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Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Clean Friendship

Team mates may come and go over the years, but some memories will always stay, and some friendships will last forever. Here is one of those stick with yea for life moments, with a last forever friendship. A man some call the Mullet man, the COD killer, the pro sports better, or even the upcoming champ, but I call him my friend, my buddy, Jared Enderton. Even though he is now lifting for Average Bro'z gym, I am very glad that we are still close friends. Yes we play Call of duty almost every night together, we play fantasy football together, we are Texas Holdem buddies, we compete against each other in the 94kg weight class, we have trained together, but most importantly we have cleaned 240kg's.... together! I guess they are right, teamwork is everything! Salute, talk to you tomorrow.

Friendship 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Morning

Wrote this to song below.

It’s six in the morning as I gaze out the window of the green jungle. Ms. Brown eyes keeps my fingers typing as I write to you with many thoughts and emotions. I think that’s why I woke up so early, an itch to write, a brain itch that needs to be scratched. It’s been a sad week, but in a way a new outlook on life. Family and friends, that’s what matters. As I cry about a Bronze medal I have a family who loves me, why am I bathing in my own self-pity with a beautiful wife and a dog that I call my daughter? The small things in life have made me smile more lately, and I thank you for this Jim, even though you have passed you still are helping me become a better man.

I love the early morning, it’s like the ocean, there is something mysterious about it. As a kid I used to help my friend Andre with his newspaper route in the morning. I felt as if I was walking on the moon. I felt alive and adventurous. Four in the morning and everything looks different; everything you once knew is now changed into a dream world of aliens and monsters. The little old lady's house a few blocks down has now turned into a haunted house, and the trees are following me....I swear. The quiet makes you feel like the last person on the whole planet, a zombie movie you are the lead role in, a movie with a one person cast. The newspaper world I emerged myself in was the first taste of freedom for me, and it was a rush. My heart would pound the further I would venture into the unknown. I would sometimes look back behind me, thinking my mom would be there rooting me on with her open hands out in front of her like she was pushing me forward. Her red lipstick smile and golden blonde hair stood out in the night so I could find her in case I got lost. I would began to smile to her but then realize I was all alone, no mom, no one to cry to, no one to run to, no mom to help me if I fall, just me in a very big world. Sometimes I catch myself looking back for her as a 26 year old adult. I turn and smile to show her the PR I just made in the gym, but she has been replaced with a broken white wall. I guess a mothers comfort and love never goes away no matter how independent and strong you become. I guess I am still that bigger than me backpack middle school kid with untied sneakers and raggedy jeans that drag behind my shoes. A rug rat kid with a chip on my shoulder that thanks to a big heart smoothed the chip out and made it dull. Basically, I was a normal kid.

When I get up early I always think I should be getting ready for school, middle school mostly. The early morning takes me back to family breakfast, picking out the coolest outfit, waiting in line on the cracked pavement of the cul de sac with the other kids who have for some reason made that crack the official bus line. The good or bad feeling of remembering your my case mostly bad. I sometimes feel that I have been on a very long field trip, and at any moment my mom will pull up in the morning in her blue and white minivan with her pink pajamas, crazy bed hair, followed by the greatest question a kid could hear, "how was your day sweetie"? The smell of the morning can bring back memories you completely forget about, which makes your morning coffee much more interesting and enjoyable. Driving through the cold foggy air of the morning makes you feel like you are sailing the Atlantic Ocean with an image of yourself that looks similar to the hard nosed captain of the Movie Jaws. I don’t know how I haven’t crashed into another car or even a light post from all the day dreaming that takes place while I am driving. Have you ever been driving and forgot you were, then realized you were and didn't even know where you were? lol, well if yes than we are on the same page.

Boy this has been a peaceful morning, I needed this. A keyboard and coffee in the morning is all a weightlifter needs to clear his mind for the hell that awaits us on the platform. Train hard today my friends, slam bars today my friends, and attack life my friends. Kiss your mothers, and tell them every day how much you love them. Call an old friend, take a friend out to dinner tonight, tell someone who works hard that you appreciate how hard they work. kiss your wife, pat your dog, tell your coach thank you, because life is like weightlifting, it's completely unpredictable.

Here is the song I listened to while writing this blog. I could write a 500 page novel to this song. I don’t know why I am posting it, maybe to give you the same feeling I had while writing this blog that hopefully moved you in some way or took you back to a child hood memory. Salute.

Mom 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jim Davis

Thank you Jim Davis for being a great friend over the years we have known each other.

First I want to say that my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Losing you is not only a great loss to us all, but the greatest loss I personally have had in my life. You will live forever in my heart and forever in every bar and weightlifting plate in California Strength. I looked up to you Jim, and I will continue to look up to you for as long as I live.

I will never forget what you taught me, the advice you gave me, and the great training sessions we had together. Every time I teach the superman pull I crack a smile with the image in my head of us arguing with one another over what the hell I was trying to teach you. You and I going back and forth about technique will always be a priceless memory that I will never forget. I will never forget your famous line that always brightened the mood, and that was the “well actually” line. You are forever famous for that one Jim, and we will all miss it dearly.

I hope someday I can even become half the man you are, it’s something that motivates me every day, and I thank you for that. Everything you touch turns to gold. You are rich in every way possible.
You are kind in more ways than one. At least once a week I would spit my coffee out from laughing so hard from the conversations we would have; the smile on my face is making my cheeks hurt as we speak. Every time you walked into the gym you would be followed by a certain energy that would spread to all of us. You were a powerful, in charge, strong, generous, humble, sweet, and awesome person. All the Washington Huskies gear you wore everyday made you a big purple ball of joy and happiness. Seeing Jim Davis made you want to do one thing and one thing only, and that was to give him a big bear hug.

Thank you Jim for your encouraging support before and after every one of my meets, you were always my biggest fan, and I was yours.
Thank you for the beautiful suit and tie you let me borrow on the night I took my wife to the ballet. I have to admit, even though we are friends, it was hard giving that suit back to you.
Thank you Jim Davis for being you, I love you, and I will never forget you.

In loving memory of Jim Davis 2000 and forever

Monday, March 26, 2012


Mr. High Hang is a tall man with dark hair and a curvy long black mustache. Mr. Hang has actually named the creature above his upper lip, and he takes much pride in the grooming, smell, shape, and overall relationship he has with it. His name is George, and George is constantly smiling at you even if Hang isn’t. Now that we have gotten the mustache out of the way, let’s chat about the gunslinger himself. His hands move dramatically when he talks, his eyes never blink much, but his forehead moves up and down like a pogo stick pretty much at all times. His big white eyes open as wide as an alligator’s mouth when he is talking about a matter that has importance to him, or better yet when he is lifting weights, a sport he has been doing for many years now. His nick name is the finisher, because he has the strongest finish around. His finish is faster than most, and some say his explosion is more powerful than the A bomb. There are actually many storys of Mr. Hang breaking logs in half to build his cabin out in the hills of Oregon. He is an impatient human that curses anything that takes longer than his liking. For example, long bus rides, waiting for the bus, and then waiting for people to exit and enter the bus from the horrible stops it makes throughout his long impatient ride in the bus. The worst of them all is the dreaded pull in weightlifting that now some underground army is calling the superman pull. He can’t stand it! I watched him snatch once and right in the middle of the pull he became bored so he dropped the bar and started playing his 1997 Nintendo game boy that I think was Mortal Combat by the slamming of buttons and mouth expressions that were happening in his chair behind the platform. This struck me in an odd way considering this happened just a few days ago, and I haven’t seen one of those bad boys since…..well, 1997.

The old hip slinger, the smoking hips, the bar breaker, the lady’s man, and the last but not least, the tree cutting pickle jar opening nail gun shooting slug hammer house plowing hips attacker. Yes people, these were only a few of his nick names, and the last one is my favorite. Mr. Hang and his fuzzy snake friend George only snatched from the high hang. They would compete in meets but never put up a total because they would stand tall and then go from the high hang right above the knee. Some people said “give it to them, that lift right there is even harder than the full snatch”! But most people, including myself, said "no way Jose, that right there is illegal". But they didn’t care, training or meet they went from above the knee where there is hardly any momentum, and a very small pull, which some called the room 2 pull or the special pull, a pull that never really completed its full potential.

Here is a video of Mr. Hang and George completing their high hang snatch with 140kg!! Oh, and by the way, after chatting with them both, I soon found out they are a part of the ATTITUDE NATION! Salute and see you guys tomorrow.

Hang snatches are hard 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pink Elephant

Good afternoon my fellow friends. Wow, sorry it's been a few days; coaching and training have been keeping me away from writing to you all. Maybe they are just jealous because of how much I love this blog. They can try to keep me away, but the dark orchestra needs me, and I need it. So let's dance in hell with smiles on our faces, our bodies full of pain, and our minds heavy with weightlifting dreams and goals. The Attitude Nation is my best friend, and I am so glad that you have joined me once again in the crazy and bizarre world called my mind. Most have run for the hills and never came back, but you have stayed with me, and for that I thank you.

I hang my coat and hat, stretch my arms and yell throughout the theater, "Honey I am home!". I dance with the pink elephant to the beautiful sounds the orchestra of skeletons make, hidden away on the third story where only glimpses of their white show through. This is the home of weightlifting, a place that is unpredictable and at times strange. A place where you have to surrender to the mysteries of this sport, and just sing and dance. The person who tries to figure this sport out is the one who becomes lost behind the stage in the world of pulley systems, ropes, and props never to be seen again.

Now that you have joined me back in our theater of weightlifting and life and hung up your coat and hat, let's watch a brand new Cal Strength interview from Strength Sessions hosted by Camilo Gutierrez. The video features Donny Shankle, Caleb Ward, Glenn Pendlay, and me, along with Don the “godfather”. We went out to lunch at Chiles and before you knew it there was a camera out, and this is how it went down. See you tomorrow for a new and interesting blog that I am excited to share with the Nation! Salute!

Interview Part 1

Interview Part 2

The Nations Orchestra 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012


The hip clean is a mysterious creature that seems to stay hidden in the dark away from the world to see or talk about. He is the fastest and most explosive creature in all of the land. His arms are bent like a T Rex, his hips plow into the bar like a punch from Mike Tyson. The sound the hip creature makes rattles the poor now half broken bar that echo's throughout the gym for all to here. It’s a chilling sound that gives you goose bumps from head to toe. The power the hip cleaner creates will make even Chuck Norris feel in fear for his life. He is a patient creature, one that waits a long time before he attacks. He waits on the pull like I wait for my wife to get ready to go out to dinner. His shoulders stay over the bar like a sling shot being pulled back, or like Tiger Woods setting up to launch the little white ball into outer space. A longer pull...yes , but much more explosive than the rest? Most definitely. His upper body is asleep when he kills his pray, his legs and hips do the snapping of the necks, they are the ones who bring home the bacon.

I have tried over and over to become a hip cleaner...but every time I am reminded by the weightlifting Gods that I was meant to kill with my thighs. I live in thigh land with most of the other Olympic weightlifting warriors. We think the hip hitters are elitist know it all's, and are full of themselves! They say they are stronger for being able to bring heavy weight into a higher finish position, and I say nay. We the thigh hitters say that we are just as powerful and such good athletes that we can get under any weight. It’s a back and forth battle, but at the end of the day we are all still friends and still lift heavy weight. "There is more than one way to get to the top of the hill"- Glenn Pendlay. There are just as many Gold medal hip creatures than there are thigh creatures.

The hip creature may live in you, he just might be hiding in the dark corner at the gym you train at without you even knowing. He lives in Spencer Moorman, Caleb Ward, and many others.

He even lives in Donny Shankle, pictured here.

But the one who has the most kills is the man in the video below....the Olympic record holder, World record holder, Olympic Gold medalist and my favorite lifter....the one..the only...ANDREI ARAMNAU!

Which one are you? I would love to get your feedback and what you think works better and why. I also put the legendary Dmitriy Klokov below as well performing the thigh clean. Enjoy and Attitude Nation salute!!

Hip Cleaner

Thigh Cleaner

Hip or thigh we still love each other 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Nest

Training was hard today.....damn it never ends. I am dressed in all white, rocking back and forth banging my head against the wall while I sit cross legged on my cot. I live in a mental institution. The same shit happens daily, the same pain, same jerk frustration, same bar, same monster energy drink, same misses and same highs, ...staying motivated in this sport is hard. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein. I am going crazy.

I wait in line for my group therapy sessions, like I wait for the next training session. Every time I try to escape the hospital the warden Glenn Pendlay tackles me down and puts me into the straight jacket. I am so tired, I am so beat down, my body hurts and my mind never sleeps. Silver, Gold, Bronze, bomb out, to a Pr...the insanity continues and the sport seems to live on.

I was just going to post our new video from Nationals that my lovely wife made, but instead somehow I got off on a rant. I guess my feeling's just seep into the key board without me knowing. I don't even know what I just wrote, this whole time I have been staring at the small amount of coffee I have left in my chalky cup while my fingers just continue to type. Here is the newest Attitude Nation video, hope you like it, talk to you guys tomorrow. Salute.

Mental Hospital 20.......

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Jerk Ladder

I am determined to get my Jerk up, and work outs like this is a good start. So sore the next day I want to cry, so painful and hard that I wish my mom would pick me up and take me back home like the end of football practice in middle school. but I need my Gold back, and workouts and drills like these should help me get there. I want to be like the legendary Shane Hammon in the picture above, Salute to you Shane, you are motivating.

Have fun with this one Nation, I wish you the best of luck while doing the workout in the video below, because this one is a bitch!

Shane Hammon 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ding Ding

The video below is the best battle I have seen in a while. Testosterone is a powerful drug that can lead to PR's, wall punching, face punching and lots of bar slamming. Forehead to forehead, nose to nose and fists to fists can even make a spectator get sweaty hands. Throw in some coffee, a few monsters, and some techno music into the mix, and you got yourself a recipe for mayhem. What the videos don't seem to show is the Ali vs. Frazier boxing matches that happen between team mates from time to time. There are some Fights that get broken up fast, and others that turn into a full 10 round match. But once training is over and the green blood that was once racing through our blood slows down and reality seeps back into play, we shake hands and get ready for the next training session. We all have an unspoken understanding, that when in battle....anything can happen. Nothing is personal, nobody is safe and just because you out lifted the other guy, doesn’t mean you won’t end up on the floor. Welcome to the border line of crazy that takes place daily at Cal Strength.

I left Ms. Brown eyes in the refrigerator for later when I write my blog, in training I pull out the green monster. The monster is my secret weapon, especially when team mates get to talking a big game before training. In training my team mates are my enemy, and I will do anything to lift more weight than them. I don't care if Rob is a weight class below me, or that Donny is a weight class above me, fuck it, I am out for blood, and Shankles blood tastes the best. My top competitors in the Country in my weight class are not training with me, so I must fight with somebody. “Don't get to excited Tom; I am much stronger and faster than sit down rookie”. “One weight class below Donny, and I just out snatched you, I guess even the lion killer can be beat”. “Let’s go coach Pendlay, squat off right now”....well shit maybe not that. This kind of attitude and environment is what we at Cal Strength strive on, and so does the Attitude Nation. Push and get pushed, hit and get hit, win or lose, no matter what we are like fucken Mosquitoes, always there whether they like it or not.

Here is the latest Cal Strength video. An epic battle between the new member of the team Tom Sroka, and the Veteran/ American record holder Spencer (more man) than you. Grab your popcorn and pop, because "this shit just got real!" -Coach Pendlay

Mosquito 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Color and Strength

Grab your gear soldiers! The summer is approaching fast and we must show our color and strength for the world to see. Everyday we grow in numbers, and everyday the Nation becomes stronger, bigger and more powerful than ever. March forward and keep slamming those bars! Salute.

Plus look out for straps, knee wraps and other surprises coming soon.

Summer Attitude 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chest Bump Drill

You can call them Klokov pulls, Shankle pulls, arched angel pulls, or just learn how to extend pulls. But I call them Chest bump pulls, or even better… the Nations Guide to a great finish. This is just a drill, this will help you get those hips through and also teach you how to guide the bar back on the way down, not up. If you feel like you are going under to early, or if you feel you are catching the bar in front too much, then this drill will work wonders for you! I hope this helps, salute.

Once the hips come through and the shoulders go back you have already started to "pull yourself under the bar”, or a better word that I like to use is “guiding yourself under the bar”. I hate the word pull, because there is no pull in weightlifting. The first and second pull AKA (the superman pull) is a push back movement, not a pulling up movement. I should change the name to the "superman back", but pull just flows I guess. this drill will force you to guide the bar back not up, and force you to get in a more extreme finish aka (arched angel) than you usually would in the snatch.

You can start this drill with the bar already in the crease of your hips and then go from there, or you can start from the hang or the floor. The pull and the finish of this drill is the same as the regular snatch, the only thing different is that A.) you are not going to go under the bar, and B.) you are going to pull the bar back into your chest, and yes you should hit your chest hard with the bar! Elbows should be facing the wall behind you, not up toward the ceiling! you should be on your toes, hips in front of your body, and shoulders back behind your hips. Your shoulders and chest should still be facing the wall in front of you, this is a very important part of the finish. If your chest is facing the ceiling then you are what I call a "fish out of water". This leads to eyes not staying focused in front of you, leading to dizziness, unawareness of where you are in the lift, and the worst thing of all...floating!! Yes, floating also know as over finishing! Staying on the finish so long that gravity beats you down into the catch position. never a good thing, and very painful on the shoulders when trying to sneak under heavy weight. If you have time to get that far back with your upper body on the finish, then you are taking to long before going under.

Rhythm and timing are the two hardest parts of weightlifting. you don't want to cut the finish short, but at the same time you don't want to over finish. finding that middle ground will be a breakthrough. your relationship with the bar is going to be different then any other athlete. Get to know the bar, take her out to dinner, and dance the night away, because who knows when you and the bar will finally hit a home run.

your feet never should come off the platform. Yes your heels should, so you can get on your toes on the extension of the finish, but that’s it. You should here the bar rattle from your hips exploding through the bar, and then a second later instead of hearing those beautiful Ali feet you should here a Gorilla chest bump from the bar and your chest.

If you have trouble finishing in the snatch then this drill works wonders! I love it, my clients love it, Shankle loves it, and better yet Klokov loves it! Also it’s a great strength exercise for your whole body. If you are trying to fix up your technique then do this drill with lighter weight and more reps. If you are purely doing this for strength then slap those red slabs of beef on the bar and go hard in the paint! On your last rep go under the bar completing a full snatch! No matter what drill I do, I always end on the good old fashion snatch clean and jerk. well I hope the Nations Chest Bump will help and you will have some fun with it. Let me know what you guys think and if it helped any of your lifts.

Here is a video of me performing this badass drill outside my mom’s house in Redmond Oregon. I do reiterate on the video in case you want to visualize it. If you see a little lady in a pink shirt peeking through the window behind.....yes people that's the Mother Goose of the Attitude Nation!! Hope training is going well, and I will talk to you guys tomorrow. HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!!

Family 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Green Thumb

The growth of this sport is exciting to watch and to be a part of. Let’s keep pouring water on the bar, and let the kilos plates get enough sun, so the sport will bloom with color and height that casts a shadow over sports like football and baseball. Everybody plays a part in building this sport, but the Attitude Nation in my opinion is the leader and front runner of the whole movement. I chatted with the producers and directors of this upcoming documentary for a while at Nationals, and they are great people. They are excited to come out to Cal Strength and shoot for a few weeks, and we are even more excited to have them. I just might have to slam the bar extra hard while the cameras are rolling! This is what the sport needs, and I thank them, salute them, and am blessed that these warriors are joining the Attitude Nation to grow this sport to new levels!!! Hopefully they can raise the money they need to make this all happen; I threw in 20 bucks, and then told my rich mom to be generous…lol here is the video below.

Thank you Doug Larson, Mike Bledsoe, and James Cheney 2012

Also the Latest Cal Strength Video below! $500 on the line, and the winner is....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Love triangle

As my rubber band stretches, my smile becomes much bigger. Independence is the key, freedom is beautiful, and the Stack is the gateway to this all. Green is my favorite color, and my freedom stack agrees with me completely. My freedom stack is my best friend, and it goes everywhere with me. Some times in my pocket, other times in the trunk of my car, hiding from others who want to steal him from me. He always has my back, and is there for me when I need him. My parents love him more than I do, he has taken me under his wing and helped me fly away from the mother bird’s nest. He has shown me that working hard has rewards, and that the rewards can make life much more comfortable, fun, easy, and exciting. My freedom stack also gives me the opportunity to train almost full time, and able to take time off to see my family and friends. So I thank him daily.

I never leave him alone in jail, (aka) the bank. I would never abandon him, we need each other too much. His smell is magnificent, and the swooshing sound he makes while I count him is music to my ears. He gives me confidence and motivation to keep working harder and harder every day. The harder I work the more he grows, the more he grows the more I grow as well. We feed off each other, we are the dream team. I have to take him cloths shopping for new rubber bands when he gets too big for his old ones. Shopping is great bonding time for us. He also drinks more coffee than I do, but the nice part is he always buys.

My national Gold medal gets jealous from mine and the stacks relationship, so I had to leave Ms. Gold in her glass case in the living room. It’s a complex triangle of love and hate. The Medal thinks that she is the reason why the stack even exists, and the stack thinks the medal just can’t let go of the past from 2011. I see both there points. Both forgot about one person though, and his name is work hard. Work hard is the reason why they both exist, work hard trumps everything. Work hard is the Godfather behind the curtain pulling all the strings, he is not just my best friend, but my role model. A man who I aspire to become every day to better myself and others. I owe everything to him, and medal and stack do too.

I hung out with work hard all day, and now it’s time for bed. I have tucked Ms. Gold and Mr. Stack into bed and sang them to sleep. Watching them sleep brings a tear to my eye. I am so proud of both of them, and I am so glad that they are in my life every day. Ms. Gold looks beautiful from the polish I gave her, and Mr. Stack looks good in his new rubber band that is stretched but sturdy. Good night my loved ones, and sleep tight.

I have to meet work hard early in the morning for training, so now I must get to sleep as well, goodnight.

Work hard 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

10 Funny Things

10 funny things that happen in this great sport called weightlifting.

1.) The unknown, involuntary, animal, alien noises that seem to escape your mouth while lifting heavy weights.

2.) The ritual ticks and movements some call a dynamic start.

3.) Dropping the bar early from early celebration, and then getting three red lights.....damn

4.) Watching Donny eat a 60oz steak while the vegetarian family next to him stares in horror.

5.) Dropping candy on the ground for little kids, just to see how low there bottom position is. If good, then its recruit time!

6.) Hitting your private part with the bar! Ouch!....wait a minute, that's not funny.

7.) Getting banned from a buffet.

8.) People asking you if you are hurt because you walk funny. No! I just have the weightlifter walk, now leave me alone!!!

9.) The meticulous systematic ritual of chalking up....some say is a masterpiece of its own, to which others say "good lord hurry up"!!

10.) The amount of time between Mark Haz finally jerking the weight after he cleans! Come on Mark my clothes are going out of style!

What are you laughing at? Nothing is funny about weightlifting! And if you keep laughing the Nation will snatch you and slam you 2012 !!

The Latest Cal Strength Video. I made some crazy saves, while Donny Shankle made some funny expressions while watching. Salute, and see you tomorrow my friends.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Drunk off coffee, so let’s see where she takes us today. I see a ladder that reaches higher than one can see. I see a long ways to climb, and a hard journey awaiting. People are gathered all around pointing up and talking about what they were looking at. Scratching their heads as they try to figure out the best plan to climb it. The unknown makes them nervous, and the height alone can literally make your knees shake before the climb even starts. While others talk and strategize, you began to climb. Pull and step with your eyes closed and don’t look down. You’re all alone on the ladder even though people are rooting for you down below. Keep climbing and don’t think, please don’t think.

The nights are cold and painful as you try to sleep. Your body hurts from the climb, so you must sleep to gain energy for the next day. You are woken up from others climbing down the ladder. They have seen too much and can’t take the climb, so they quit. They are nice about trying to get by you on their climb down because they are worried about what you think about them. Fuck em, you have to be selfish in this climb, you must use all your energy for yourself, and you mustn’t worry about the weak. Climbers like us don’t care about pain, we are not scared of hard, and we welcome the challenge. We have dedicated our lives to climbing, and “they” want to take the fucken elevator. Weak minded people don’t have a place in the nation, we cant be around them, they are cancer that could possibly spread behind our fortress walls. The Nation must work together to fight off the zombies.

My dad use to give me snicker bars before soccer games and tell me to kill everyone....I was 6, and I loved it. I would run up and down that soccer field like forest Gump. I wouldn’t ever pass the ball because I wanted the ball, I wanted to score. I would get thrown out of games from pushing a kid down because he pushed one of my team mates down. My dad would reward me for things like that. I know some might think that’s bad, and maybe it was, but I will tell you one thing, it made me a fighter, it made me fight for what I believed in. He would get thrown out of games from yelling at the refs in the middle of the field, "you’re out of here sir, and so is your damn kid"! Let’s go son, way to fight. Thanks dad, did I do good? Yes son I am proud of you, you really fought hard today. But dad other parents were talking about me not passing the ball, and how bad it was I pushed that kid down, why? Don’t worry about what people think of you son, you just be you and keep fighting every day. I love you, I love you to dad. Now let’s go get some beer and Buffalo wings, ok dad.

I have seen so many people in my life quit this sport, I feel I have been to war and I have lost many men. Every part of the gym reminds me of different people, different jokes and PR’s they would achieve. I miss them, I really do. They were good people, and even some I called my friends. But they all seem to slowly vanish in the cloudy chalk like a magic trick. I wonder where they went, and why they stopped. I love watching people train and get better, but I guess the word "better" has different meaning's to some. Some might not get a PR for a while, but there technique improves a ton and vice versa. Some might become much more consistent and comfortable with the weight, but there squat will go down and the three misses in training put them in a world of negativity and anger. I never under stood this. I would tell them "its ok, you only have been lifting for a few months, it takes time." But they don’t want to hear this, they want results and fast. They want to take the elevator, not the ladder. The next day a "no show", just memories of them on the old broken platform lifting weights while I cheer them on. The hardest part of being a coach is having to wipe away their names and PR'S from the white board, I hate it. I care, I really do. I want them to succeed; I want them to taste victory. Only if they knew how close they were to getting to level 2, then 3, then four and so on. I wish them the best of luck and hope they find something they love.

The Attitude Nation salutes all the fallen weightlifters. But we must move on. Goodbye to the weak, and onward the NATION MARCHES! Grab your snicker bars my friends, because there are many battles ahead of us!!!

ATTITUDE FUCKEN NATION 2012 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Resume

The Birth of the Attitude Nation year 2007.
American Open Championships: 12th place - Total 276kg

American Open Championships: 7th place Qualifying for Nationals! Total 310kg

National Collegiate Championships: 4th place - Total 290kg

National Championships: 4th place in the 105kg weight class - Total 312kg

American Open Championships: Silver Medal - Total 314kg

Arnold Championships: Winner - Qualified for first International meet at the Pan American Championships - Total 325kg

Pan Am Championships: 7th place - Total 318kg

American Open Championships: Silver Medal - Total 340kg

Arnold Championships: Winner - Total 341kg

National Championships: GOLD MEDAL Snatch, Bronze Clean & Jerk, GOLD MEDAL total! - Making the Pan American Games - Total 346kg

Pan American Games: 4th place - Total 338kg

American Open Championships: Bronze Medal - Total 339kg

PWA Snatch record holder: 162kg, Clean & Jerk record holder: 193kg, Total record holder: 351kg.

National Championships: Snatch Silver Medal, Clean & Jerk Bronze Medal, Total Bronze Medal - Total 343kg

Briefcase, Suit and Tie, Polished leather shoes, Gel in hair, shaved face, and an Attitude to keep working harder each day 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Yes! Hold It! Down, Great Job!

That Jerk is such a Jerk. Drive the bar above your head? No, drive it BACK behind your head. Over the ears? No my friend behind the ears, trust me.....behind the ears is Golden, literally. "Up in this sport really means back." - Paul Doherty. Missing in front is the single most frustrating thing you can do. If you’re going to miss, miss behind. But I guess a miss is miss no matter what. But missing behind makes you sleep a little better knowing that you put the power and energy in getting the bar that high and that far back. Where in front makes you feel you didn’t leave it all on the platform, you never really went for it. You have to think of the Jerk the way my friend Donny Shankle says, “If you miss the jerk, you will not enter paradise”. – Shankle aka lion killer. If only every weightlifter could hear the sweet words of this blog title all the thats Paradise.

What a jerk the jerk can be when it doesn’t sit nicely on the shelf for everyone to see. Drive higher, don’t cut your dip and drive short, no matter how heavy the weight is. Reach for the sky my friend and catch with strength and pride. Hold it! Hold it! Punch up and hold! YES YES YES! That is a great feeling, and those are great words to here from your coach and the audience. Something that doesn’t always happens, but as I am figuring out....that’s just life and weightlifting. Life is not perfect, and sometimes the yes is more like ooooo. Tears of joy can easily become tears of let downs and sadness. Hugging your coach can be good or bad. Weightlifting will take you down many roads and emotions. “Weightlifting is a very hard sport”. – Everyone who is a weightlifter.

The worst part of missing the 188 is the jerk work coach has slammed on my table filled with superman pull sketches, blue prints for the clean, secrete training programs, coffee, smelly knee wraps, blood sweat and tears. Hold the bar above your head with 60 or so kilos, and lung into a jerk split to the end of the gym and back......hell. Then when you are done put 120kg on your back and do the same thing holding the position in the split for a good 2 seconds.....hell. Repeat 3 more times...hell. I don’t do any more clean and jerks; I do clean and jerk and jerk and jerk and then jerk again. Push presses tell the sun sets, more squats, harder training. A few months of this I should have the best Jerk in the world, I guess we shall see. More red meat, more sleep, more mind training. Mind training is the hardest part of this sport. Training your mind to go under weight you want to Clark. Staying confident and focused in a meet, not letting the bar intimidate you. Getting back on the horse after losing.....fuck, that’s a hard one.

I am writing this blog with the Shankle outside the green jungle. The sun is setting, training is finally over, and the coffee is extra strong....prefect time to write. Checked the PWA schedule so I can compete in every damn local meet there is. Keep building experience is a must, learning from your mistakes is so key. Who knows, maybe the best thing I ever did was miss the 88 jerk. Maybe next meet I will hit 200. Thank you all for your support from the comments on the blog, face book, and e mail, you are truly the reason why I am still standing and not throwing in the towel feeling sorry for myself. Attitude Nation marches on.

Jerk that damn jerk above your heads and then slam the bar. Let the world see how high you can throw heavy weight above your head, and not just above, but back! Get the bar back please, for me, for what I should have done!

Bar back 2012

Shankle and coffee 2012

Your kind words and support 2012

Attitude Nation Family 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yellow Brick Road

The highs and lows of this yellow brick road is something I haven’t seemed to figure out or grasp yet. The ups and downs of this sport are on the same level as trying to figure out a math problem. You have no idea where to start and how to find the solution. They tell me the solution is train times train equals win.....but sometimes the answer doesn’t come out the right way. I let you down and myself, and for that I am sorry. What happened? I jerked the bar above my head with everything I had. The wining lift was there for a split second before it came crashing down right in front of my eyes. As the weight hit the platform an earthquake took place, I felt my whole world tumbling around me. As the bar was over my head I remembered thinking to myself that I did it, I remember how happy I was for that half second....that was a great half second. But then my smile turned to dirt and dust as the bar fell in front of my face in slow motion like a piece of paper being dropped from a high building. The bar dropping reminded me of the end of a movie, as it fell it erased the audience into black, it killed my vision, it destroyed my fans.

Can we make a deal? I promise you I will train harder than ever if you don’t leave me. Will you stay if I keep fighting? I can’t promise you I will win every meet, but I can promise you I will be at everyone giving it my all, and fighting for myself and the Attitude Nation. I hope I don’t lose you, I love writing to you and chatting with you throughout this crazy journey of weightlifting. This blog is the only thing that keeps me sane, without it my training would suffer. I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart; you have no idea how bad I feel. I have let you all down, and I am struggling to get back on the horse and find my identity again. I havnt slept in days, and my mind is being very hard on me. My tears have fallen and my hands hurt from wall punching. The "if only's” are attacking me, and I can’t seem to get away from the hell they are putting me in. I have a few pretty good excuses that I tell myself so I can feel better, but those are just cop outs. My forehead is bruised from knocking my head back and forth against the wall. And the talking to myself is getting much worse; I am sometimes worried I am losing it. If you stay with me it would mean the world to me, and shit, if you want the bronzes and the silver I will still send them to you.

The road continues, and the witches will always be out there, but I must keep training. I must keep competing. I will still be in the corner of my gym leashed to the platform training for whatever meet is around the corner. I am there when you need me, and there to do what I love, I am there always ready to put myself on the line and go for Gold. I am a weightlifter, win, lose, tie, Olympics or no Olympics, I lift weights over my head and I love doing it. I will not give up; I will not let this depression take me down like the Titanic. I am a fighter not a quitter, we are winners, and winning is what we will do. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but some day, some time I will win again and stand tall. I have always said that weightlifting is like dating, it’s a numbers game. If you ask 100 girls out, one will say yes. Same with weightlifting, I will be at every fucken meet there is, I am bound to win a few more! I refuse to let a medal tell me who I am. We wake up every day and we attack life, no matter what. We are not Rob Adel, we won’t quite, and I will never walk out on you.

Brian Drescher is my role model; I hope I can be like him when I get older. I truly admire his outlook on life. I will still be lifting weights doing what I love with a proud smile on my face like Brian. His swagger is awesome, his bravery to be what he wants is motivational, and he helps me when I get down, so thank you Brian.

I have wanted to write to you the last few days, but I couldn’t get the courage to talk to you with the state of mind I have been in. Depression is an understatement, and the prison my mind has locked me in wont seem to let me out. I was to depressed and worried about what you now think of me. Time is a great cure though, and I started to realize that we are like family, and family is always there for each other, so thank you.

You guys should have seen all the Attitude soldiers that were there at nationals. Everywhere I went handshakes, salutes, pictures, and autographs. There was USA weightlifting and then us slowly taking over. Even after the meet was over and the Bronze and Silver were around my neck, you were all still there. We are growing and fast. I was shocked at how many people saluted. A top weightlifter was sitting next to me seeing this happen, and he looked over at me and said "shit North, this is almost getting scary". lol, I said scary no, fucken awesome, yes.
I will be writing daily again about training for the Pan Am Championships in Mexico in 6 months. The journey will continue, and the Olympics are still in my reach. I just need to come out of my depression and figure out the math problem. Train times Train equals slam bars. talk to you tomorrow my friend.

Pan Am Championships 2012

Get back on the horse 2012

Attitude Nation 2012

PS: Thank you to the guy that was helping loading my weight in the back room. I never got a chance to shake your hand and tell you thank or even get your name. So thank you.