment, Hendricks now hopes to get a grip of a world championship medal halfway around the world in November.

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good sports, los banos, merced county, sports, david bataller
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