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Sunday, January 1, 2012


I am back home in Oregon with my family for New Year’s.  Bend, Oregon is so beautiful, a place I can see myself settling down in after I retire from this sport.  It is so good to see my family; it is so good to be home.  It is weird being away from my platform, my gym, my coach and my team.  I wonder how my small lonely corner of the gym is doing.  I wonder if it misses me.  Looking at my life from outside looking in is a very different picture and feeling.  I woke up abruptly this morning, and for a split second I thought that the last four years was a dream, and I never left home.  I thought I was still in high school and was late for football practice.  What has happened to me?  How did I end up here?  Is California Strength real?  Am I really that crazy guy on YouTube?  Is the legendary coach Pendlay really my coach?  There is no way I was actually on the USA team with the Donny Shankle.... impossible.  I soon realized that my dream wasn’t a dream, it was real.  I figured out who I was when Coach texted me, asking how my workout went.  Holy moly.... I really am a Cal Strength soldier.  I stayed motionless in bed staring at the ceiling fan, trying to piece everything together so it all made sense to me.

Laugh, eat, hugs, smiles, and more laughs.....this is what I have been doing for the last few days, and I never want to leave.  It feels nice talking to family and friends about other things rather than the usual weightlifting talk.  I remember sitting back and watching them all talk about everything from their businesses, kids, homes, and the local schools.  I realized that none of my family knows anything about my world; my world to them is a far away galaxy full of wonder and assumptions.  I might as well have jumped on a space ship and flew to another planet.  To them I am just Jonny Boy, nobody else.  They don’t care how much I lift, what meet I won or lost, or what training program I am on getting ready for nationals.  I am the little boy who said twuck instead of truck, not a 166kg snatcher.   

Writing this blog has made me realize that I don’t live here, I don’t work for my family's business, I don’t compare grass fertilizer with the neighbors, I don’t ride dirt bikes, I don’t fit in.  Their blood is red, mine is green.  They do fun stuff on the weekends, I am not allowed to. They talk a lot; I am in pain a lot. I now remember that I am a weightlifter. Weightlifting misses me, and I miss it.  I train tomorrow at central Oregon Croosfit in Redmond, great people, great gym.  My Grandpa Poppy loves to go with me and watch.....but then ends up chatting everyone’s ear off!  I love him.  He is the hardest working man I ever met.  Training with new people is always exciting and motivating for me, I wish we did it more often, but the leash is tight around my neck.  Tonight I will wear my Santa Clause sweater, switch the Adidas sweats for khakis, talk golf, and then say goodnight.  Tomorrow I will wake up ready for war. I will wake up a weightlifter.  I will march again with the attitude nation.  Family 2012

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