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Monday, December 31, 2012

Jack & Tess

I guess this article could pass as a diary, a diary about a hooker, a diary about all the friends I have somehow run into during the last decade.  Who knew the guy selling me a gym membership at 24 Hour Fitness would end up being one of my best friends. I mean think about the odds of us being alive. Getting the chance to type this diary to you is something that I don't think our minds were meant to understand.  I guess this is where the word Faith comes from, trusting something that truly makes no sense.  500 years ago, a man named Jack had to have sex with a hooker named Tess for me to be here writing this blog to you.  Yes I know, if you need some time to think about that before you continue reading, then please, take your time.  Because of Jack and Tess's life decisions 500 years ago, I got approached at Power House Gym by a man named Matt that owned The Nutri-Shop down the street.  This is when I was sleeping in my car, living homeless, scrapping up enough money to eat at McDonald's so I had enough energy to train...... of course I took the job. Matt is still a very dear friend. 

Thank the Lord that in year 264 BC, a Gladiator named Shark and a wanderlust Princess named Bella hooked up to create you, the reader.  You must send Shark a thank you card, or just honor them by having fun this New Year's Night.  The thought of us being the start of someone becoming.... well someone, a million years down the road makes me drink more coffee.  But then again we didn't start it, we are just a part of the life chain of people we meet and run into.  Because I was bad at school, I went to a junior college only because I was good at football, and because of football I took a summer painting class for credits that lead me to my wife, which lead me to Sac State, which then lead me to weightlifting, which has finally lead me to writing you tonight.  So thank you Lord for not giving me the gift of being book smart, or what I should really say is thank you lord for making whomever down the long line of the family chain not book smart, and also thank you to the stud caveman aka - freak athlete in his or her time that made me.... me.  

Every time I take a sip of this hot coffee, my memories takes me back to past friends I have met throughout my path to now.  Some very good friends, and others that probably don't even remember me, but all have left a stamp on my outcome.  I am a result of them, just a melting pot of influences, just like weightlifting.  Everywhere I walk, they walk beside' me, you know who you are.  Every time I tell a joke, it's the joke I stole from them.   Once I was opening the doors for people at T.G.I.Fridays 'til 2 AM, and now when I take people out to eat at Fridays I can't stop but to smile from all the crazy pranks and memories that slap me in the face, and how broke I was! Man I was broke. Man I was hungry. Man I had dreams I wanted to achieve, but I will tell you one thing, I was never happier.  Back then, all I needed was my Jessica, a couch, and a weight room.  I lived on pennies but I was rich with friends, a support group that could carry me further than I could carry myself.  I have always had the best of friends, why is this?  I don't try, it's not like I am a judge on a reality show looking for the best friend with the best qualities.  I guess I am just naturally drawn to truly good people, amazing people, positive, and uplifting people.  I think you the reader can relate, if you are reading this blog then we understand each other, we get each other, we are friends.  You the reader is this blog, and this blog has had probably one of the biggest impacts in my life.

I was thinking about giving shout outs to all who I am thankful for..... but that would take way too long, and you the reader might get bored.  I will say thank you to you, the whole Dark Orchestra Family, the Whole Attitude Nation Family, my blood family, my wife and dog daughter family, and to all my friends I have made over the years...... you know who you are, thank you.  Happy New Year.

 PS: Thank you to Jack and Tess for having sex 500 years ago.

New style Tyson Hip Ali Feet Tri-Blend Standard V neck shirts now avaliable at

Happy New Year 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bar Contact Part 1.

I write to you later than usual tonight for one reason and one reason only, and that is concentration.  A midnight write is purely a refection on "what the hell just happened today" kind of experience.  Did I really punch a hole in the gym wall, or did I bottle my anger further down inside my gut for the release date from hell.  Am I really the champ, or just some punk elementary school kid ding dong ditching throughout the streets of mini vans and culdesacs?  Break a bar through the platform while the steam from my tea swirls around my white eyes. I write stories that have already come true before typing, but while typing, I try to reflect on what the flying space monkey really just happened, and did it?  People tell me that a midnight read is just as relaxing, and just as spiritual.  I tell them that I wouldn't know from the simple fact that I don't read. They ask me why I don't read as they look down upon my little body holding my small brain in my little hand.  I look up and respond by saying, "I can't stay focused for more than one page, before having to go back and reread that same page over again to only find myself more lost than I was before reading that same page the first time".

I think about bar contact while having a midnight smoke outside, on my very cold deck with no shirt on.  A shirtless lifestyle is how I choose to go about my life, and when I do decide to wear clothes they are black.  Black like tonight, black like the gym walls, blacker than the devil in the red dress' eyes, blacker than rest.  Nothing is blacker than rest.  If it was up to rest, I wouldn't be outside constantly trying to figure out better and easier ways to lift the barbell over my big head.  If it was up to rest, I wouldn't try these crazy ideas over and over again 'til coming to the conclusion I probably had too much coffee, but.... yes there is a but. But, if only one sticks, then just maybe I can lift more weight, and by lifting more weight, I could change the world by jumping off this cold white painted deck and simply start to fly. Because let's be real, flying is what we all want.  Flying away to freedom, self reliance, control, decisions, and peace.  This is what rest can't understand, and never will.  This is how and why she single handedly ruins lives and weightlifting careers. She my friends, is the devil. 

Bar contact.....why so over looked? Why not talked about? A sad story is what this is to me, a story about a kid that never had a chance, overlooked and pushed to the side.  I am in the making of putting together another hit and catch drill that I think will help many people, including myself, figure out better timing and a better relationship that we and the bar must have in order to lift more weight than we are lifting now.  Just a tool, not a be all.  Just another advantage that could possibly determine a win from a lose. Who really knows.  Shit, I don't, I just try, lift, and do what works.  If timed correctly, or whatever correctly actually is, let's say - if done well, then the bar will bend as if leaning your partner over in a dance while reaching for a kiss....and getting it.  It's a beautiful feeling, and a better sight.  This is how I have the weakest legs in USA weightlifting, but currently am the number one weightlifter in the country. But "they" don't speak about fight club.

Part 1.)  The hit allows the bar to become motionless in outer space, like a monkey in a space suit floating around with no real panic or concern.  The monkey just is, like the steam from my tea, or the smoke from my smoke.  Now we are allowed to use the bar as if the bar was connected to the wall. The bar is not moving up nor down, it is paused like YouTube.  Now we meet the wonderful world of physics, a world that allows us to pull, no wait...whip ourselves under the bar to catch, NOT squat catch, but simply catch.  The next time I hear the term squat snatch, I'm going to jump and not be so lucky to fly.  This is why I disagree personally with the triple extension, aka the scare crow.  Pulling yourself down on an upward moving bar, limits the athlete's torque under the bar.  The athlete will therefore, move slower under, catching the bar too high, and we all know that 90 degrees is the underworld waste land of bad balance and a constant fight between you standing up and the bar slamming down upon your rocky position.  The faster you get under, the lower you will catch the bar, the lower you catch the bar, the more weight you will lift.  Leading us back to one simple rule, we're not supposed to talk about fight club. 

Part 2.)  Next week.

Fight Club 2016

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Sleep Program

I feel that as a weightlifter, we must live the lifestyle of a weightlifter in order to achieve what we have set off to achieve.  8 to 10 hours of sleep sounds nice to the average Joe, but forcing this kind of sleep is at times training in itself.  Trying to stop your spinning mind from ideas, goals, new philosophies, and eager plans, can seem impossible for an athlete that lays restless at night with their eyes wide shut. Sleep is everything. Without it, we the athlete will fall short on the hard path we chose to walk down.  The normal human stays up late while laughing at their favorite TV show, while we, the creatures of the darkness, stay locked away with a pillow over our heads trying to keep the bad thoughts from entering our dream world.  Thoughts of regret, what ifs, and the worst of all.... thoughts of failure.  We find ourselves getting up to go to the bathroom just to move, because moving is what we do best.  We get up for a glass of water to grab a sneak peak of what everyone is laughing at in the living room.  We are the only people who purposelessly lock ourselves in prison, only to feel freedom. We stay away from the normal world only so we can, for a few brief moments, feel greater than normal.  Every night for an athlete is Christmas Eve. The faster we fall asleep, the faster we will be drinking coffee. The faster we drink coffee, the faster we get to do what we love the most..... and that is to train.  The best part of training is that it's a magnet, a magnet that brings close friends, family, and teammates to you, and vise versus.  Yes, lifting is fun, but lifting with others is even better.  Yes, lifting is great, but making new friends is just as great, and what is even more satisfying, is the world you have or are creating for your kids.  We the people, we the athletes, have created the best day care, the best environment, and the best life lessons ever for our kids...... the world of training can never be topped. It is a lifestyle that teaches you that pain is good, and that hard work pays off.  It is a lifestyle that will be the first to tell you of your mistakes and bad decisions. It is a lifestyle that teaches you the value of a miss, or better yet.... failure.

I was going to write this blog on a weightlifters diet, but I guess the coffee had other plans.  It feels good to write something positive, rather than depressing.  I never control what I write, I let go completely.  I stop thinking 100 percent and rely on pure emotion.  Maybe I am in a happy mood because of Christmas.  I am happy because for the last few days I have been close to family.  It's almost like they have taken my hand and showed me there is more to life than weightlifting, which is a cold world that can drown you in its black fog.  Doing my hair, putting on regular people clothes rather than training cloths, and walking around down town, has seemed to put me in a trance of peace and amazement. I find myself dazing off with wandering eyes, like a kid at Disney Land for the first time.  What is all this I see?  Who are these people and what do they do all day?  I am surrounded by a whole world that I once lived in, and now have seemed to forgotten.  An alien I am, a lost dog that once had a family but has now forgotten how to sit.  I find myself running into people and over apologizing as they keep walking, as if they didn't even see or feel me.  I am a one trick pony, and weightlifting is my trick.

10 hours is my perfect amount of sleep.  If I hit 11, then I find myself tired throughout the day, sluggish is a better word.  I don't know the science behind anything I write, so please be careful what you read, and always ask your coach before performing anything I type.  Remember, whatever your coach says is the right way.... period.  If I get 8 hours of sleep, then I find myself having a lot of energy early in the morning, but then dying fast in the afternoon.  Weird huh?  10 hours, and I'm ready for war, and oh how good the coffee tastes.  A rain storm of pr's will fall upon me if my sleep is timed perfectly.  Coach knows the minute he sees me if I look ready or not as I walk into the gym, following with one of his most asked questions, "How many hours of sleep did you get last night, Jon?".  This is what makes coach Pendlay such a good.... wait, great coach, is that he knows each and every one of his athletes to the T, and understands that our ticking hands tick at different rhythms.  I am the Champ and therefore coach is the Champ.  I am a freak athlete, and because of this coach is as well.  What is coach doing late at night while all his weightlifters are asleep?  I wonder.  Maybe this is when he creates his world famous programing.  Maybe as we all sleep with smiles, coach is planning his master plan while he writes by a fire place dipping his bird feather pin into the ink that sits by the side of coffee.  What does coach cry about at night?  He will never say, but I wonder at times what his Dark Orchestra would look like.  What would his violin type?  I have always wondered why the program sheet he passes out to us before training has small ink splashes throughout the paper.  This blog started out positive and I can feel my typing becoming more and more dark.  I better stop now before I turn this blog into another letter of sadness, or better yet... reality.

Merry Christmas 2016

Friday, December 21, 2012

Belts & Certs

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The 22nd Attitude Nation Cert was crazy fun! Thank you Real fitness Group for having us down.  Congrats on all your success, and please please keep us posted.  Salute! 

The Attitude Cert is traveling the Country!  Check out our Seminar schedule to sign up now at

Ac Up Windows Down 2016

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Salt Water

Welcome home my friend, grab your violin and begin playing the emotion of your choice.  Play loud my friend, so the skeletons that sit high up in the balconies above can hear you.  Hang your coat and  open your eyes wide as you slide down the waterfall of fun.  The outside advice can be cold and sharp, but in here, on this stage, in this dark room, the advice is all from your own skeletons that never seem to make any noise no matter how good you play.  Why are the floor seats empty, but the balcony seats full?  It only takes one skeleton to stand tall out of his seat, this is good. You have gotten what you have been looking for, or better yet what you weren't.  "Our past is out best advise, our scars are our best guide, and our problems are our best solutions," says your skeleton, this blog, this sticky stage full of salt.  Living in the back seat of my car is where I found the Orchestra.  A small line of elephants marched right over the back seat arm rest and into the trunk.  I stuck my head through only to find that all the little elephants turned into a room with just one very big elephant.  A 500 pound elephant that had been following me around everywhere, without me even knowing was looking straight at me.  I was no longer in a trunk, just the dark, dark everywhere, nothing else..... well, besides the elephant.  Skeletons started pouring out of my mouth, and water came pouring out of my eyes, creating a little pond that the elephant began to gulp down with his long trunk.  I didn't start out playing the violin, of course not.  You probably didn't either.  I was taught by the white bones.  They would play 'til I broke.  They would play 'til I understood, learned, and appreciated.  The skeletons played 'til the vicodin got bored and went home.  The crystal mountains I once lived in, and the snowy white powder that I once played in, soon melted away through the cracks of the black stage.  

His face was nothing but black holes and a white outline, but the day he reached out the violin for me to play, was the day I saw more detail and expression than I had ever seen in any one's face, or any thing's face.  So I played, and I still do, with an audience filled with my own past, sitting in the top row looking down.  There is nothing motivating about this blog my friend, nothing special about this Orchestra, simply just a trunk full of black.  The trunk space is endless; there is no surprise ending.  My pain hurts worse than before, which is a constant Advil popper, because the exact opposite seems to make more sense.  How could this be?  The more I get to know myself today, the more I cringe thinking about before.  The more I come to the realization that I will never talk to him again.... makes me sick.  Maybe this is why there is always one empty seat high above.  I find beauty in strings of truth, only bright happy orchestras play songs full of lies while their elephants are caged under the stage and their skeletons locked away in the dressing room closets.  I am a prisoner of myself.  There are times when I am the biggest Jon North hater. I find myself typing hate mail to myself, and writing devilish stuff on, but who can stop me?  I can't.  The walls shake like bombs dropping all around, only to find that the falling dust from the ceiling is from the weights dropping.  Maybe I will one day take a peak outside to find the person who is really writing this blog. Who is the guy on the radio?  Who is this teacher they call coach?  What happened to frank the tank?  aka J-NO?  I will tell you one thing, what you're reading is me.  A place where I continually find myself, a place I can be myself.  I am so glad you came across this letter.  I live in this blog, never to see light again, besides the slight glow from your computer screen.  It's okay though, I like it here. I like when you join me.  I wish you luck though in the real world with that crazy mother fucker Jon North, the dude is nuts, and if you can run, run for your trunk.  You know where to find me.  Let your skeleton teach you how to play so you can play with me one day.  Slide down your salt water of falling puke and enter a world full of weightlifting and family. Enter a world of you.  Salute.  

The Orchestra 2016

Saturday, December 15, 2012

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 MDUSA becomes the new white house.  I love you miss Brown Eyes.  Thank you for helping me throughout my life and throughout my journey of Weightlifting. 

Ice Coffee 2016

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Room 2

The closer you got to room 2 the darker the hallway got. The lights would flicker and the wind would whistle through the broken door leading to the outside court yard. The same yard where I would cry before class. The same yard I would sit in, while class was in session. Eyes where sad, heads were down, and bad attitudes were in full effect. Anger and sadness where the two feeling's you got while being around room 2. The sky was not the limit for us, therefor the sealing was lower and the options for life were scars. In room 2 you will find zombies that never went far from the room, lunches were eaten fast in a different part of the cafe, and soon back to base. A place where we were catergorized, put to the side for the other kids to play and grow like weeds. Room 2 was a place for kids who were "special” a place for kids who had trouble learning, a place where I called home from 1st grade to 12th grade.

5+5=11 what did I just read? What is the teacher talking about? Why are all the kids writing? the room is so quite from all the heads down taking the test. I wonder why jimmy whore that green shirt, why is the teacher reading about planes? I can’t keep my head down; I am going to fail this test very badly, just like all of them. I hate school, I hate this classroom. My mom told me never to say hate, but I hate this test. The writing on the paper is in Spanish and I can’t stop moving my feet. All I feel is frustration and anger. I keep staring outside the window wondering what’s out there for me. What am I going to do in that big world? Kids start to turn their papers in with smiles, and I keep writing over my name bolder and bolder, over and over, with a look of defeat. I need to move, I need to get out of this school and get into the world. I am in jail; this book is my hand cuffs, this school is my prison. I want to be free, I want to lift weights, run, play football, get into a fight, be hit, hit, try new things, go to the edge and almost fall over. I want to live, I want to move on to the next room and say goodbye to 2 and see how 3 or 4 is. I want to explore, find a world of my own and live there forever.

c,d,c,f,c,d,c on my report card. I really thought this one was going to be better. I will go train in the school gym, a place that I could just sit in and feel good. A place that was always cold but warm, a place where I could feel confident in, a place that always felt like Christmas morning. The worse my report card was, the more weight I lifted, and the more I realized that I must learn how to play the game of life. Find my own way through this maze, I must be a fighter, must attack the world from a different direction than most, or I will die in room 2.

But my plan of attack was not working. College came around and I was chained deep in the dark whole of room 2 never to be seen again. I would here the kids talking about jobs, money, success, dreams, there major, there interviews and achievements. I remember wanting to be them so very bad, I wanted to have something I could do, touch, have control over, make my own, just like all of them. I was upset at myself, know one else.

Room 2 let me go when they finally kicked me out for bad grades. The jail cell opened and the outdoors light was bright, the sounds were loud like I just stepped onto a new planet for the first time. No money, no job, no life. I would sit on the outside bench watching all the people walk by me back and forth like they were in a movie being directed by a director. I was still moving my feet, having random twitches in my arms and shoulders. There was something in me that wanted out, an alien that was about to rip my stomach open and start hoping over cars.

The night was freezing when I was woken by an angel with three white stripes looking down on me. I was still on my bench when I saw this women with wings. There were know more people, know more loud sounds, just me and this women in the cold night. She was beautifull. Take this bar sweet child, and lift it above your head with all the might in the world. Do this and you will have a purpose, lift this bar and you will be set free, lift this bar and you will find love in your life and even change the lives of others. Go ahead grab it, take it in your hands and raise it above your head like it’s the world. Now go, follow the path the bar has for you, and make your mother proud, your sister proud, and yourself proud, walk and never look back.

I was lost back then but now I am found. I was confused back then but now I am smart, I was an F now I am an A, I was losing back then now I am winning, I was laughed at now I am laughing, I had 5 special attention teachers, now I teach. I was sad now happy, I failed English now I write, I had hate in me and now I love. Now I lift every day. I lift the world over my head, I lift for my family, I lift for my wife, I lift for you mom, I love you mom. Attitude Nation I salute you. 

F to A 2016 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hang Gliding

Wiggle your toes while you pull, just to make sure the heels hold the weight of the world.  Better yet, wiggle your toes before you break the floor, putting you in a ready position, a position of "if I let go of this bar I will fall back on my ass".  A position that soon will soon have you hanging over the edge of a cliff, a high up cliff that has you scared to look down. So you look straight ahead, beyond the jagged rocks, a place where you can see yourself, a place where the drive of destination takes over and your mind becomes free.  Hold on to the bar like you would the gliding kite that spreads above you.  Now pull. Fly like super man and hold on tight, for this bar is the only thing between you and a long drop to failure.  Pick up speed. Faster!  Now drive your shoulders over the bar and embrace the freedom that only you can feel.  Freedom that others will never understand nor experience. The pull becomes weightless if done right. If timed perfectly, the bar itself truly comes alive, making you find yourself on a ride at Disney Land.

Over the cliff you go, fast and powerful, free and enlightened, strong and in control.  This is a ride, a ride through weightlifting, a ride throughout this crazy life we live.  Jumping off the cliff means doing what we love, putting happiness over money, and helping others throughout our pull.  Pull for you, and that alone will spread to others.  Sometimes being selfish is the best way to give.  Drink your coffee while pulling for friends.  Pull this weight up off the ground and notice the family members that sit upon the spinning kilo plates waving with proud smiles. Where do you see yourself this high? What do you take from this experience? Put your book down, and read yourself.   Pull yourself up when you are down.  This is why the pull is so important in weightlifting.  Let the roots from the ground take your tree trunk legs higher than any drug.  Ride the white dog to save the princess, and if you don't think this is real, then wiggle your toes.  If you don't get over, then you will never get back.  "Everything in weightlifting is back, not up"- Paul Doherty.

What do I see this high?  I see myself sitting in Room 2 staring out the window with the other special kids.  I see myself crying before class because of fear and embarrassment.  I see myself dancing in the crystal layer of white smoke and taking dips into the sea of brown bags and pink codeine rivers.  Looking back, I don't regret anything, but I am glad that I decided to jump. I am glad I became a cliff hanger.  I am glad that I pulled back to move forward. I am glad I realized that living high was really living low, and in order to truly become high was to pull.  My career really took off when I decided to let go, and let go I did.  Who was I to trust myself?  So I pulled. I stayed on my heels and pulled for dear life, and oh how dear this life really truly is.  When you pull you jump, when you jump you gain courage, when you gain courage you pull, when you pull you cliff hang, when you hang glide you see life in a different light.  Goodnight.

Superman Pull 2016

Saturday, December 8, 2012

2 Minutes

Your hands rub your thighs up and down in a fast motion, not because they are sore, but because you...well you really don’t know. Your mind is tired but your body is in such shock from the training that it can’t help but to constantly move and twitch. You begin to rock back and forth as your head looks all around the gym like a little kid in an orchestra looking for his parents. You smile, not to anyone one person, not even to yourself, you just smile. Not an upward smile, but a sideways smile, a fake smile, a smile that lets you know that you are still ok and not dead from this battle called weightlifting. You watch your teammate attempt a big lift with your head slightly down and facing away, as you watch from the corner of your eyes. Watching straight on will infect you with the pain disease that man is going through.

In the 2 minutes of self-reflecting and heavy breathing you are intimidated,weak, scared,unsure, and nervous for what awaits you when coach tells you to lift. Your mind wonders off into the past like someone rewinding a video tape. You forget you are a weightlifter and that you have been doing the same two lifts for 6 years now, and looking at the same broken white wall just as long. You forget your life consists of chalk, bars, plates, and a big bearded man that never seems to forget that you are a weightlifter…damn. You have a feeling that a minute has gone by, and that you are half way to hell again. Your head drops back against the wall as your droopy eyes still face down toward your Ali feet. You start to count the sweat drops that fall from your face. You don’t wipe your face because you are just too tired, and honestly,you just don’t care anymore. You have surrendered to this lifestyle, you have surrendered to your own imprisonment.

Someone walks by you and says hi all perky and happy. You are suddenly woken from your exorcism of thoughts and silence. You reply with an over the top "hey how’s it going" with wide eyes and a large still fake smile. But once your paths have past you sink back into peace and tranquility. A world with no lifting, a 2 minute world of heaven and peace as you slide down snowy banks with penguins and polar bears. I wonder how my dad is doing. I wonder why Jake hasn’t called me back. I wonder what I am going write about in my blog today. Shit, 180kg awaits me, just sitting there loaded and awaiting my arrival. I wish I could just sit here forever and never move. What if I fail and nobody likes me anymore. What if I never win Gold again or even get on the Podium again, then what? I am glad people don’t really know how insecure I am.....I feel insecure right I think on this lift I will yell even louder and slam the bar much harder than usual. I should super glue this mask to my face so it won’t fall off, just in case Donny rushes me with a Shankle hug.

"Jon you’re up"! Fuck, my happy purple dinosaur has run away with another group of kids, and now I am left with a mean broomstick from the movie Fantasia. I can’t wait to get this lift over and return back to memories of wooden skate ramps and 50 cent pop. Let’s go! I am the Champ! Attitude fuckin Nation baby! I will smoke you 180, I will smoke you then slam you then cut your throat tell you bleed your red paint all over the fuckin platform. I am strong,I am fast, and I am fearless. I have the Shankle blood in me, and I will rip this bar like I am ripping the head off a lion. I will win more meets, make more teams, and piss more people off. I will chalk my hands like Russell crow feeling the dirt before battle. I am a cocky, in your face National Champion that will piss on every platform I lift on. Get out of my way rookies, the Nation is about to lift.

Thank you Nicoli Trefil for this blog topic

Love Liza 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

33,000 Feet

I am being told to write only Weightlifting by the waving fingers who look down upon me.  The tall shadowy figures that don't seem to have faces, just their shadows that turn skinny out my bedroom door.  I am told by many that what I write is bullshit, garbage, and non motivating. I am often reminded of not being educated, nor smart.  My hate mail runs further than a king's scroll, and the worst part is I have no idea who they are, and even though at time this hurts, I will continue to write what comes to me, and what makes sense to me.  I write to you, not them.  What they don't understand is that everything I write is about Weightlifting, but they will never understand this, just like they will never sit at this table.  Already I have written a paragraph about weightlifting, what you take out of it is up to you.  I guess these thoughts run through my head 33,000 feet in the air as I drink little cups of sprite, while carving little bites into pretzels to see what shape I can make them, all while mentally writing a diary about the odd things that enter my mind.

A time machine that gives me the great chance to meet others. A flying machine that can bring people close to do what we love, and lifting weights is one of them.  Hard is an understatement, traveling the Country conducting certs while training full time seems almost impossible, and at times can break me down more than the weights.  A large coffee and the love for what we do keeps me moving.  A large coffee gets me off the airport floor after a 7 hour lay over.  A chance to see a whole gym slam bars and PR gets me in the cab to the hotel.  The growth of the sport gets my travel size tooth past out to brush my teeth at 7 AM in a motel outside of the city.  The chance to meet others and to be accepted in their world makes me walk even faster to their gym door as the nervous twitches take over while I tuck my shirt in before walking in.  Have I ever thrown up before a cert..... yes.  I attack a cert just like I do a competition, and for this the same effects apply.  Shit, I attack everything in life like a competition.  I will fly 'til my plane goes down, and I will never stop writing no matter how long the scroll of words may be. 

I know you, and you know me, and because of this we must never leave the Orchestra empty, we must keep the dark bright and the skeletons happy.  I am behind your screen while you read this, we are both addicted to lifting weights, and lifting weights is what we shall do.  Anyone who tells us different may not enter this blog, they may not eat the pretzels 33,000 feet high.  The joy the bar gives us makes us spread that same joy to other things in life, and for this we are forever grateful.  Grabbing that bar makes writing possible, makes me turn my cheek to the hate, makes me focus on the family of lifters who care about happiness on top of many other things.  Grabbing that bar is only the start, a great way to start your day.  I cheers to you, the one who keeps me going, the one who I will some day hopefully meet.  This thing of ours, because that's what it is..... ours, this thing is growing, and it's exciting.

I am 33,000 feet high, and all I can think about is lifting weights. 

Cheers my friend 2016

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lets Train, Shall We?

Grand daddy clock eyes, ticking side to side in a dark room full of numbers and arrows.  Chatter outside makes my ear stick to the door.  Too much NyQuil?  Or not enough sleep?  A dagger in one hand, and fire in the other, both tools I will keep tight throughout this blue dress adventure and smoking caterpillar world.  A scary sport to tackle alone, and one that loses many from its blinding snow storms and giant killer polar bears.  Get up boy and move.  Kill the bears and drink the green potion.  Grab your bar and breathe fire.  Smash your weights upon the lonely road you walk.  I will now smoke two for you and always ride one pant leg higher than the other.  Smoke travels around my face as I hide away in my jungle behind the gym.  A moment of "what the fuck have I become, what the hell is going on?"   I will kill a sheep, eat a sheep and send you half with "if it fits, it ships" mail.  Grow your hair long my friend, and jump.  Jump off those tall rocks into an ocean of release and light thoughts.  Splash deep and rip the head off a blue whale.

Let's train, shall we?  Let's inject protein and snort creatine.  When I am talking, I am Jon, but when I am writing, I am a gilled animal that fears the possibility of someday losing his mind completely.  This dark room door opens as I enter a cloud of forums and hate mail.  The sound of click makes me hiccup, the red box of a tube and you makes me dive into training even harder.  Punish the evil creatures with success and they will soon turn into warm steam.  Now the road to OZ is yellow, and the doors to the Olympics is green.  Odd thoughts take me from world to world as I slide down water falls of liquid codeine.  Inception keeps me awake as I try to figure out what is real and what's not.  Last time I checked, I was opening doors at T.G.I. Fridays.  Last time I checked, I had enough hardware to build a tree fort.

Let's train.....shall we?  Fast forward your training session and you will soon realize you are on a carouse wheel that goes round and round. "Round and round" Ha! If you like the movie The Truman Show you will get that line, if not... watch it.  Never ever listen to your body! Do you understand, kid in the middle row eating all that chocolate? Come up to the front of the class and explain why you are eating all that junk food young man.  "I smash Snicker bars down teacher because I am addicted to sugar, and sugar gets me jacked up, and being jacked up makes me fuck up weights, and fucking up weights makes me feel good....... teacher."  Bar up bar down, small jumps big jumps, goose bumps nervous thoughts and a whole lot of shots and big PR attempts!  Train, let's keep going.  Gold medals and more coffee.  Gold medal in coffee makes for eye popping training and USADA testing.  I'll piss in this cup and then piss on the competition platform.  Mine mother fuckers, now go home.  Now train! Lift, lift, lift, lift, equals lift.  This is my type of math.  Pencil to the desk as my other idiot special resource class mates giggle to the funny papers instead of reading Run Spot Run.  One day I snapped my pencil in half and crashed the window open like a monkey in a cage.  We all got loose and now all we do is train, train and train.

I know, I know, but let's keep going a little longer, shall we?  American Open..... Let's talk about that first word. It means sorry buddy, but the Nation took your pink slip and bought a horse to ride all over the warm up room with.  It feels good to be back, back in this ever so dark orchestra full of tears and violins.  Thank you for all of your support over the years.  We won Gold, not I.

I have no idea who made this video, but thank you very much.  Attitude Nation Salute! 

Here is my attempt at the American Record at 166kg 

Rio 2016

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

500 S&W Magnum

This is what happens when you visit coach Pendlay's parent's end up shooting an AK 47, snipper riffle, some other crazy machine gun, and last but not least, the most powerful hand gun in the world, a 500 S&W Magnum.  The lady you hear in the background is Coach's mom, and she was calling me out hardcore.  Lol  After the first shot I was shaken up, but then when the whole Pendlay family told me to shoot the cannon with one hand......well......let's just say my wrist still hurts to this day.  I had to post this because Coach was almost in tears today telling the whole team about how much of a wimp I was, so I defended myself with the only thing that truly made sense to me, "Do you even lift"?! 

Clint Eastwood 2016 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Garage University

Muddy protein shake full of exploding chunks of chalky powder hit your sleepy and confused face as you wake before sunset.  Most mornings, you are confused why you cut your dream world early for training.  Some days, you don't know why you train at all.  Some days, sleeping in sounds so nice.  Quiet as a mouse, almost as if your house was waking from a good night sleep as well, this cold morning needs life, and the sound of dripping coffee creates the first few sparks.  The background noise from the morning news makes you feel less home sick, even though it's been forever since you lived under your parent's roof.  Just the thought of how many polar bears must be roaming throughout your garage makes you grab your coffee early and begin chugging.  Hello world. Good morning training.  A scruffy face and a dirty white sweat suite only says one thing.... Gladiator.  A gladiator who will soon do something most people would run from, wouldn't imagine doing, would call you a freak and freak you are.  I'm not there with you, but I am.  I'm not there right now, but I have been.  Self motivation is a sport of its own, a beast that is hard to take down alone.  Lonely as fuck, beat to crap, and for some messed up reason, a single tear will drop for no apparent reason.  But let me ask you something, if that tear drops, will it make a splash?  When that PR goes down, will it make a noise?  Yes it will, yes it mother f'n will.

No teammates to push you, just the sound of the garage door opening and Klokov yelling through YouTube.  No coach to make sure you show up on time, but you are always 5 minutes early. Open your garage for cool air, because the air in this garage is sticky and heavy.  A heavy soul with heavy weights. Heavy thoughts weigh you down, only 'til you slam them fuckers down.  Standing outside on your driveway scares your neighbors, yes, yes it does.  You're that guy, you're the freak and you welcome it, if you don't you should.  I welcome it, we welcome it.  Tired of trying to fit in, tired of trying to become someone you're not, so now you do what the fuck you want to do, and pouring coffee over your head and smashing coffee cups at 6 am is what we love to do. Creating our own fight club on ourselves.  Training with Brad Pit can cause seruise wounds, but huge gains.   Dirty weights make for better weights.  Rusty bars make for more PR's, and Bob and Jill driving by in disgust means they must be late for their white sheep meeting.  I don't accept.  Do you people here me?  I will not! "I'm going to show you how great I am." "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, and nobody is going to hit harder than life. It ain't about hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's HOW WINNING IS DONE!"  Let the rust from the bar harden your hands making your hook grip sharper than Hook himself.  You don't like me, good....I don't like you.  This is my gym, and your not welcome.  My rules, my program, my technique, my life.  Get your degree in sports science, ill get mine from the smell of fire wood pilled high like sand bags around my platform. Blood and dirt baby, blood and fucken dirt.

I train in a fancy gym, fully sponsored, paid, worked on, waited on....... I can't tell you how many times I miss and wish I could go back to being the garage warrior.  The rough tough son of a bitch that needs no one but heavy metal rock music, energy drinks, and a fucken bar.  Give me a bar and I'm a dog with a bone.  I don't want a pencil, I want a bar, I want happiness.  Our garage is dark, but we see fine, better yet we see better, better yet we like it dark because light makes us weak.  We like pain because pain makes us feel alive.  Weightlifting pain takes away some of the internal pain, pain where the demons live, pain that bangs against these black keys, pain I call, we call, the Dark Orchestra.  Turn up the music and keep training, never stop.  I salute you. You...... the garage lifter who slams bars when no one is watching.  I salute you, who completes your last few drop sets, the last rep, the last few squats.  You, the crazy son of a bitch who completes the full workout that you gave yourself!  I know how hard you train because I was there.  We are family, we came from the same class.  We come from the garage.  We live in the dark and eat dirt.  We come from the outcast university.  We come from F report cards and meth pipes.  We graduated from early morning and nasty protein shakes, and a world of pain and hell that only makes us appreciate peace and family even more.  So just know next time you see me training with my shiny bar and fancy weights, I truly truly envy you, wish I was training with you, and absolutely respect the shit out of you.  I salute you, I salute the garage lifter.

Attitude Nation Straps are finally out! Choose from many different colors and two different styles.  Its been a long time in the making to produce perfect straps, and we finally nailed it!  Made by SLAM BARS KILL PR's! 

Blood & Dirt 2016

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dynamic Start

Rock back then release.  Churn your body up and down 'til the butter is ready.  Become a seagull violently dropping down to snatch its prey.  Open your mouth wide to inhale strength and confidence, only to exhale all of your fears.  Yell so loud that your voice echoes back to the classroom you failed so badly.  Let everyone know before breaking the weight from the floor that you have already broken from the path you once walked upon.  Move before moving.  Move my friend, and never let anyone get in your way.  Gain speed to break through the wall of life.  Add momentum to your pull to pull off greatness in this sport.  Gain power in this life to shut the trolls up that stay hidden away in a cave full of super hero posters that they somehow can't figure out how to become.  Oh yes, I lift with massive energy and a massive heart.  So much anger it could kill an elephant.  So much passion it could make Juliet kill herself.  I write with a violin that speaks way more words than I could ever speak.  I listen to this song that Donny has sent me thinking of the only thing that really matters, "Move boy" -Shankle.  Good bye writer's block, hello dynamic start.  Cigarettes and coffee keep me writing, or better yet.... moving.  A "Move boy" will make you move, and that's exactly what these fingers full of salt water are doing.  Slam your bar full of bloody eyes and a sore soul.  I'm with you, we are with you.  I know why you are in sports, you can't hide.... you can lift but not hide.  

A cold turkey dynamic start works great for small violins that play throughout this Orchestra of weightlifting, but deeper battle wounds must find more ways to lift the heavy bar above head.  Attach horses to your stings and play on. This will create less heart ache, but many more hateful opinions, comments and a huge fan base of haters.  What kind of odd balle movement does your favorite lifter perform? And will you try the same?  Why is this very important subject never talked about?  Why are so many important details in this sport never talked about? Why are all the "Elite Professionals" staying hush hush?  There is so much more to this battle than technique and strength.  Moving before the bar breaks the floor can take you and drop you off in better positions throughout the journey of the pull.  If you feel you are getting out of position and the weight is redirecting you, then try a start that will fit to your liking.  

I have tried over a million dynamic starts. Many have worked and many have failed.  The ones that have worked, I always have felt could be even better. So I kept on changing them, always wanting to learn more about myself as a weightlifter and as a technician. I continued my work in the lab, working with myself and keeping an open mind to new ideas.  A changing sea is what it took to see the gold sand I now bath in today.  My start still slightly changes to this day, but not much. I stay close to my 166kg snatch aka home.  I recently clean and jerked a new PR at 195kg.  This is due to changing my dynamic start in the clean.  I was noticing that my dynamic start in the snatch wasn't carrying over well in the clean.  So the last few months, I have been working on a few ideas that have recently paid off.  The idea I have come across is what I will use to win Gold at Americans.  Seeing a dynamic start on video gives it no justice.  The creature lives within you and me, not for anyone to see or understand.  You may never understand my start, and I may never understand yours.  We can see and grasp the surface of a dynamic start, but the magic that lies within our body can never be detected, this is why there is no right way to complete a dynamic start.  This is why I am not writing on what I actually do, but more of what this kilo adding creature can do for us weightlifters when understood and fitted to each individual lifter.
Kilo Creature 2016

Ego Effect

Really Fun show today.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Plus: PR Clean & Jerk video below! 

Eagle Jerks  2016

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Garbage Thoughts

Taking the garbage out, with my eyes glued to the pavement, side to side I walk in silence as training hunches over my back like a monster monkey constantly bringing up the past. I'm not going to write bullshit, I just won't.  It's fucken freezing out here, and where the hell are all the damn people?  Just me I guess, just like that scary silence while you stand on the platform.  Eyes piercing through your soul like wolves about to set the dinner table.  Camera flashes like you're behind the fence at the zoo, but this morning nothing.... just another schmuck waving to the first person I see walking their five pound dog.  Peeing with one hand behind my head, itching and itching while the traffic jam thoughts turn my veins green, cutting off all circulation to my brain.  Face in the dirt while my eyes turn into a mud hole of no real direction.  Writer's block is what I speak of, a fucken curse that has entered my daily love affair with the Orchestra of pain and suffering.  I'm back now, I hope you have forgiven me for reposting some older blogs, blogs that I should add, are some of my favorite that I personally like to read over before training.  Some adding kilos, and some taking away.  Train is all I do, I swear.  It's like a pasta dish that never seems to have a bottom, just more pasta.  

My body hurts, and my mind pinches in pain like a small paper cut that lingers with you for days among days.  Here is the twist, my numbers are going up, and my training is through the roof right now.  I'm faster and stronger than I have ever been, more confident, more consistent, more experienced.  What does this so called great news mean?  Well I will tell yea, it means I'm fucked.  It means I'm stuck training for many more years beating myself up like a rodeo clown.  Don't get it confused now, I love it. I'll die doing this. I'm a gladiator that cannot be put down.  A freak that breaths chalk and spits out PR's.  Snap this gold medal off my neck and raise it high for all to see, now yell with everything you have until the judges throw you off stage.  I work too hard to leave the platform. I'll stand 'til they throw rocks and boo me off stage, an image that bounces back and forth in my head as I take the garbage out.  Side to side I walk in the dark cold nights, swearing I am seeing things in the trees.  I'm fast, but not fast enough to run from whatever the hell lays behind those woods that seem to be gaining closer and closer around my house.  

Bar path is back, just like visiting your home town you grew up in. Everything seems back not forward.  Back home the streets are filed with candy bars that me and my friends have stolen from our past years of mayhem.  Old drug dealers pass me in the streets while the Friday night lights shine over my late night outings full off familiar smells and memories.  For all those who doubted me and turned their backs on me, now look, can you see my back as I fly over the sky on my mongoose bird, collecting freedom keys that provide "do what I want and live how I want" gates piled behind vaults that open only with a password.

Hook grip is a must for any lifter, this is why I believe that taping your thumbs to keep them fresh is very important, no matter how big or small an athlete's hands are.  I thought about the importance of a hook grip while taking out the trash early yesterday morning...... I guess this blog is filled to the rafters with my garbage walking thoughts.  I am breaking down the walls of keyboard block, and typing anything that comes to mind, almost like entering training with a slight injury, don't think and hopefully your always confused body will forget such things even exist.  More coffee helps as well.  I want to add that I truly believe in tying your shoes as tight as possible and not leaving any room for wiggle aka lack of support.  I think this is why my calf has been in suffering lately, my Adidas don't lace as tight as I would like them to, leaving my ankle too much room.  I have corrected this problem by drilling another loop hole creating more support.  Plus I have started to tape the center of my shoes for even more support aka more athletic feeling.

Thank you Shankle, for the song you showed me for the writing of this all over the place garbage walk through blog. It has helped me break through the curse of writer's block.  I have so much to say, you would think this would never happen to me.  My next blog should be much more organized as I will type across from the Lion's den aka the lion killer himself...... Darth Vader the weightlifter.  Goodnight and it feels good to be back at the long table of tear drinking.  
The latest Team MDUSA video.  

Thank you CrossFit Florian for hosting the 20th Attitude Nation Cert!  It was great meeting you all, and congrats to all your gym's success.  Salute.  

A freak athlete, better kid, and an unbelievable superman pull! Andrew Jester was the first athlete I ever coached, and seeing him continue his success on the Cal Strength team puts a big smile on my face.  I miss you Andrew, and I'll be rooting you on when you compete in the Olympics!  TAKE NOTES PEOPLE! 

Last but not least, I don't know if you guys saw this video, but this is my very good friend and ex-teammate Jared Enderton imitating some lifters including myself.  it's too funny. 

USA 2016

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The Song I Wrote This Blog To

The day is sunny, while the air is cold and crisp. The early morning orange glow has seeped through your blinds, covering your body with stripes of black. The weightlifters rise out of their bunks with stretching arms and achy backs. A warm shower hits your back as you bow your head towards your feet. Your eyes are wide open, as your mind races through the checklist of who you are, what you have accomplished, what you still need to accomplish, and flashing images of the hell coach will cast upon you once this quiet early morning comes to a close. You choose to drip dry as you brush your teeth bare naked, which goes against your usual routine of drying off thoroughly with a towel.  Your blood starts to pump though your body a little faster the more you wake. You throw up a bicep pose while the tooth brush takes a break to admire your strong muscles.  Fox news is in the background as you pour a bowl of cereal. The peaceful chatter and the sound of the cereal hitting the bowl could make a grown man cry from its simple beauty.

Quiet before the storm. Peace before war. Heaven before Hell. You gently rest your hand over the coffee maker's left cheek, while singing a random Christmas song to her. You are excited for Christmas even though it's only May.  You are excited for what she will give birth to in the next few minutes, and how happy it will make you feel inside once you have her in the palm of your hands. The coffee drips with rhythm, as each drop has its own personality and desires. You look up to see coach standing on your living room table, waving his hands in the air while his eyes are closed shut, and his head tilted back. The strings connected to his fingers are casting a web all over the house as you try to maneuver closer to him.  No, you can't touch him, for he is in a glass bottle. Coach is connected to everything this morning has had to offer you. The small little red dots all over your naked body are from the strings attached from coach to you. You are a puppet, and everything you think you have control over.....well, you don't.

When I watch our videos, another video is watching me. I then watch that video of me watching the first video, only to feel the presence of another video watching me watch the second video. Time and reality seem to be slipping away. The red eye has lit up the morning from orange to red, and my front door has turned from wood to a glass lens looking out into the gym.  My teammates wave me in from the other side as I stand there drinking my coffee, naked, and in complete peace. I have surrendered to the whys and how’s. I have let down my conscience and I now just dance when things don't make sense. This sport doesn't make sense, and how coach went from standing in my living room to playing the violin on the other side of the lens has confused me. I guess what all this means is that we must train. We must train no matter what. You know what I mean? It doesn't need to make sense to be understood. No matter what is happening in our lives we must train through it, by it, and right over the top of it.  When life doesn't add up, the training will.  Over time, all the training will pay off like a bank account you have been growing for years and years. At the end of the day, I guess the most confusing things in life are really the most simple. A peaceful morning is only peaceful because of the pain you and I endure during the day.  I feel that weightlifters appreciate down time more than anyone else. We are at war in the midst of the hardest sport in the world, so we must train.

Coach, coffee, and shower 2016

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Mondays training.  Getting my rhythm back.  Train+Adapt+Repeat=WIN

Today in training hitting a 160kg PR snatch from the medium blocks.  My calf is starting to get better, and this old race horse is starting to adapt back to the MR black beard way of training. Lets go mother truckers!!  Johnny Cash lifestyle, train everyday, aint got time for percentages, AC UP WINDOWS DOWN.  Salute   


Sunday, November 4, 2012


Coach is back, and Oh are we beat up.  I almost forgot how hard training is under Mr. Black Beard.  I almost forgot how dark this gym can become.  The sky turned red as he entered the gym, while the black birds circle our platforms just waiting to prey upon on any fallen weightlifter.  The black rain forest beard makes his eyes look much whiter than they really are.  Looking close....see, they have this yellow gloss that probably can tell many stories none of us will ever see or hear.  A hidden treasure chest lays deep behind his eyes, a chest with gold cob webs, skeletons that chase blue birds, and sandy hills that reach the sky and beyond.  Climb and keep climbing. I will climb with you coach, side by side to a land of impossible with people who are not waiting for our arrival.  A climb that leaves us with one foot still in the gym, and the other being eaten off by a childhood monster.  His unemotional face melts into liquid tar running down his leg like he just peed himself.  His droopy white eyes turn the black tar into an Oreo filled lake that runs across the gym and into my coffee.  For every sip I take, coach tells me to "make the lift".  I drink coffee all day because of this. I drink what coach says. I trust him more than this coffee I sometimes drop tears into.  The gym is now quiet, and the lifter's faces now whistle a new song, a jail bird song as the freedom we once knew is now gone forever..... or until coach leaves again that is.  Pain has re-entered my life, and frustration follows me wherever I seem to go.  A bomb shelter.... yes, this is what I need.  A mental mind I can escape, my own mind is the cause of the breeze that passes though the gym, not the window Shankle just opened.  I was doing just fine until coach's overwhelming presence shadowed the gym creating shaky legs and sewed shut mouths.  Who am I kidding though?  I wasn't doing fine while he was gone, yes I might have felt fine, but my lifts were gasping for air as I was suffocating them with a pillow.  I chose comfort over strength. I chose painless nights over pain filled nights.  I chose the devil in the red dress, and oh was she lovely.  But before I knew it my lovely flowers have turned black, my legs like fishing poles, and my confidence as weak as cotton.  The pain I left behind wasn't as painful as the pain I gained by leaving pain.  Weak pain is much worse than strong pain.  Coach brought me the one thing my training has been missing, and that is strength pain. Strength pain to gain gold medals.  My body has lost its adaptation to training, and for that I have been lost on the other side of Donny's key chains...... A land called the comfort zone.  I should have known that something was wrong when I actually entered training feeling good.  This is never good.  The day you feel good is the day you aren't training.  This is the day you are cheating yourself.  

Bad dreams while new weightlifters smile with PR's.  High fives between the rookies and coach..... where are my high fives?  Where is my good jobs?  I'm old news at the end of the gym picking berries for the garden of "easy to walk away from" I am growing.  Mr. Black Sheep that has been out casted by everyone in my life.  Fuck em all. I don't need anyone.  I'll train 'til my feet turn to dirt.  Not one meet, not one.  Thank you for this, and thank you for the abandonment you have shown me.  It's always been him over me, since day one.  Fatherless just added another one to the table as the other part of me dies away like the Vodka bottles I use to hug so tight.  Another man over this one.  I am tired of being second place, better yet, I am tired of being hurt from second only wishing I was your first.  Back and forth, back and forth I go growing up as a kid.  From one side of the moon to the other.  And this is my fault?  I am sorry I don't fit into your white picket fenced world.  Live behind your glass house, while I'll look in from my far away cave.  It's okay though. I'm starting to get used to this whole farewell family type trend that seems to haunt me.  Thanks for raising me.  I wish you could have just once seen me lift, just once.  

Thank you Niagara Weightlifting for hosting the 19th Attitude Nation Cert.  Canada is damn awesome and we had a tun of fun.  Please please stay in touch.  Salute.  

PR BACK SQUAT! As coach said, "It's about gosh dang time"!!  Lol  We have been going after this set of five for almost a year now.  

Stand up 2016

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trap King

Yes, the traps activate.  Yes, they try so hard, and yes they are as worthless as tits on a bore. It's a sad story of how this came to be. A story that drew a tear to my eye, a story that will make any man grab his heart with pain.  But don't feel too bad, for once he was happy, once he stood proud, once he was King.
Chapter One

Once upon a time, in a far away land where the bar wasn't allowed to touch your body, the trap was king.  The trap ruled the weightlifting world with his big stick and his large high crown.  He never got tired of the attention, as a matter of fact, he took in every bit of it like it was Christmas morning.  They talked about him as a legend from coast to coast, as myths and stories began to pile up about his power and strength.  He was conquering world records.  He was winning Gold medals in the Olympics.  He was kicking ass on a daily basis.  Scholars wrote hundreds of books about his efficiency and power.  It was once recorded that he stood 15 feet tall, and could chop down the tallest tree with one swish of his sword. Athletes and coaches spent years trying to mimic his greatness.  Some felt and understood his beauty, and some fell short only to stare hopelessly at the podium.  Others tried to defeat him with different tactics and methods.  He was constantly challenged from others who envied his power.  But they fell short, and nothing seemed to please the King more than victory on the Platform and off. His way was the best way, the only way.  He knew it, and everyone else knew of his glory.  The traps could shrug any bar higher than the eyes could see.  He made weight disappear into the blue sky, only for the birds to enjoy.  The scarecrow some called the king, which fit him well, and explained the position he was always in.  Upright, straight, and elbows high as if the scarecrow was showing a young kid where the sun was.  The crowd went crazy, and the King grew an inch with every lift that was made.  The King was happy, and I am happy for him.

Years went by, decades passed almost with a blink of an eye.  He sat on his silk green thrown growing older and older while the sport grew old with him. They were two peas in a pod, they shared war stories together until the orange afternoon fell dark.  The King had no idea what was about to happen next.  The King was about to be turned upside down. 

"Siar we have a problem, come quick!"  "The Weightlifters are starting to make bar body contact!" "They are breaking the rules, they are going against you Siar!"  The king woke from his gold thrown in a panic, as his crown stumbled into his lap with frantic hands.  He tried everything in his power to stop this craziness, this reluctant rebellion.  But the lifters kept at it. The coaches scratched their heads and talked amongst each other with smiles and approval.  Once the lifters found this new way of throwing the barbell over their head, there was no stopping the ease and joy they got out if this new found relationship with the bar.  The sport was chattering with new ideas. The trees were swaying from the swift change in the air. A monster was being created, and the King was feeling its bite. The chatter from the towns people kept the king up at night, only to fall asleep with his pillow over his head.  Only to find his presence slowly dwindling.  The committee spoke, and the rule of no bar body contact was changed to bar body contact.  A shift in the sport that changed everything, including the King's masterful power over this great sport.  A rule that drew a single tear from the king's face that with ease and patience fell from his right eye and splattered onto his high golden crown. 

Chapter Two

The scarecrow was taken down from its high perch in the middle of the town, and replaced with an arched angel that struck such beauty and rhythm. An image that turned people's head to the side as the sun glazed over her bent body.  A sling shot type movement, a catapult machine the weightlifters turned into.  That same year a record of world records were shattered.  The weight went up, and fast.  The bar had much more color on each side.  The competition grew fierce, as weak lifters were now able to battle with strong lifters.  Mad scientists is what they were, the coaches that is.  Blue prints of how their athlete can move their body to lift more and more weight, even if they had weak legs.  Yes, strength building is always a must, but a new found creature was going to help build the athlete to new heights.  Their arms grew skinny as they hung like cables.  The traps grew smaller as they held less of a purpose.  The back grew bigger and stronger from staying over longer and longer.  The weightlifters moved faster, as their hips drew blood against the bar with a large amount of force and determination.  The weightlifter is now a machine of some sort, and there is no stopping what its capable of performing next.  Who knows, the Arched Angel may someday be replaced with another statue for the towns people to talk over. 

The King is still with us today, he is still a part of this great sport.  The King will never leave.  Every part of the body plays a part in this great fight.  All parts of the body belong and serve a purpose.  The athlete must not think, just do.  Letting the body perform such elegance and strength. "What foot do you step forward with in the jerk?"  A question that cannot be answered, a question that only the athlete must do without thinking, for then he or she will find out themselves.  In my opinion, this is how the bar body contact was born.  An athlete just moved, just lifted, and then found a comfort that worked in unusual ways compared to the norm back then.  The sport is always growing, and the King will live on forever.  He might now smile as big and bright as before.  The King may not stand 15 feet tall anymore, but he is still proud of what he created, and proud to see lifters achieve greatness to this day.  Long live the King, and welcome to the new and possible ideas of a weightlifter.

The King 2016