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Thursday, February 9, 2012


That day I ordered a number one like I usually do.  Instead of the drink I got a strawberry shake, and instead of the double-double I had to upgrade to a tripple- tripple.  I couldn’t let Donny see me with a small meal.  I wanted my first impression to be good; I wanted him to like me.  My fingers were like drum sticks against the white table as my head kept turning side to side, trying to see if I could see the man himself walking towards the building.  Saying I was nervous doesn’t explain how nervous I really was.  Not just the fact that I was about to eat lunch and train with my role model I have never met before, but the fact that I was in an unknown city by myself, just gave my college councilor my drop out forum, and just told 24 hour fitness I quit.  So there I sat at the front door of my new life, hoping someone would open the door and take me in.  I put everything on red, and then closed my eyes as the ball rang around the wood wheel.

I ordered Donny the same thing I got.  My dad taught me well, I bought.... respect is everything.  I was raised watching the Godfather's and listening to lecture’s from my father on how to go about social situations.  Hours among hours of "what to do" and "why to do it".  The man was brilliant and still is.  I keep trying to convince him to write a book, trust would sell.  This man’s life is a book; Dave North is a genius with people.  With just one look and a touch of the shoulder, he would make you melt in his hands, and he knows it.  My parents are divorced, and let’s just say that my mom and dad don’t talk.  But the best way I can explain my dad is something my mom says about him.  She says "that man could have been President of the United states”.  When she says that it gives me goose bumps.  Pulling strings is an understatement with him.  He would give me a lecture as a child and then perform it without anyone knowing what he was doing.  It would work every time, to this day I am still baffled at what his mind can do.  I will never forget the smell of his work suits and the presence he carried with him.  He always made the coffee drive through people smile, and please stomp your shoes outside before getting in his baby (aka) Lexus.  Being the vice-president of Nextel on the whole west coast….well let’s just say he ran things like a boss! As a young man I emulated him. He was after all, my father.  One day I realized that my father was not me, and I am not my father.  As my father chose the direction to take his life, I chose my own direction.  So I became jumping Jonathan North, a soldier of the Attitude Nation, nothing more, nothing less.  It feels great just being myself.  I still use many of my dad’s teachings every day, and I am lucky to have a dad that let me into his mind and help me through many of my problems.  Thank you Dad for everything you have taught me, without it who knows where I would be today.   If we ever talk again, I would tell him to please write a book.  I beg you.  I Love you dad, I always will. 
As I sat there with all these random thoughts racing through my head, I then wondered if Donny knew that I am his biggest fan.  I would sit front row at every meet he lifted in, and cheer like the Cowboys were playing in the Super bowl again.  His YouTube videos were my motivation, and California Strength was the Harvard of weightlifting.  Hopefully I get in, and maybe someday I will graduate with my Olympics rings…. if I play my cards right and train hard. 
He walked in like he owned the building, better yet… the city.  I stood up and shook his hand, and then we sat and ate in almost complete silence.  He didn’t talk a lot, so I didn’t either.  There was an understanding at the table between us both, and after a few minutes I knew this was going to be my new home.
We trained hard that day.  I met the Don (Dave Spitz) and that went well.  I will never forget what Donny said to me in the middle of practice.  He said, "I am going to break you down boy".  And O boy did he.  I was about to drive back home to Sacramento when the Don changed my life with just one line.  "Come back tomorrow and train again".  I drove home with a smile ear to ear the whole hour and half home.  No music, just a replay in my mind of everything that happened.  I did it, I impressed them, they liked me, I just might be a Cal Strength soldier. 
After three weeks of hell, and hours and hours of driving there and back, the Don had a sit down with me.  The little ball hit red.  Babe call the Uhal place, we are moving.   The End  
 Shankle-Don-Cal strength-Dave North 2012    

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