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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Low Bar Demon

I have competed, lifted, conducted attitude seminars, and helped with many Pendlay seminars all over the world, and I have never once seen anyone perform the "low bar squat".  Actually, I didn't even find out what it was until a few months back when someone asked me if they should do high bar or low bar for the squats I just prescribed them.  I am still in shock that athletes actually perform such a "nails on a chalk board" lift, especially for a weightlifter that should make the bottom position their home.  The number one problem I see with beginner weightlifters is their depth, or lack there of.  Watching a weightlifter low bar squat makes me want to take the elevator to the highest floor, and then jump.  Low bar squatting is just as bad as a beginner doing power snatch and power clean more than the full lifts.  Both of these weightlifting killers create incorrect movement patterns, horrible rhythm, awful consistency, and do not increase the novice weightlifter's flexibility.  The low bar squat is not just ugly and painful to watch, but teaches you to move slower than a turtle that just drank two bottles of nyquil.

 Brand new client, brand new dreams of becoming an Olympic weightlifter, in a brand new sport where the sky is the limit. We work on catching the bar in the hole over and over for hours. After catching a lift in the hole, I would have him sit down there and get comfy.  I would throw him a bag of popcorn and tell him to watch a movie down there.  I would tell him to bounce like tigger over and over to create stability, balance, and for the great practice of at times having to catch that second or third bounce to stand up with a heavy weight.  I introduced him to his new home.  He then started to make progress in the lifts, especially after I told him never to do a power snatch or power clean again, until he became a champion at the "full" lifts.  A fist pump followed by a smile is the action and emotion that he got when he was able to lift more weight by receiving the bar as low as he could.  I dropped out of physics, but I have the innate ability to understand that weightlifting is nothing more than a race against gravity.  I get excited for him; I get excited for his new PR. We slap hands and drink more coffee, going over how the training went and what we both want in the near and far future.  I think he thought the training session was over because he started to take his Pendlay shoes off.  I then laughed and told him that the fire in Hell was still burning bright and high, and now we had to squat.  Tired but still motivated, he took another sip of miss brown eyes, and began to slap the big bearded man's shoes back on.  Back squats, 5 sets of 2, lets go.  I had to take a number one from all the coffee that has been poured down my throat since I woke about 7 hours ago.  In a full on sprint to the bathroom I yelled without looking behind me, "Get warmed up!".  As I slowly started walking back from one of the best things God himself ever invented, I heard a bunch of little kids crying and screaming for their mothers.  People everywhere where running past me to the door like the building was on fire.  Coach Pendlay stood up and yelled for someone to call 911, and then he walked fast....not ran, because everyone knows that Coach never runs....well unless he is imitating my teammate Kevin Cornell.  As I was spinning in circles trying to comprehend what was happening in the quiet town of San Ramon, Donny bumped into me spilling my coffee all over my deep v Attitude Nation shirt.  He told me that a red fire breathing demon with sharp fangs and dinosaur scales dripping down its greasy back was killing people by its grotesque image alone.  I pushed through the panicking crowd and to my horror......I saw my client doing low bar back squats.

The world ended hours later.

High bar 2016

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Arched Angel

The way she bends makes you want to get under her...and fast.  Her black wings open wide and her body stretches out as if she was being raised by God himself.  A sudden pause in the gym occurs, a half second pause of beauty.  A gust of wind hits the wide eyed watchers as they gaze upon her remarkable bent shaped arch.  She rises higher and higher onto her toes as her hips come through like a 3D movie.  Her shoulders are so far back that a cup could balance on her chest without spilling.  Somehow, her eyes are still staring straight ahead, even though her body would tell you different.  What a remarkable position. What a great athlete.  A site that is kind on the eye, and would make a grown man cry from the beauty she holds.  She is the Michael Jordan of weightlifting. Her finish is greater than Lance Armstrong finishing his race.  Her arch is more famous than the golden arch we know so well from our childhood.  

Her wings are now black from the hell she has been through, before weightlifting they were diamond white.  Before weightlifting she could fly, now her back hurts so she only leaves the platform for a split second. Some call this (Ali Feet), and others say imprisonment.  Every time the angel tries to fly home, the weight pulls her back down, like the Godfather trying to get out, but they keep pulling him back in. 

Yes Caleb Ward's video below shows he is Married to her, but me.........I am married WITH KIDS! ha!  Get off me Caleb.  Pause around 26 seconds.  Oh, and I almost got kicked out of this meet for "exiting from the front of the platform".  I replied, "Johnny Cash". 

A kiss and leave relationship.  How long do you kiss before unlocking lips?  This is impossible for me to answer, only you and her can figure this out.  We need her; the Attitude Nation must have her to succeed. We need her in this sport to achieve greatness. Without love she would die, I would die.  She plays the part of my step mother, beautiful eyes and a Julia Roberts smile.  Hugs that smell like new car and a laugh that dulls pain.  She misses her old life with other angles, but now she finds herself in a love web.  One day she can fly home, but not yet.  First the Nation needs to make the Olympics; we need her grace and her beauty to guide us to the “finish”.  We need her strength and her confidence to catch the bar perfectly in the pit of unsure.  Her name is the Arched Angel, and she is in all of us, even if you haven't met her yet.  She will guide you to the land of Pr's, especially for the weaker lifters who need her most.  Weak legged lifters like myself need as much torque, bend, momentum, and lever as possible.....without it we would be nobody, without her the weight would win.  She is that half second of peace in your life before you leave her all alone to venture in the land down under, called the “catch”.  You miss her so dearly, like your mother dropping you off at summer camp.  Her black wings reverse her body as she flies away, higher and higher still keeping her eyes locked onto yours.  Its not sweat, its her tears that have fallen.  This is what the audience doesn't understand.  A bond with a lift goes unseen by the judges, a love that is un judge able.  The flapping gusts of wind from her calloused wings moves the hair on your head around like a rain storm, and your eyes pierce with concentration from the harsh reminder that you must move on, you must stand up.  The Arched Angel is not the fastest, nor the strongest, but the smoothest and most talented.  Getting on your toes in the finish with 166kg takes a guardian with wings.  Someone who understands you, just as much you understand her.  Sometimes she will help you; and sometimes she is on her lunch break. 

If you haven’t seen her yet, then you are probably seeing the scare crow.  The scare crow is mean and unforgiving.  He will make you miss everything in front, and slow is his middle name.  I call him the evil V, V for vertical.  He has no idea what explosive means, he has no clue how to put on the Ali boxing gloves.  V is also very old.  He was used way back in the day when a weightlifter wasn’t allowed to have any bar body contact.  Yes the V works great for that, but the sport has changed, and the Arched Angel has arrived. 

Her elbows point back as she lies wrapped on your lap feeding you grapes.  Her lips move across your face like a water skier on glass.  Her lips were once apple red and smooth like life before weightlifting.  But the very own Weightlifting that created her, is the one killing her. The masked two faced sport has turned her lips to more of a red whine than summer apple red, and her smooth fresh silk sheet lips are now dry desert mountains, cracked and bumpy.  Forehead to forehead you gaze in each others eyes with that half smile that speaks laughter and happiness.  The hard part about this dream world relationship is the unknowing that awaits for you after the grapes are all eaten.  Will you stand tall with weight?  Or will you stand tall empty handed?

My good friend and once team mate Caleb Ward not only has a relationship with the Arched Angel, but he is damn married to her!!  Pause around 1:02  I thought he was going to do a back flip! In my opinion Caleb Ward as top 5 best technique in the world.  He takes the spot for best athlete I have ever seen up close and personal.  You can't teach his rhythm, speed, and power.  

Caleb Ward 2016

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Our Violin

Sad faced keys look up at me, as my fingers infect them with my thoughts.  Keys that stretch into violin strings that echo loudly throughout the Dark Orchestra, as I play with my head down and Shankle to my side.  Some days I wish I would have never met him, and other days I am thankful for his leading hand guiding me into this fucked up life.  A man that can barely walk, or hardly talk from the mind games that cheer and boo loudly in his science project head.  A still calm face is what we see, but behind the blinds of piercing lion killer eyes, holds a storm that can create much force into the bar when needed.  Turning off this storm is never possible. Driving home can leave you drenched and gasping for air.  Sleeping is training of its own, as this sport has its side effects. Side effects that will leave you rocking back and forth in the chair you sleep in because a bed hurts your broken neck and back.  Rocking because your body has been trained to move.  Rocking to the image of a white wall that might as well be the property of a hospital.  Knee wraps are like coffee, they help dull the pain.  Walking has come harder over the years, and my mind seems to play tricks on me as I catch myself drooling while picking out cereal in the store.  Join me on YouTube, but then leave me.  Turn off the computer and go, leave me with me, a person I do not know off the platform. Leave me as I am stuck in this video forever.  No one is rooting for me while driving home, this is when depression kicks in.  I smile when training, I smile when you watch the live feed, I welcome you with open arms, but I am sad to see you go.  I am fucken depressed once you leave and I can't figure out how to pump my own car full of gas.  I am lost when I am not a weightlifter. I am lost when I have to take a driving test that I still cannot pass.  I am a fucken loser, don't you see?  I'm only special on the platform, on YouTube, or at a meet.  I am alive and well when lifting, but sleeping is a nightmare.  How can I be so confident on the platform, but so insecure off?  You leave me everyday like my dad left me, like my step mom left me, and my step sisters that I used to call family.  Family has left me like someday this sport will, and then what?

Shankle sits across from me, still there, still with me.  Thank God for my weightlifting family, a cult that makes me feel needed, necessary, and valued.  Nothing else has brought me so much passion.  I spent many nights sleeping on a bench outside living homeless, thinking where I would be now.  Who knew I would be here.  Who knew the path I took in life would lead me to this.  Life is funny that way.  The talking to myself issue has put me in the chair facing a therapist.  Ideas that run through my head have to be dealt with and organized.  I see technique that confuses most coaches, and sometimes myself.  I dig too deep into the philosophy of weightlifting, finding things that shouldn't be found.  I am falling deeper into a state of wanderlust and ideas that I am afraid might take me prisoner for good one day.  I am still getting to know this new Jon North, a man that lights his fire and cooks his dinner behind the screen of youtube.  A puppet that Pendlay pulls the strings on.  A freak with coffee that some despise and hate.  A mental head case that if directed properly can work in your blessing.  What most don't know is the influence my father has had on me, good and bad.  Let's just say my mind works and has been trained from a very, very young age to see situations and move them without anyone knowing.  Rooms spin while my head stays facing straight.  Couches and chairs move from one end of the room to the other.  My next move is crucial, what shall I do?  Stop Jon! Just be you the people very close to me say!  But how, when all I know is the Godfather lines and techniques my father drilled into me, while dumping me into social situations where they were looked at win or lose, and then discussed in depth afterwords.  Rave parties, high on ecstasy when I was 12, only to sharpen up my social skills and adapt to life experiences.  I might as well have been in school. A confused kid with an innocent heart, but scared by the talent of seeing situations not just people.  I have come a long way in finding myself, and just being me, even though it has been a very hard challenge to shut that side of my mind off, and turn on the side of pure reactions and feelings.  Yes we all have skeletons, these are just a few of mine that I don't mind sharing.  I find this subject fascinating.  My dad is a genius.  But his genius he took too far, his so called powers are what killed him in the end.  In the end his own strategies turned upon himself and locked him away in his own mind.  The minute he used his powers on his own family, is the day the muddy bank gave way, and crashed into a million pieces.  The first steps in breaking this curse is admitting and talking about the curse, then I will find who I really am.    

40 Kilos to 166 Kilos has taught me a lot.  Understanding that training with pain is okay, and losing is part of winning.  This blog is far from motivational, more of a diary on journey within ourselves and what great things come of sports.  A blog on how a coach can change not only your technique, but life.  How someone like Shankle took a chance with me when no one else would.  Yes, I can't read nor do math.  Yes, I can't pass a simple driving test, nor understand how to work an ATM, but I do know how to slam bars and kill PR's.  Thank you for listening to my violin.

Weightlifting 2016

Monday, October 22, 2012

Coach Hard

The 18th Attitude Nation Certification rained PR's! Thank you Crossfit Chicago for having us.  It was super fun and great to meet all of you! Congrats on all your success and future success, and please please stay in touch!!  Wow, I feel I just got out of a Weightlifting war zone, It was intense.  I have a coaching hangover from coffee, yelling, celebrating, and coaching. Salute. 

Now its time to hide away and train hard in a far away cabin away from the world.  sleep, eat, train, repeat.  Clear the mind from travel and Coaching before getting ready for the 19th Attitude Cert next Sunday in Canada.  Slam bars kill PR's 

(coach Pendlays favorite blog )!!  One of my favorites and it couldn't be more true. 

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, aka B.O.B, or better yet "the set up". 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 2016

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I am more and more convinced that you should break the weight from the floor already back on your heels.  “Where should we start the pull from?” is a question I received a few seminars back that really made me think, where do I pull from.  It is a mystery that must not go unsolved, a mystery that this black sheep must try to tackle. I know the “guide book” of weightlifting says the balls of your feet… but I don’t buy this one way to lift type crap.  I don’t buy this surrender to new ideas and creations bullshit that the old dictators of USA Weightlifting want us to fall prisoners to.  Pull off the balls of your feet, absolutely.  I just don’t think the “guide book” applies to all the millions upon millions of techniques.  If you are scratching your head asking yourself what these million different techniques are, well let me tell you.  Every athlete is different. Every athlete is unique.  Every athlete has his or her own relationship with the bar.  There is no one way to lift weights, there is just your way.  No two people lift the same, so for every weightlifter comes a new and different technique.  For every weightlifter a romance is born, a relationship blooms into a garden of love and hate from every corner of the world.  “There is more than one way to get to the top of the hill”. – Glenn Pendlay.  This is the best thing Mr. Black Beard has ever said to me. Thank you coach for opening my mind to new possibilities, new adventures and a new outlook on life.  

Pulling off the heels is what I do and teach.  This is the Superman way, the Attitude way…. a way.  Fall backwards on the first pull, (floor to knees) and use all the momentum to drive yourself over the bar on the second pull, (knees to hips) to get ready for one thing and one thing only… Yes young men, and yes young women! You are right! Get over and get ready for the only thing that matters in life…. the finish!! A domino effect, a sling shot effect… wait, better yet, a catapult effect! Ha ha, YES! Yes I have had too much coffee, but on the other hand there is no such thing as too much coffee, just under recovery from coffee.  But back to what I was saying.  IT’S NOT A PULL, IT’S A SET UP.  Understand this and you will PR daily.  The set up and the finish are not the same; they are two different sports, two different creatures.  Stop combining your mashed potatoes with your green beans, let them have a life of their own, let them be separate and enjoy the freedom they have deserved over the years of battle and war.  You should be so far back on your heels that if you let go of the bar, you should fall back on your ass.  People wonder why there are all of the holes behind the platforms at Cal Strength?…. Well there you go.  They are not from grip strength though; they are from straps breaking on a weekly basis.  Damn those straps, do your job!! Sons of bitches!!!!  Wiggle your toes as you pull.  The toes are for the finish, and the heels are for the pull, don’t let the heels slack!  Then again, Attitude Nation… do what works for you, don’t listen to me! Listen to you!

What are you cooking Joe?  Well Cathy I am baking a Jon North, Greg Everet, Glenn Pendlay, Don McCauley, Paul Doherty, Jackie Mah, Rob Earwicker, Jasha Faye, and John Coffee cake.  Is it good Joe?  Cathy, I have no idea yet, it’s worth a try! 

I believe in my way 1,000,000 percent.  My way is the best, hands down.  But they would tell you the same, so you choose. 

STOP JUMPING!  I have competed, coached, and trained all over the world and I have never seen anybody jump and shrug in the air! Lol, I’m sorry I know I should be Attitude Nation on this and say, “Do what works for you” but this just crosses the line into madness and self-destruction.  The PR’s and consistency I have seen at my certs by transforming people from not jumping is mind blowing.   Can someone please tell me where this jumping thing comes from?  I am more confused than coach Pendlay without BBQ.   I guess this blog is turning into a diary at this point.  I sometimes forget that people read what I type.  Hello Frank, it’s good to see you back in the cast away corner we call the Dark Orchestra.  Sometimes in the dark I can’t see who is with me.  It’s good to know that when I hang my hat, cry my tears, and hide from the world, I have you to join me Frank. Thank you, and cheers. 

Wow, a lot of boring technique talk.  I could go all day talking about this science project we call weightlifting, but my mind drifts from the equations and solutions, and into an Alice in Wonderland dream of coffee waterfalls, and vicodin powdered protein shakes that make my skin tingle and my head turn from child hood memories of being on my dad’s lap looking out into a foggy rain filled world on top of the Seattle Space Needle.  Yes stay on your heels, but maybe pull off your heels.  Maybe turn your AC up while your windows are down.  Maybe is an adventure that leads to Dinosaurs and talking dogs.  I guess I will end this blog with a very famous quote before I start typing deeper and deeper into my white padded wall banging head.  “Try it, you might like it”.  Salute and we will see you back here soon Frank. Thank you for being with me. 

Frank 2016 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Kite Coach and The Sand Creature

I write to you from the far away island of Maui.  On the beach with miss brown eyes by my side, ridding the waves of life...literally.  I have been playing cast away for the last four days.  I haven't touched a weight sense I sailed upon this easy going orchestra, played by white birds on a blue stage full of flowers and palm trees, much different the the Orchestra I know. And while everyday is paradise, the sunny heaven I bathe in also brings a sandy explosion of a homesick feeling that grows within my ears and throughout my sandy feet. That's why I must visit my home.....The Dark Orchestra.  Let me step out from the sun, and enter the dark.  Let me step away from my family, and hang with my other family.  Let me say good by to happiness and hello to pain.  Know matter how far I travel, Weightlifting follows me everywhere.

This wet Island is a refreshing change from the the dry spell that my team mates and I have had in the gym the last few weeks.  Ever sense Coach left, the drinking water has become scars.  Weightlifters are going hungry, and PR's are moving onward looking for green grass, waterfalls, and other life to feed off of.  A PR is a person too, they need us just as bad as we need them.  I wait for Coach like one pig waits for another.  I wait for coach like he waits for me to finally break the weight from the floor.  I will wait for coach like he has waited for me the last three years.  This sport has taught me that time moves slow, and with patients grows great things to come, and waiting for coach is just another great thing soon to bloom into gold.  The gym has left with him, and the weights followed closely behind like a puppy being dragged by a little boy walking too fast.  Smiles are now smirks, high fives are now low two's, and big bright eyed looks for approval have melted into an empty chair sitting in front of an empty desk giving careless feedback.  If a big lift is made and coach pendlay doesn't see it or hear it, did it happen?  This is the million dollar question.

Blue ocean as far as my eyes can reach.  Water as clear as air, and sky's as blue as the towel me and miss brown eyes sit on.  I think and smile, I think and frown, I am happy, I am depressed, I am a sandy beach full of emotions that has me running my finger back and forth in the sand.  A black crow to my right, and a white dove to my left.  Miss brown eyes in my belly, and a deep chip in my heart.  This blog goes out to all, weightlifting or not, a story about a beach and what it can bring out of you.  Eyes up young man, stop looking down Jon.  Look out to the sea as if you are catching the bar.  Eyes up coach says, as I picture him standing there with nothing around him but him, and the look on his face that waits for my response to his always great coaching cues.  This man has dedicated his whole life to this sport, and the realization that I am included in the package is mind numbing.  He coaches like an innocent kid flying his kite high in the air with complete pride and concentration.  Sorry, this is just the image that popped in my mind when thinking about coach coaching.  Wow, the air feels free here, a feeling of let go and escape.  Look, you can see the kite that coach flies from here......that son of a bitch.  A beautiful feeling rudely woken by reality as I have trouble swimming with the long heavy pendlay bar attached to my ankle.  Hello world.  Hello sea turtles.

My sister getting married is something that I can't talk about.  I can't even write about.  I hope you understand.  The words don't have a chance, they will never see the light of day.  They will live and die inside me.  An emotion that has been sentenced to the death penalty.  Typing this has already made me leave the computer a few times.  So I must end it hear, I have nothing else to say about this.

A kiss from coffee surrounded by non weightlifting civilians. This is dangerous. I fear for the people around me.  I am a lion amongst sheep.  A rage in me that can snap at anytime, springing me off the sand I sit on and into a full sprint tackling a white sheep into the water and eating my prey like a vampire.  I shouldn't be allowed around the public.  I don't trust myself, and they shouldn't trust me.  I have been taught and trained to become an animal the last 5 plus years.  I have been trained to react and attack without thinking.  I have been trained to wake up and get strong! Fight! Kill! Train! Win! Endure the pain! Everyday I am kicked down to only stand taller.  I am beat up to become strong.  I am slowed down to move extremely fast.  Coach is never happy to keep me always hungry.  I am overloaded with weight only to throw weight high and then slam weight down.  I can't run because I am built to lift.  I am trained to love pain, except pain, live with pain, so now I don't feel pain.  Just the other day I snapped......yes in training towards the weight, replace the weight with a person.....yea see, scary and not good.  SNAP!  I am left gasping for air dramatically looking around the room trying to read the situation because I have know idea what the hell just happened.  I need to be locked away.  Throw away the key and let Pendlay create an even stronger and faster monster.  Blame coach, not me.  I sit on this beach with little twitches that have me scared like Edward Norton in the Hulk.  What the fuck did coach do to me?  What the fuck have I become?

I guess these are just some of the many thoughts that come over me as I sit on the sandy beach of Hawaii.

Lexy North 2016

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chris Ware

Big and bad.  Strong and confident.  Motivated and powerful.  A captain among his crew, sailing the seas of weights with his blond hair and short green shorts.  Legs like tree trunks, bubble butt that held a mustang's engine. Arms as long as ropes that smashed through walls and weights like heavy swings from a sludge hammer.  A hammer head full of little words, but a million thoughts.  A giant among men, a gladiator among civilians.  A presence you could feel before even entering the gym.  The sea parted when he walked, and the sea was dead quiet when he lifted.  You never were surprised to see him in the gym, because the word was already out that the lion himself was pacing the gym floor hungry and looking for food.  Goose bumps covered your body as the hair on your neck stood up like a squat.  Chris Ware is his name, and killing weights is his game.

He was everything I was not.  He stood 10 feet tall, I stood 1 foot tall.  He trained hard and held a 4.0.  I got high and held a solid 1.5.  I was a punk kid who looked up to the wrong people.  A kid who was not walking, but running down the wrong road.  Chris Ware was the beginning and the birth of Jon North. A birth that took place my first day of my freshman year of high school.  The first day I laid eyes on the green beast.  This story is the beginning my friends. I am taking you back to the start.  This story takes place before I met the dark world of weight training, weightlifting, body building, Miss Brown Eyes, The Dark Orchestra, you, my wife, my National Title, my USA teams, or my father figure Coach. A story that Chris Ware himself, had and has no idea ever took place, until now.  Now that I have a platform to speak on, I am proud to tell this story to the world.

I watched his every move.  Yea, you can call me a stalker, I was.  You can call me whatever you want, but you try seeing an alien for the first time, and let's see what you do.  Chris Ware had no idea, and still has no idea how much I looked up to him.  I would go home and tell my mom stories at dinner time about what happened in the weight room and what Chris Ware did.  I will never forget the day Chris spoke to me....... it was like a dragon lowering his head down to my level, breathing fire, and then flying away.  I spoke to a dragon, and the dragon somehow knew who I was.  I ran home and told my mom with excitement and happiness.  I studied how he interacted with others.  I took mental notes on how he trained, and the intensity he used to lift the massive weight he was lifting. When people ask me where I got my attitude from, my intensity, my drive, I always say Chris Ware.  Even though they have no idea who he is, I do, and that's all that matters.  If you think I am intense and crazy now, you should have seen this guy train.

Fucken let's go.  The Shankle of my Child hood..... let's go.  Chris Ware has made me a man without him even knowing it, and now it's time to put a sword though his chest. Kill him and take his strength. Thank you for all your teachings Chris. Thank you for changing my life and giving me the tools I need to succeed in sports and in life.  I took your powers and introduced the world to me, Jon North, the bar slamming weight killing Johnny Cash singing most hated man in USA weightlifting mother fucken Attitude Nation son of a bitch. With more respect than you will ever know Chris, I fight everyday to be like you, better than you, I try everyday to cut the dragon's head off that once blessed me with its fire. You have created a monster that now chases after you. WELCOME TO THE DARK ORCHESTRA CHRIS.  Please don't be scared, there is nothing to worry about.  Don't mind the skeletons and the dark stage filled full of salty coffee stained tears.  Please sit, for now you have entered our world, a world of hell and pain.  Snort the chalk lines of life with me, and eat the bar that breaks our hearts from let downs it has casted upon us.  A world of demons and back stabbing is where we sit Chris, a world full of nah sayers and hateful vampires. Success is outside. In here we chat while our skeletons play their violins.

I followed you into the jungle of weights, the Alice in Wonderland of barbells, and like the movie Jumanji I have never left.  I remember the person I was before being bit by the weight room bug and becoming infected by the virus.  I wonder how he is doing?  I wonder what has become of the outside world? I thank you every time I succeed Chris, but I curse your name every time I fail.  I wonder where I would be if I never met you, if I never wandered into the gym touching bars and plates like they were mysterious plants from an unknown world.  As you can tell, this blog has veered off into different directions a few times that has you scratching your head. It's because of the amount of coffee that is being poured down my bloody from the bar throat.  More coffee than you could ever imagine.  Plus, the song has changed a few times, which turns everything around.  But anyways, I really just wanted to say thank you. I am sorry about the dagger that I have stabbed you in the chest with, I hope you understand that I need all of your mighty powers to make this 2016 Olympic team.  I don't know if you ever knew the role model you were and still are to me.  I don't know if you will ever read this.  Hopefully you will come across this so you know the impact you had on me growing up.  I wanted you to know that there was a kid who hung on your every word and move.  I wanted to let you know that you changed my life for the better, and I bet there are others out there that feel the same, but have never spoke of it or wrote about it.  I don't even know if you will remember me, or know who I am, and that's okay, I understand, it's been many many years.  I want to thank you for inviting me to your house party, I will never forget running from the cops. Thank you for showing me the weights, saving me from drugs, guiding me to...... me.  Thank you.

Chris Ware 2016

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Battle Gear

Slam bars and kill pr's in the new Attitude Nation SHORTS! 
Rock the bright green Nation shirt on a sunny day, or do some curls for the girls in the Attitude Deep V! 
Chug coffee and go HAM in the cut off!!! 
What is a light day? Hailee Lollar has no idea!! 

Slam bars with the Polar Bears in a warm Attitude Sweatshirt!! 

Black Sheep 2016 

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Here it is!  The Team MDUSA Practice meet!  Congrats on the whole Muscle Driver team on making hand fills of PR's, great totals, and for mike and chris making the B team baby!!!  Also, congrats to my Wife for smoking a brand new PR total!  I went 160kg snatch 192kg C&J   making a solid 352kg total. I can't wait until Americans to slam bars and make the PAN AM team.  Thank you to Coach Don McCauley for stepping in and helping us out while coach is away, you are the man and thank you again.  Thank you to Brad aka the boss man, to the loaders and the beautiful lades who filmed.  Attitude Nation Salute! 

The 16th Attitude Nation Certification Seminar was a blast! Thank you to the owners Ryan and Kyle for having me.  Thank you to everyone at Port crossfit, and congrats on all the PR's, great lifting, bar slamming, and coffee drinking!!  Thank you to Mike Graber for helping out and putting on a great show while we all watched you go for a big PR CJ!!! Port Crossfit please please keep me posted on all your future success in Weightlifting and crossfit.   O and I almost forgot The owner Ryan is a professional Actor and was just in a Lays national commercial with Eva Longoria.  He is the Hot Dog guy!  "what about the hot dogs?"  great hair, great acting.  (Video Below the picture)

And now the awesome commercial!! Congrats Ryan! 

MDUSA 2016

Monday, October 1, 2012


The hateful forums.  The American Open hype.  The hateful YouTube comments.  The nervous thoughts, twitches, and emotions.  The pain that this sport has casted upon me, and the pain that life has brought me.  The let downs and achievements.  The highs and lows.  The gold medals and bomb outs. My fight with drugs and alcohol.  My sad story that is called my relationship with my father.  My coach being away from me too long.  The constant eyes that watch for my next move.  The high bar that constantly stays floating over my head.  The stacked 94kg class.  All of this vanishes into the morning fog as I start my morning jog at 6:00 AM.

Something new for me, something that has helped me on and off the platform the last few weeks.  I find  a certain peace within myself that I never knew existed.  I have met another Jon North that I am drawn to.  A new me that is calm and quiet.  Peaceful and mysterious.  A Jon North that breaths clouds of morning fog and not flames of fire. Who never walks but runs, and who never talks but thinks.  These crying thoughts that drown me with shame must be freed.  These thoughts must run away from my skeleton pit mind, never to be seen again.  Run away from me you blood sucking Demon, your thoughts that tear holes though my heart, will be no longer, as I run from you.  Facing you has got me no where.  So I run.

This old race horse has trouble moving when off the platform, so starting a jog is always an up hill battle.  I step with pain as my knees start to play their own violin.  It's been said that my knees and back have their own Dark Orchestra.  The more I think about it, we all have a Dark Orchestra. What is a Dark Orchestra?  It's a dark stage where we can catch our breath, and listen to our skeletons play beautiful songs of sadness.  A family of outcasts that eat dinner together on a long wooden table filled with glasses of salty tears. A place called home. But this morning, there is no dark orchestra, just a quiet world where the sounds of bar slamming and judging eyes do not exist.  Ready to listen to the key board of sneakers that hit the side walk of pavement.  I am ready to enter the Apocalypse.  Ready to enter the clouds of fog.  I jog, I jog with rhythm and pride.  I jog like Ali.  I jog with Attitude, side by side with the Nation.  I jog to forget. I jog to think. I jog because jogging is not weightlifting, it's something different.  The faster I jog, the farther back the bar above my head falls behind.  The longer I jog, the less my body hurts.  The old race horse starts to wake, the fog starts to clear, and now you can call me Seabiscut.  Every drop of sweat that falls off my forehead is a weight off my shoulders. Come on coach, it's my time to carry you to the finish line.  Your presence is strong, even though hidden away in your own Orchestra of...... well, let's just say your presence is still with me, and me jogging is a metaphor of moving forward with you, Shankle, and the rest of my teammates. I will jog for us.  I will jog this morning to simply move, because moving is what I was put on this planet to do.  God made me move well, so moving is what I do.  God gave me bad book smarts for a reason.  He gave me ADD for a reason.  He invented coffee for a reason.  He invented jogging for a reason.  He invented weightlifting for us lost souls.  Weightlifting is a castle of happiness from our broken paths of doom.  He invented Klokov to not only look good, but, well..... Klokov is a damn sexy man.  That's all I have to say about that.  If you don't have a man crush on Klokov, then I don't trust you as a person.

I write about weightlifting now, but when I jog I think nothing of it.  I think of nothing. I focus on everything.  I focus on my stride, the landscape, the sunrise that can make even the strongest man feel weak.  I black out, this time not from alcohol, but from peace.  Running breaks the weightlifting shackles from my ankles, allowing me to move in a way I haven't done in years.  I feel no pain for the first time in years, no back pain, no knee pain, nothing.  It's like my body is rewarding me from not beating it up, slamming it with weights, crushing it with bars, kicking it down until it pees blood or I get the shakes at night.  My body cries when I crawl to the bathtub.  My body screams when I puke white liquid from the amount of creatine I intake.  But when I run, I feel weightless, I feel like Seabiscut.  Sometimes, taking the time out of the day for no weightlifting, is the best weightlifting training for a weightlifting meet.

I feel I am addicted to coffee. I am addicted to moving. I am addicted to weightlifting. I am addicted to jogging.  Yes, you can find me at practice everyday chained to the platform.   But now, you can also find me in the early morning running through the Apocalypse, side by side with a calm Jon North that you may never meet.  Salute.

Prefontaine Forever

PLUS a video from the General of the Attitude Nation, training for the 2028 Olympic games!  Setting a new baby World Record with some great bar slamming!!!  You can't teach speed!!!!  This baby is a freak athlete!  This video was sent to me from his dad, thank you Joe, Salute. (video below)

BABY WORLD RECORD 2028!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!