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Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Sleep Program

I feel that as a weightlifter, we must live the lifestyle of a weightlifter in order to achieve what we have set off to achieve.  8 to 10 hours of sleep sounds nice to the average Joe, but forcing this kind of sleep is at times training in itself.  Trying to stop your spinning mind from ideas, goals, new philosophies, and eager plans, can seem impossible for an athlete that lays restless at night with their eyes wide shut. Sleep is everything. Without it, we the athlete will fall short on the hard path we chose to walk down.  The normal human stays up late while laughing at their favorite TV show, while we, the creatures of the darkness, stay locked away with a pillow over our heads trying to keep the bad thoughts from entering our dream world.  Thoughts of regret, what ifs, and the worst of all.... thoughts of failure.  We find ourselves getting up to go to the bathroom just to move, because moving is what we do best.  We get up for a glass of water to grab a sneak peak of what everyone is laughing at in the living room.  We are the only people who purposelessly lock ourselves in prison, only to feel freedom. We stay away from the normal world only so we can, for a few brief moments, feel greater than normal.  Every night for an athlete is Christmas Eve. The faster we fall asleep, the faster we will be drinking coffee. The faster we drink coffee, the faster we get to do what we love the most..... and that is to train.  The best part of training is that it's a magnet, a magnet that brings close friends, family, and teammates to you, and vise versus.  Yes, lifting is fun, but lifting with others is even better.  Yes, lifting is great, but making new friends is just as great, and what is even more satisfying, is the world you have or are creating for your kids.  We the people, we the athletes, have created the best day care, the best environment, and the best life lessons ever for our kids...... the world of training can never be topped. It is a lifestyle that teaches you that pain is good, and that hard work pays off.  It is a lifestyle that will be the first to tell you of your mistakes and bad decisions. It is a lifestyle that teaches you the value of a miss, or better yet.... failure.

I was going to write this blog on a weightlifters diet, but I guess the coffee had other plans.  It feels good to write something positive, rather than depressing.  I never control what I write, I let go completely.  I stop thinking 100 percent and rely on pure emotion.  Maybe I am in a happy mood because of Christmas.  I am happy because for the last few days I have been close to family.  It's almost like they have taken my hand and showed me there is more to life than weightlifting, which is a cold world that can drown you in its black fog.  Doing my hair, putting on regular people clothes rather than training cloths, and walking around down town, has seemed to put me in a trance of peace and amazement. I find myself dazing off with wandering eyes, like a kid at Disney Land for the first time.  What is all this I see?  Who are these people and what do they do all day?  I am surrounded by a whole world that I once lived in, and now have seemed to forgotten.  An alien I am, a lost dog that once had a family but has now forgotten how to sit.  I find myself running into people and over apologizing as they keep walking, as if they didn't even see or feel me.  I am a one trick pony, and weightlifting is my trick.

10 hours is my perfect amount of sleep.  If I hit 11, then I find myself tired throughout the day, sluggish is a better word.  I don't know the science behind anything I write, so please be careful what you read, and always ask your coach before performing anything I type.  Remember, whatever your coach says is the right way.... period.  If I get 8 hours of sleep, then I find myself having a lot of energy early in the morning, but then dying fast in the afternoon.  Weird huh?  10 hours, and I'm ready for war, and oh how good the coffee tastes.  A rain storm of pr's will fall upon me if my sleep is timed perfectly.  Coach knows the minute he sees me if I look ready or not as I walk into the gym, following with one of his most asked questions, "How many hours of sleep did you get last night, Jon?".  This is what makes coach Pendlay such a good.... wait, great coach, is that he knows each and every one of his athletes to the T, and understands that our ticking hands tick at different rhythms.  I am the Champ and therefore coach is the Champ.  I am a freak athlete, and because of this coach is as well.  What is coach doing late at night while all his weightlifters are asleep?  I wonder.  Maybe this is when he creates his world famous programing.  Maybe as we all sleep with smiles, coach is planning his master plan while he writes by a fire place dipping his bird feather pin into the ink that sits by the side of coffee.  What does coach cry about at night?  He will never say, but I wonder at times what his Dark Orchestra would look like.  What would his violin type?  I have always wondered why the program sheet he passes out to us before training has small ink splashes throughout the paper.  This blog started out positive and I can feel my typing becoming more and more dark.  I better stop now before I turn this blog into another letter of sadness, or better yet... reality.

Merry Christmas 2016


  1. "Every night for an athlete is Christmas Eve. The faster we fall asleep, the faster we will be drinking coffee. The faster we drink coffee, the faster we get to do what we love the most..... and that is to train" Love this friggin line... i havent slept 10 straight hours since college. The "Im getting old" internal alarm clock wakes me up at 6:30am EVERY DAY no matter when i fall asleep. Ill have to work on that... merry christmas bro!!

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