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Friday, December 30, 2011


I huddle in the corner embracing rest with shaky hands and tears being smeared from cheek to cheek.  My stomach turns with pain and the feeling of being home sick from the sorrow and guilt I have seeing rest whimper with abandonment.  She holds me tight with her head sunk deep into my chest, making my shirt wet from her crying mouth locked wide open,  as if she was screaming.  A sad story of a girl who only wants love, a story of a young women who has no parents, who has no home, who needs someone to smile at, to laugh with, and to say goodnight to.  Her old stuffed animals only give her a small amount of the attention she needs; she needs a family.  Her eyes constantly wander, looking for someone to pick her up, and hold her.   But no one ever does, so she becomes jagged over the years with let downs and sadness.   Her flickering light slowly starts to die down into a whistling path of smoke.  Her wandering eyes stop wandering over the years, as they now sadly stare down at her painted toe nails, that no one has seemed to notice or comment on.  The smile she tried so hard to show, the smile no one noticed, the smile she used to try to bait people into her love with, was soon turned into a puddle of rain water, that dripped down the muddy bank into the lake leading to a land of nowhere. 

I do love her, but I can’t be with her.  It’s the hardest thing I have ever done pulling her locked arms away from my body.  Disconnecting her drool from my chest to her mouth was like taking her soul.  Her arms stretched out like Frankenstein, her blue watery eyes opened wider as panic rushed over her.  Her mouth seemed to make no noise, but was open as wide as God would allow it.  As she closed her eyes tears came down her face.  Her mouth closed, her head dropped, soon she became lifeless.    

She was there but not, her heart was pounding, but not working.  I left her that day, and I walked backwards when I did it, hoping and praying that someone else would take her hand, and love her right there and then.  She deserves to be loved, she deserves nothing less.  She would only bring me down.  She would only be a weight on my sail, I had no choice.  Rest has no place in my life. I have no time for rest, only train.  I will always love rest, but I will spend the rest of my dying days with train.  Train is my life, rest is my heart ache.  Rest 2012

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Old Show

By Jon North
Narrated by Donny Shankle

Coach Glenn Pendlay

Top ten reasons why My coach is the greatest coach

1) program is a mixing pot of all training- but the core is bulgarianish.
2) lets the athlete breathe. keeps the door open for the athlete to go above and beyond anytime they feel its possible.
3) Coach never over coaches. No paralysis by analysis ( in Attitude Nation terms its always game time)
4) He is there for you on and off the platform. aka buddies for life
5) Hes from Texas
6) When it comes to setting up the athlete perfectly in competition, he is like Russel crow in beautiful mind.
7) He teaches the lifts like Feynman teaches physics, aka superman pull, Tyson hips Ali feet!
8) Beautiful black beard
9) Thinks Hannity is way to liberal
10) My coach can beat up your coach

Glenn Pendlay 2012

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hot Tub

I felt the need to repost this older blog from all the questions I have been getting lately about hot vs cold baths for max recovery.  Plus the new Attitude Nation video is below that my lovely and talented wife put together.  She has been working on the jerk like crazy........well shit, we all seem to be trying to tackle that damn Jerk.  The Jerk is a Jerk, and you will see the battle below.  Hope you enjoy it.  Salute and talk to you soon. 

I say "no" to cold baths. I say "yes" to hot baths. Hot water is the key for not getting injured, being able to train to max every day, and a world of relaxation that every weightlifter needs. I have no science behind me, just my own experience that has proven me right every time. I have taken three ice baths in my career, and it will stay at three for the rest of my life. There are five things wrong with an ice bath.

1) Its damn cold
2) Makes me feel like the tin man going into training
3) Did I mention that it’s freaking freezing!
4) The week I started taking the ice baths I felt injury around the corner
5) Felt down, tired, no energy – hard to move like Ali

Five reasons why to take a hot bath over a cold bath.

1) Its hot
2) It feels amazing
3) It will keep you loose as a goose for big PR's
4) Great conversations
5) A great time to relax your body and mind from the hell of training

This is my daily hot water schedule for Americans 6 months out, to Win back my title, and the Worlds next year. 

1) Hot tub in the morning before training
2) Hot shower right after first training
3) Hot bath before second training
4) Hot tub at night in the cool air after training
5) Hot shower or bath before bed.
6) (Repeat)

I truly believe more weightlifters should use hot water for their training, it works for me, maybe it will work for you. But The Attitude Nation is all about doing what you want to do, doing what works for you, and giving the rest of the "know it all's" the bird. So feel free to give me the bird, and live your life the way you want to.  Here is the New video below.  JERK THAT DAMN JERK BABE!

Hot Water 2016

Monday, December 26, 2011

Journey To Galaxy Podium

Take off time in T minus 2 minutes. The bar is loaded and ready for take-off. The steam is shooting out of my feet making my red superman cape sway back and forth, like the American flag on a windy day. The operator and director of the space ship sits high in his operation room with his blue monster, his dark beard, his fold out control panel, and his always tilted head making sure everything is......well, no one really knows why he does that. Some say it’s how he sees his vision of a perfect take-off and landing on the podium. He is a mad scientist, he is a brilliant space man, he loves Texas, meat, and Johnny cash. The towel over the legs and shoulders of the space ship keeps it warm for take-off, plus it’s what Klokov does.....and that space ship is fast.

Director Black beard makes sure the check list is in order before space ship superman takes off.
Green Monster fuel- Check
Shankle knee wraps- Check
Emergency coffee- Check
Techno Music from Kevin Cornell’s I pod- Check
Black beard staring at me with his head tilted to one side- Check
My team Mates- Check
The owner of the whole operation, with his arms crossed looking at me with no emotion besides his eyes saying that if I don’t land on the podium successfully then I will be working at Burger King. - Check
Attitude Nation next to me- Check
Space belt- Check
Superman pull- Check
Ali Feet- Check
Tyson Hips- Check
Genetically gifted genes from God so I never get hurt- Check
Strong- Check
Wife- Check
Family- Check
Official American snatch record- Uncheck
Shankle Blood to get official record- Check
Cal Strength robot heart- Check

T minus 1 Minute! The towels came off, the last bit of Monster fuel was drank, space belt was tight, Ali feet were loose, Tyson hips were cocked back, and the superman pull was ready for launch. As the door opened for me to get into the bar, I yelled out "Shankle" !! Gripped the steering wheel and began the first pull! The first pull felt good and strong as I got closer to the stars. Shoulders are back, ass is down, and the whole crowd can see the S on my chest. As the bar got closer to the knees it was time to break off the back end of the space ship so it could pick up more speed, and that meant time to get over that bar and push those knees back even more! Now is the hard part, staying on this course just long enough so the bar can raise a little higher and the knees can go back a little more, setting the bar up perfectly in front of the hips, (aka) the Tyson button that was installed right on my hips. This Button put the Space ship into max speed and explosion, making perfect headway to the Galaxy called podium. The journey of the pull is long and hard, but I have already come this far so I must stay committed and focused. BANG!! I gripped the wheel as the space ship jerked me around from the impact of the bar hitting the hips. Trying to hold on just for a second longer as the Ship "finishes" the extension faze, letting the heavy part of the ship drop. Ali feet moved so fast after the finish, that fire surrounded the ship catching my superman cape on fire.

Then quiet, everything was still and I could hear myself breath and my heart pound. The Attitude Nation has landed on the Podium and everything seems to be intact. The bar is still over my head….Thank God. Now I just have to stand up and feel the Podium under my feet. As I walked around on this beautiful Galaxy, I collected a bright Gold medal rock, I kissed it. Then the black bearded Director came through my ear piece......he said.......ATTITUDE NATION!!!!!!!!! Superman Pull 2012

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Dance

I have asked 166kg to dance for three months, and she said no every time, and then I would cry. She left me in the rain for many cold nights, as I watched her beautiful body dance through the Christmas window of the cold lit up street of San Fransisco. The way she spins made me melt into a warm puddle creating love steam. She looks so happy as she twirls like a ballerina around the Christmas tree. She is in love with someone else, she is not in love with me. As she dips she bends, but always stays strong. The sound of her oscillation creates a fast jerk to my heart. I would die to get under her. I would love to make woman.

My team mates and friends were pulling for me to snatch her love, but my enemy Clark had other plans. He had a good grip on her, a very strong hook that kept their love strong. I don't know what she saw in Clark, he wasn't the man for her. I could make her much happier. I would raise her higher than him, and follow her down gently. But I have other plans for Clark, I am going to slam him down til his collars... bone breaks. Soon she will officially be mine, as we dance under three white lights on the stage of love.

After two years of courting we recently became engaged. Ringing buzzers are soon to follow. Plans to make it official will take place at nationals. The Attitude Nation will be by my side. Love 2012

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Top ten favorite movies in order.

1. The Truman Show
2. Artificial intelligence (AI)
3. Beautiful Mind
4. Gladiator
5. Book of Eli
6. Catch me if you can
7. Godfather 1 2 3
8. Big Fish
9. Man on Fire
10.Love Liza

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Love note to coffee

I am waiting in line for my sweetheart. My hands start to twitch as I become impatient. The way she moves is like a wave turning over and crashing down on the ocean water. Her smell is like jasmine and her kisses are like your first love note. There she is trapped behind the counter, reaching out for me with those sad, dark black eyes. Worry no more my love, I am here to save you from the green guards who have imprisoned you, for far too long. I’m breaking you out, and I will lay by your side for the rest of my dying days. We will live happily ever after once I have you in my arms, once I can drink up all your love you have to offer.

Your body glistens in the light, almost as if I can see right through you. The water dripping down your tall body is like rain falling when its sunny. You are beautiful, you are full of happiness and comfort. All my sadness has melted away by just seeing you sit there. Your Beauty has killed my insecurities, your motivation has made me want to keep fighting, your smile is absolutely lovely.

We take our first kiss and birds start to fly, Christopher Reeves stands, Priuses are no longer made, Jon North snatches the American record, Sinbad is finally in another movie, Dimas comes out of retirement, 2pac fly’s over our head like the blue angles at a baseball game, and Cal Strength becomes the new white house. Ice Coffee 2012

Monday, December 12, 2011


They took the 10 foot giant and locked him away in the coldest, darkest dungeon the world has ever seen. No light, no bed, no anything. 24 hour lockdown, 24 hour bars, 24 hour hell. The beast wasn’t allowed to get up, he had to lay there on the dirty ground with his face smashed against his own urine. Every time the giant beast tried to get up, the guards would kick him down, take there boot to the back of his face and press hard. The giant would cry, shake, call out for his mother, pray to God he could be set free, pray to God the pain would go away. But this never helped, it only made the guards more ugly. His body was green and blue from the beating. He couldn’t move his legs from being so soar, his body and mind completely shut down. He would lay there and take it, he came to the reality he would die in that cold cell, the beast was a goner. "Keep kicking him , and never stop"! The beast squeezed his hands and closed his eyes as hard as he could, trying to stay alive, trying to fight through this beating, trying to be strong.

The beast fell asleep and awoke to surprisingly little pain. He thought the guards had finally left him alone, he finally felt nothing. He didn’t know if he was dead or alive, he felt good, he felt strong, he felt pissed off, he felt ready to get up, ready to fight, ready to see his mom, ready to kill the men who did this to him......the beast was becoming a beast. The beast looked up to see five guards kicking him, but he did not feel there boots. The blood starting pumping through his body faster and faster, his heart was strong, his mind was deadly. He became numb, his body was a machine, it adapted to the kicks, it adapted to the cold cell and dirty floor, it was untouchable now and ready for war. As he started to push himself off the floor, the guards kicked down even harder, and soon more boots ran in to help. Now there was 10 guards kicking the beast on every part of the body, and the beast fell back to the ground. But every time the beast tried to get back up, he became closer and closer to standing, he became closer to killing and closer to destroying. Every attempt to stand the beast got stronger, Intel finally the beast stood tall, standing 20 feet high smashing his head through the roof of the cell! His eyes became red, and his arms swung side to side breaking down buildings and light posts. With one step this beast killed all 10 guards, with one step this beast created an earthquake, the beast was free and stronger than ever.

Train more, train heavier, train to train with pain, train tell you feel weak, train tell you can’t sleep nor walk. If you feel good during training then you’re not training. If you train three times a week, you are not kicking your body down. Get kicked! Stay down! The longer you are down the stronger you will be when coach stops kicking you and lets you stand. The weightlifter who stands all the time will not stand any taller. Start counting the cracks on the floor, it’s a fun game. Let me guess your knees hurt.... well good, that means your training, they are supposed to hurt. Make hell your home, make pain your comfort, sit in the dark.... after a while your eyes adjust. Train your body like a dog, train it to take the work load. Stop listening to your body! Don’t stand, not yet!
Attitude Nation is the cell and the weights are the guard, let’s get locked away and become the beast, let’s get kicked and then kick ass. Attitude Nation salutes you the fighter, the fighter who only sees the sun through the high bared window. Attitude Nation salutes you the weightlifter who lives in the dark and sleeps in pain. Attitude Nation Salutes you, the warrior who keeps coming back for more, Attitude Nation salutes you. Beast 2012

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Phil and I

Back in the green jungle high on coffee. The cold unforgiving road of weightlifting keeps winding on. The road can lead you to rays of sun, and then with a blink of an eye, it will throw you into the fires of hell. My view on top of the hill was beautiful. The view looking up isn't as lovely. National title to American Bronze, gold to dirt, Phil and I to young kids out of nowhere, smiles to let downs, sleep to staring at the ceiling. Cocky Jon North is dead for a little while, I am hidden away, trying to regain myself confidence. I am still trying to pull the dagger out of my stomach, I am still trying to figure out what happened.

This road of weightlifting led me to a wise man who gave me a map, and this map can lead back to the top of the hill. The old wise man said that this road map will have you seeing the beautiful sights again, and will take me out of my self-pity. The map was titled "what is a light day" The map had a picture of Ali with his hands raised, the map had a picture of Mike Tyson throwing a punch, a picture of Donny ripping a lion’s head off, and a giant elephant with working boots on. I guess it’s time to train again, I guess it’s time to do the only thing I know how, train. Back to the gym I go, back to work, back to the pain, the cold bar, chalky room, heavy weights, back to my home.

My hips hurt, my hands are falling off, my knees pop, my back kills, my shoulders burn, but worse of all my head hurts from the mental game this sport comes with. Thinking about your opener, about the what if's, about what you could be doing better. Do you go through all of this too? I try to close my eyes and shut my mind completely off from everything. The more I think the more I lose, the less I think the more I win. Why do you think I get so crazy before I lift, because if I didn't, I would Clark every lift I ever attempted. It’s a trick to get my mind off the weight, off what I have to do, and it works very well. My whole body hurts, I have been going strong for 4 years now with no end in sight. More training, more meets, more wins and more defeats, still training must happen, still you must pull on that bar every day. I limp to the gym with my Dimas lunch pale in my hands, eager to get back to work, hoping I have another day of training in me, fighting for every meet I go into. My shoes are falling apart and so are my straps. My belt has broken and the bars and plats in my gym are falling apart, and I feel like I am doing the same. How long can I fight this battle. These young kids keep coming out of know where like zombies, and my fighting arm is aching. Waves after waves of strong motivated athletes who have big dreams. I felt like it was yesterday I was one of those kids coming out of know where.
Phil, help me pick my sword up, I will help you put your armor on, if you help me with my shield. Let’s fight together as one, let’s show these young bucks what we still got, after we take our medicine and go on our walk. It was me and you for a while there. Best times of my life battling with you my friend, thank you for fighting with me. Losing to you was an honor, and beating you was life changing, so thank you. But a blue bird just landed on my shoulder out here in the half way house, and it whispered talk of sunshine and no end in sight, how there are many bright days ahead of our bumpy road. The weightlifting Gods have called in us to fight many moons more! Let’s take these white hospital outfits off, and break out of this bitch, and find a bar to lift!

Get the hell up Jon North, stop playing your violin and pick up the bar. Get cocky again, get crazy again, train heavy every day, keep fighting! Don’t give up, to many people are behind you to lose, get that Shankle blood pumping again, flip em off and tell em who the champ is. Drink your coffee and get back to the top. The Attitude Nation is made out of blood sweat and tears and nothing less than champions. Back to work I go, back to the sport I love and hate. I bet they loved it when I lost, I bet they love seeing me down, "down Jon North and stay down". You can say what you want, but don’t get to close or I will bite you, this dog might be limping, but I still have fight in me, I will still attack you. I might not win every meet, but I will be there looking straight in your eyes giving you everything I have, fighting with a broken leg, fighting with broken shoes and a bad back, I will still fight all you. Grab your sword Phil, and let’s get ready to fight another battle my friend. Phil Sabatini 2012