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Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Milk Cow

The Song I wrote This Blog To

Yes, coach.  Yes, I know coach.  Stay on my heels, chest up, dip and drive on both legs, head through, Shankle, Shankle, Shankle..... down.  Two whites, one red, thank God.  Wrap my knees tight like Klokov, like an athlete, like a person who is wrapping their knees to lift as much as that one person can lift.  I drink my iced coffee with love as coach opens the gym door to let the sun in, to let the breeze in, to let life in.  I never seem to remember what day it is, only the weight that is loaded on that quietly awaiting Pendlay bar, as it rudely sits and stares at me.  I am a part of the gym now, my life is 100% dedicated to achieving greatness in this sport.  Whether that may be finally breaking the American snatch record officially, or just staying the course and seeing what else this body and mind has to offer.  The grassy hill behind the gym looks so beautiful in the sun.  I have this strong urge to run around the grassy field, jumping and pushing over the cows as they roam the field.  Every time I am about to jump the fence into the grassy world of freedom, coach comes calling for me to get my shoes on for training.  Oh, that damn training, that damn training has got me again.  Oh well, someday soon when coach is out of town I will skip training and try to take down one of those milk cows all on my own.  Just the thought alone makes me smile while chalking up for my first attempt.  Sunny days make training hard, staying focused on the task at hand became difficult when you hear the laughter of others outside.  I should paint the gym walls and ceilings with a blue sky, sun and fluffy white clouds.  Boy, would that be awesome.  I would paint in the milk cows over by my resting bench so I have someone to talk to between attempts.  I love those damn cows.

 Everything in the gym is touchable, everything is seeable, but the future is completely dark.  The path just seems to drop off.  Right behind where coach sits is a sea of black water that goes forever.  I hope coach doesn't fall in.  If he did I would save him, for he has saved me many times before.  If coach got into a little boat and started paddling off into the dark nowhere........ well, I would jump off my resting bench into the water.  I would do it without even blinking.  I would swim, swim as fast as I could with all the strength he gave me to grab the side of his boat, and climb in.  "I am with you coach, my USA singlet is yours, my National Gold medal is yours, you can't travel without it, so here it all is... let's go".  See I believe in loyalty.  I believe in friendship.  I believe in training hard.  I believe in winning.  I believe in working hard.  I believe in grabbing the world by its throat and taking complete control over your life.  I believe in the Attitude Nation.  I believe in myself.   I love to buy breakfast for my teammates, my money is their money, my car is their car, my house is their house.  The people who are close to me are family, period.  There is family, and then there are people I know.  I will die fighting for the people I love, I will die fighting in this sport, I will die fighting in every aspect of life.

Doesn't that first pull feel good?  That heavy weight in your hands that you are lifting yourself can change ones life.  That weight that you have worked so hard to lift, the weight you have given up so much for to just get over your head, is finally moving, moving because of you and the team you have around you.  I love it, I am addicted to it like I am addicted to coffee.

The stars are bright as they reflect off the dark black water we are sailing in.  A new land has bursted through the water like Shankle standing up from a clean.  A powerful feeling has arrived in our guts, an eye opening adventure turns the boat and all its surroundings in complete silence.  A remarkable world of weightlifting, a world of hard work, more bad days than good, and little reward.  But the little reward is bigger than any reward out there, a reward that money can't buy.  A reward that keeps us doing what we do, even with many other options out there.  Trees of golden apples that we choose not to pick, a house full of candy that we walk right past, an army of only a few as we set out to sea with eyes upon the rings that bring us joy and happiness.  Yes my body hurts, and yes my mind aches with doubt and troublesome thoughts of failure, but this does not stop us brave soldiers from taking one step forward everyday in training.

Yes, I tell a lot on this blog about my journey and who I am as a person.  Some see me writing and question if I should let people in on some of these things that make me, me.  Some say that it's too much, and that people will turn their backs with disagreement.  Some say that what I write is not what people want to read, or that my writing is unimportant.  I guess I don't disagree with anyone's opinions, it's theirs to have, but this does not stop from speaking the truth.  This does not stop me from letting out my once caged emotions and feeling's.  I will never stop being real, I will never lie to you, or sugar coat anything.  This is who I am, this blog will tell many stories of what I have been through, good and bad.  I write to you on the water with Shankle by my side, even though he is far from our boat.  I feel comfort and at ease sailing with coach. So I keep writing with many forgotten thoughts and emotions racing through my head.  I feel like it's important to tell all about myself, so hopefully you can take something good from me, or take something I have done bad, and know to avoid it.  Thank you for being with me, and being a part of my crazy journey through life and the sport of weightlifting.  Thank you for not leaving me all alone in this dark orchestra.  Thank you for giving me the freedom to write without being scared of the negative and controversial feed back.  Thank you for allowing me to write with complete freedom.  I salute you, the Attitude Nation, as we set to sea for another training day ahead of us.

The Cows 2016


  1. Good stuff Jon. Keep it coming. Keep speaking the truth. Some will hate you. Some will love you. Only consider worrying when they stop paying attention at all.

  2. Thank you brother, that means a lot. salute. - North