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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Calm Bug

On my way to the Arnold 2013. On my way to represent the Dark Orchestra and make you all proud. I will smash the American record and bring home the title for you, for us, for the Attitude nation.  I came across this article I wrote sometime ago before nationals.  A year later and I feel the exact same way I do now.  So I just had to re post it.  I find the taper bug very interesting as well.  I have been talking to a few friends on different ways to stay 100 percent clear from the dreaded bug, so far not a whole lot of success.  Its something I want to chat about on my next podcast though.....o by the way is not going live tomorrow at the usual time due to traveling to the Arnold.  BUT, we are putting together a LIVE show at the Arnold grabbing as many guests as we can get that walk on by, Just like we did at the American Open.  Hope to see you their, it would be great to be able to meet you in person.  Salute.

I wasn't going to write again tell after the Arnold, but I just couldn’t stay away from chatting with you. Coffee is just not the same without talking to the Attitude Nation. Writing has become a big part of my life; a big part of the training, a big part of relationships, and most importantly getting to know and understand myself. Writing is my therapy, without it I feel claustrophobic, uptight, and lonely. So I hear I am, back with you one more time before the Arnold.  Lets grab some coffee, put on a Piano guys song, put on our phantom mask's with the dark cape, and let’s sing together in this ever so odd world of the dark symphony - while the world shuns us!

The Taper bug has finally left, thank the Lord. The last week I have been tired, weak, slow, and unmotivated. I have been sleeping like a new born baby, too lazy to even play video games.  Just enough energy to sit in the hot tub and stare at a swaying tree for about 30 minutes. This always happens to me before a big meet, or any meet that is.  I call it the Taper bug. The Taper bug is when you start to back off the training and rest the body. The volume goes way down, the squat workouts get easier, the length of training gets cut in half, and the overall intensity lowers with each workout. You become more sore, achy, slow, and even weaker the more the taper bug enters your body. Why? I have no idea. You would think it would be the exact opposite. It’s like your body finally gets some rest and takes full advantage of it. Your body shuts down, like a bear for the winter, a big Donny shankle bear. Lol, sorry I don’t know why I just said that, but the image is pretty funny. Months and months of hell training, months and months of beating this bloody muscular skinned thing we call our body down.  Time after time of kicking it every time it tries to get up. Now when you let it stand, it doesn’t just jump up and say "let’s go"! but no, the body slowly gets on one knee first, and then the right hand helps support your the left, and after a few days of trying to stand up it does, slowly but surely. But my friends.....It doesn’t just, it grows 90 feet tall and smashes everything in front of it. "Green Monster” my old blog explains this perfectly.

I have been in depression the last week. The taper bug got to my head a little bit, and the taper cloud over my head really brought me down. A few small injury's and some tweaks in the lower back is the minds worst enemy, and the body's worst optical. Even coffee didn’t help. Weight after weight being missed, twitching legs while a sleep, and low energy levels, haaaa! NO MORE!! I have smashed the bug and grabbed my gun. I have reunited with the Nation and we will attack. Snap out of it Champ, you have a title to defend. Three time Arnold champ has a certain ring to it. You have a medal to send around the world, no time for pity. No time for "what ifs”, no time for the weight to feel heavy, just lift and win....then do to all again.  After they put the medal around our neck, salute the Nation with pride boy.

Yes that all sounds good, but a minute later my hands start to sweat again, my heart rate goes up, and my mind starts playing tricks on me again. The opener keeps me up at night, the opener haunts me. Sometimes I feel like running, running to a small town and hiding in a bar. Forgetting that I am 4 months sober and drinking my worries away night after night. Yes, this sounds great, no more pressure, just a white flag and my vodka. Every sip of that Vodka would warm my soul and make me feel good again. No more pain and hype, no more hateful comments towards me, no more long days training in the gym, no more letting people down if I do bad. But then again I would be letting many people down if I ran away. Then again I would not have you. I would no longer be a part of the Attitude Nation. Being a part of this Nation is everything to me, I take pride in it. Vodka is a nation of destruction and failure. Vodka is a friend who will smile to my face and then stab me in the back.

Fuck, this blog is all over the place, I am sorry, this is why I haven’t wrote in a few days, I knew this would happen. I am glad I wrote this blog today, I feel its centering me and putting me back in a place of comfort and confidence. So thank you.

Someone call the small town bar and tell them I won’t be making it in, I have a title to defend. Tell Vodka I am sorry for no showing, and not to wait up for me. Remind him that I am with the Nation still, and I will never leave them.

Smash the Taper bug and Win The Arnold 2013

Smash Sir Vodka and keep marching with the Nation 2013

Last fridays max out video.  The last max out day tell Arnold.  Plus i walked into coaches office at a perfect time.

Calm before the storm 2016

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Third Person

Just wiped a small piece of lint off my computer screen, where in most cases the lint would have never caught my eye, as I would have been to busy typing away or organizing my ADD thoughts into something that someone would actually find interesting or readable at that.  Its late, and I'm tired, and a hot shower sounds so nice.  A squint with the eyes to keep myself focused on my writing, and not down the hallway that meets the shower.  I imagine myself looking into the refrigerator, even though I know nothing exciting nor new will await me when I take that hopeful peek inside. Why so bland, why so familiar? Walking into the grocery store is like landing on a new planet for the first time, and every time you go back to that planet you want to explore new locations and routs, but instead you visit the same place at the same time while leaving with the same experience.  Next time I visit my local market, I am going down aisle 4 instead of aisle 9.  I will walk backwards instead of forward, while pulling the cart from the front rather than the back.  I will try a sample that looks alien, and next time I will stand in the corner of the store and watch what people buy, interact, move, talk, and shop. I want to watch what I look like from a third persons point of view, and get to the bottom of why I end up with the same foods every time I walk into a land of variety.  hmmm - Now I'm analyzing myself in the third persons role looking at others, thinking how others and myself would react to my third person self sitting in a corner watching me and the others shop.  Now I'm thinking about how I would never put that odd thought process in my blog, and how this tea might have something in it I'm not aware of.      

Is this what Shankle so passionately talks about.....the comfort zone.  Have I become a comfort zone person.  I will next time buy a gossip mag by the check out stand, and pay with a bag of change for my new cart of no comfort zone foods.  Miss you Shankle, you have no idea how much I miss you.  But knowing you are somewhere with your toes in the water and your shorts all hiked up with a smile on your face after a long hard day of training and coaching makes me more happy than you will ever know. Freedom my friend....happiness.  Let the sun of Australia hit your face with warmth and strength, while you privately crack a smile from the crazy times and memories we once shared.  Walk your path brother, and I will walk mine, and hopefully one day in the future our paths will meet again, just like that fall day we met at In and Out by Cal Strength.  On this day I asked, "how do I get strong Donny"?  "God damn it just got to get stronger" - Shankle.  OK.

Spinning my wedding ring while drinking tea with a white screen looking back at me. A blog must be written. Not because I have to, but because I want to.  Want is what keeps us training, want keeps us reading and writing, want is what makes a kid want to finish school to support his or her family. Want is freedom. Weightlifting is freedom.  No boss, no judgment, no lies, only hard nosed bar that will kick the cold hard truth down your throat, but then help you up once you fall. I must figure out these running thoughts before they run away.  I must grab them from the air and write them down to share. Grab this barbell and launch it in the air.  Now I am getting jacked up, and I can feel my heart hitting hard as I begin to go from sipping my tea to now slamming my tea.  Excited about tomorrow is an understatement. Are my thoughts a little all over the place?.... sure.  Why am I excited about tomorrow....I have not a clue.  I will go to bed after a long night of writing to you, then wake up with only a few that understand and get me, for I understand and get you.  How this is rhyming I swear I don't know, at times my thoughts just seem to come together this way, and at times not,  for I have no rhyme for the end of this sentence. Damn.

I have found that by being able to relate to people and them to you, has helped my training tremendously. Why is this?  In my head I go over this question over and over, and out loud answered "I don't know" after taking a tongue burning sip of miss brown eyes's cousin.  Maybe its because before this UN - spoken relationship you have with others, what you thought at the time was bad, or what you thought you were doing was wrong....was and is actually wright, and not bad, but actually good.  Confidence. period.  its encouraging knowing that your pain is theirs, your success bleeds out to them, and their work ethic represents you in a way that you could have never imagined without the strength of many. Many kilos with many mother fuckers training hard achieve many great things.

You sit across from my writing desk and ask me what I'm going to write tonight.  I respond to you that I have these random thoughts about refrigerators, walking backwards in my supermarket, Shankle and his hiked up shorts, freedom, and last but not least this idea about writing about writing what I'm thinking about writing, and then writing it.

Shit......this whole time I was writing.  Salute.

What am I going to write tonight 2016

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Safe

Once a supporter, now a drip of water that falls from the back of my head as this shower tries its hardest to cleanse me from the controversy that surrounds my down time.  A quiet room is always the worst, as judging eyes and evil mouths take over my once quiet thoughts.  This is why I don't smoke weed, I analyze things to the point of no return.  Did I say the wrong thing? Did I go too far? The worst of them all........did I lose a fellow friend, follower, supporter? But then again, I am reminded by a constant whisper that everything I say and do - I mean, I am.  I never regret, but I stress.  And even though I never second guess, the heavy thoughts that replay in my head make some nights long like the rain outside.  The constant pounding from water to roof is like a thousand fists trying to break the walls I call the recovery hibernation station. A place to rest and rebuild.  A place to drain the pain from the fame, and organize my thoughts and opinions into some sort of organization that will hopefully make some sense before I rest my head to bed.  It pains me to lose a soldier of the iron game from some sort of crazy action or rant I might bark upon, but I must be me, without me I am not me. And by sugar coating anything would be highly non-attitude nation of me, and 100 percent disrespectful to you- even if you disagree with me on the topic or action I take part in.  I must carry on, even though some might fall off.  They fall like water, everyday and fast, they hit me before they disappear, and every time my eyes close with insecurity. It's hard to explain, but with every piece of hate mail I receive, a rush of losing everything shadows over me, leaving me in a state of panic.  Panic that my family agrees with the letter sent to me. Panic that the gym door will be locked as I try to pull it open for training. Panic that the Dark Orchestra will move away and leave me with only my skeletons to talk to and relate to.  Panic that fruit and rocks will be thrown at me while walking on stage to lift. Insecure you have no idea.  

I wish there was a safe that we could lock our thoughts in before we train.  I find that turning off your mind to train is the single most difficult challenge this sport has presented me with.  Focusing on the idea of going underneath 400 plus pounds can not only make an athlete's knees shake, but the brain must be able to use all the concentration it has to register and to control this unbelievably crazy idea you are presenting it with.  If there are any outside thoughts or concerns - then a missed lift or an injury lurks around the corner.  A new rule states: The safe box must be locked before entering the work place (aka) the gym. We all need to enforce this career soaring rule, before this mistake takes us all down with it.  Hesitation is the reason why we miss, and all it takes is a splash of salt that will have the bar crashing on top of our heavy heads.  Yes the toes wear the crown for most of the misses in this sport, for they are responsible for more missed lifts than any other technical problem, but hesitation takes the cake for biggest mental problem any lifter can make.  Hesitation comes in many different shapes and sizes, forms and disguises.  It shows its face from fear.  Fear to go under, fear from the thought of missing, fear from the outside thoughts you carried onto the platform with you.  

"I will let you down, I will make you hurt" - Johnny Cash. I am sorry now, for I dread the day this happens, and at times I lay awake and I hope it doesn't happen.  I hope when you meet me I don't disappoint. I hope I don't say something that quiets the room, I think and sit in when no one is around. You have helped me so much on this journey, all I want to do is help you like you have me, and be there like you have for me.  Entering this orchestra is why I keep slamming bars.  Playing violins with the skeletons brings joy to my life.  The orchestra of us is a steady dose of real life, real emotion, and real thoughts. A reality of realism of humbled truths that keep me balanced from the cocky, in your face Jon North that some seem to love or hate. This is real. You are real. This quiet room I think in is the devil in the red dress that must be put to rest.  Talking to the callers on air is what makes me keep chugging coffee.  Seeing the seminars grow and people getting better makes me want to get better.  Feeling gold in my hands makes my eyes water and hands shake.  This is what the haters and hate mail senders will never understand.  For every hate mail that is sent to me, handfuls of gut wrenching, positive, overwhelmingly great emails that have changed my life for the better are sent to me.  You hater, you have not stained me.  You hater, you are nothing.  For every follower that has walked away from my words or actions, an army of new supporters have come together so we can feed off of each other to achieve greatness in sport and life.  You have no idea how important you are to me.  Tonight I write to you, not as Jon North. 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


A handful of weightlifters pull a trailer of weightlifting equipment to the empty warehouse that has made its home to spiders, dust, loneliness, and an unknown identity.  No truck can pull this trailer that we will soon feed to the gym, for only a weightlifter's pull can handle this colorful array of circles that we all cherish so much.  Weight, that's all it is.  Round weights that are heavy. Weight that has most people run away, but we pull a trailer down the middle of the street to lift.  This my friends is why we are outcasts; we are freaks that get a high off lifting shit.  Up, then down, then we spin all around......freaks, and boy how I fucken love it.  But see freak is an identity that we have, and I bet the empty gym would love as well.  An identity creates relationships, and relationships create understanding, something this gym will soon learn, as we continue to pull to feed the beast with this goal. 

Green veins from the monsters we chug, and wings to help us pull faster from the red bulls we crush.  Adopting weights for a new home that awaits.  A gym is the mother and these sons of bitches are her new found kids, and we......well we soon come to find out are the prisoners of an always growing power.  One that I have seen grow from the day we moved in.  We brushed the dust and awoke the gym from rest.  Wake up you gym! We have brought you life! We have brought you power! We are now you and you are now us.  I see you like techno music, shit.....I do too!  You like coffee spilled on your floors, well I like coffee spilled down my mouth and into my soul. We are best friends even though I will at times cus and shun you, flip you off and un-love you. You are my safety net that has many holes, holes that can lead to missed lifts and constant reminders of how much I miss my father. Sitting on my resting seat today, I noticed how much this little gym in a warehouse has grown.  I don't mean by teammates or supporters that watch through the red eye, but by dead coffee cups that have pushed their way further and further from the gym boundaries, and into unknown territories where the non weightlifters know....those weird sons of bitches.  Bars have made new homes as they rolled away, creating a property line without asking for the city's approval yet.  Platforms have multiplied from pieces of wood being taken out of their own bodies like clones, and dragged to a new part of the gym.  Jerk racks have magically appeared in a part of the gym that I didn't even know existed by who the fuck knows.  It's almost as if when the lights shut off, the AA meetings begin, and the monsters talk about how bad they feel for treating people like monsters, and the coffee cups cry rivers of pain and sadness because the humans that were once in love with them, now left them all alone.  Bars roll like weed in a college dorm, and platforms multiply like a dog's paws when sleeping on the couch.  A mind of its own, and we the one trick ponies of weightlifting, have no idea the life that surrounds us.  The power of all these emotions in a gym, from the living gym, to our own, make for a hot and cold type of person.  Maybe this is why I have lived my whole life one extreme to the next, because I channel energy from living things I didn't even know were alive.  The car I drive.....what kind of mood was it in for me to drive so fast, or slow?  Maybe I have mixed too much liquid codeine, NyQuil and tea together a little too much lately, but it just got me scratching my head as I found myself noticing a gym that was literally growing right in front of our eyes......and none of us even noticed. 

We pull our own weight, and we create our own atmosphere without even knowing it.  We have nestled into a gym and not only made it our gym...but our home.  We the weightlifters, we are the ultimate hoarders.  We hoard weights and bars, blood towels and scars.  We hoard emotions that we put into lifts that create a storm of chalk we keep stacked in the back.  We hoard medals of all kinds, and weightlifting shoes like girls and their heels, and if a bar is broken what do we do? Nothing, we lay it to rest in the corner with the other bars that build dust and once used chalk that now meet at night and talk about the good old times.  We don't throw shit away, because it's not shit, it's a part of us.  A broken pair of shoes don't ever go in the garbage, they go in the retirement closet to be smiled at from time to time from the memories you once shared.  The gym is alive, don't be fooled.  Keep slamming bars and feeding it its fuel.  We feed off each other like one brother to another, sister to sister, and coffee cup to monster.  Pull, weightlifters pull!

Graveyard Bars 2016

Monday, February 11, 2013


I have found that the state of mind you're in, can damage your perception of time and place, luring you into more of an idea or a dream that can take complete control of your perception of reality.  The hands on your watch haven't ticked in years, in fact, they have fallen off all together.  Your once moving watch has been replaced with moving bars that now direct your day.  I can't seem to remember where the time went, from when my non-callused hands touched the bar to now.  Memories flash as I chalk, and feelings hit when lifting.  Lost in translation as we feign for PR's like heroin addicts to heroin. What time is it? Who is the President? Where the bloody hell am I?  Questioning the program is not allowed in this lifestyle of sport, just like how clocks don't exist in a Las Vegas Casino.  Just bet, time doesn't matter.  Just lift, nothing else matters. What matters is how many chips that proudly stand guard in front of you. Like a weightlifter with our medals, we immerse ourselves into a sea of blood and sacrifice, only to come up for air when real life calls out.  But calling out is a rare privilege, and at times unheard of.  Just before you ask yourself why your watch does not have hands, shades of black ripple like water from coach looking down upon you, pushing your head back into the bloody sea of red.  A cold chill rushes through the gym, gliding over your sweaty skin and leaving you peering out the gym door for I guess some sort of hope, or maybe some sort of new excitement, or even something that my watch nor myself can answer. We are saddened by a dark shadow facing our direction, with little evidence on where or what the shadow is looking at, hit in the face with the cold hard truth that we the weightlifters were born for lifting, breaking chains, and crushing rocks, one hit at a time.

Why are the walls in my gym black?  And why is USADA circling my house?  Coffee mixed with Day Quil leaves me behind my front door with a pair of weightlifting shoes and my straps, ready to defend this perception of whatever the fuck is going on.  Teammates come and go, but I am still here.  New gyms replace old gyms, new shoes hang up old shoes, and all the while I haven't moved from my resting seat.  I write to you tonight to try to figure out our mind set, our reality that we have created for ourselves to live in with our own rules, patterns, guidelines, and language.  It's fascinating, but at the same time when woken from this different perception, I find myself lost in the outer world, and confused on what time really means to regular mother fuckers. Am I the white sheep, or are they?  Is USADA after me, or just doing their job? I will be in the same place tomorrow lifting the same 20 kilo bar while drinking the same coffee on my same resting seat.  It's almost as if I am writing you from the future, even though I'm really in the present.  If I see you tomorrow in my gym, that means we both traveled to a place we knew existed from our knowledge right now. Right? I can predict tomorrow by drinking tea tonight. I have seen tomorrow tonight, and by writing you tonight......right now......or whatever right now means.....if you read this while I am in my resting seat tomorrow, that means I am actually living in the future while you have been taken back to the past.

I am lost in translation.  But I am not lost in life, nor weightlifting.  I have, we have, created our own time, own structure that guides us to happiness and to our goals. Our time is a much different meaning than a librarian's time, or any other lifestyle or career chosen by a particular person.  Our watch is the bar, our calendar is meets and competitions.  Coach is nothing more than a shadow of a metaphor that screams train hard without screaming at all. I have no idea what time or day it is, all I know is that tomorrow I will be sitting in my resting chair drinking coffee.  See you in the future my friend.  Goodnight.

Bar Clocks 2016

Sunday, February 10, 2013


The squat cycle from Hell has finally come to an end.  3 weeks out from the Arnold, and I have never felt more alive.  Thank you, Dark Orchestra family for all your support over the years, and for the support leading up to this big goal that coach and I have been aiming for.  Hate is a strong word, so I will say that for as much as I dislike squats..... I am almost sad to see this squat cycle go.  You have been nothing but pain and misery, but you have brought me strength and confidence in the end, and for that squat cycle, I thank you.  See you soon Arnold. 

The Skeletons of Support, pain, and motivation 2016

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Castle

How am I going to stand up?  This is the only question you need to ask yourself before squatting. Seeing the bottom of the world is like inception, it is a lost world of unknown and forgetfulness. Your rep set scheme becomes lost, and all recollection of time itself vanishes as you free fall into a grave yard of missed attempts, all screaming for you to take them with you. The dead attempts stretch their arms like tight ropes, and their fingers flail like sea weed in an ocean storm as they pull you down, only for hope they can be pulled up.  A castle of broken bricks, hunched backs, and pale bodies lay at rest under a gray sky, all surrounded by bloody rivers that carry dreams and hopes away right under our feet.  Grab your flash light of goals, and your gym bag of tools my friend, you will need all the help you can get when trying to save one of these failed attempts.  The only way to save these once strong soldiers of chalk and weight, is to fall millions of feet down - lowering the bar just low enough for one to grab on to your butt, back, bar, or whatever else the weak hands can somehow hold onto.  Yes you will see the castle, and yes you might become one of them, but as weightlifters we never leave a soldier down.  We always keep pulling, pushing, and standing. 

A deep breath, for deep is where we are going.  Feet so close your heels are almost touching, lining up your butt and calves perfectly to bounce off of each other in the very bottom of the deepest darkest depth of the squat.  Without the bounce, you will live in the castle, you will drink from the bloody rivers that fill up from your own tears.  Toes pointed out, directing your knees away from the crumbling hotel on the journey down and up called "missed lift inn".  A place you never want to go.  Your knees will go in slightly no matter what, so by taking them out wider than usual, the inn will not be the missed inn, but more of the "made inn". The squat is a full commitment, the lower you go, the better chance you will save an attempt. The lower you drop, the faster you will rise. The faster you drop, the more your belly (aka) "power belly" will kiss your thighs to help you stand up.  Yes I said it my friend, this is another trick from the tool box that will improve your squat, and just another reason why I squat with such a narrow stance.  I call it the double bounce. 1.) butt to calves. 2.) belly to thighs.  The more narrower your feet, the more bounce you will be able to create.

Your toes wiggle as if waving the weight away to your heels that now crack the platform floor from its burden of importance.  Your back so arched that a waterfall has found a new home like moss on a rock....nature has run its course perfectly.  My heart hurts many times throughout the day.  You will not see this by watching my videos, or by seeing me lift.  The masked man that hides inside of me pierces his thorn into my heart to remind me of the pain I have left behind. By keeping my chest high during the squat, it drains the pain downward toward the gray skied castle.  Not only do I save a dead attempt, but I leave behind bloody eyed demons that bring me so much heartache.  Goodbye masked man, hello stand.  Every time I stand, I feel more alive.  Every time I save a lost attempt, it brings me pride.  I stand from a squat to someday get the chance to fix the bricks that lay at rest, turn the river into water, and the sky into blue.  I hope to change my life and others, one squat at a time. 

Tools 2016

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Your Move

Different strokes for different folks.  Different strides for different minds. A different paint brush for every artist as they paint their masterpiece.  A swimmer swims fast to win, but how that individual swims is up to the camp he trains in, lives in, and bleeds in. There is no wrong way to lift weights.  The sport of weightlifting is getting the bar from the floor to overhead in one motion, or for the second part of the sport, two motions. How you get it there doesn't matter. This ain't a beauty contest.  The only thing that truly matters is winning. There is more than one way to get to the top of the hill.  This battle between coaches is laughable to me. I sometimes feel as if I'm watching children fighting over a toy in the sandbox. There is so much hatred in weightlifting, and not enough improvement. Take as many seminars as you can. Talk to as many coaches as you can get your hands on.  Train at different training camps, read different articles.  Become a melting pot of ideas and methods and then poor it on yourself, or better yet... your athletes. 

Is my way of lifting the best way?  Of course it is, I would be crazy not the think so, and I hope you as a coach think the same about your way.  Do I understand and respect other styles of technique and programing? Absolutely.  An open mind is the secrete to becoming a champion, without it your athletic career will shut down like a small business in the depression.  I learn every damn day, I never stop.  I wake up and look for better ways to benefit myself and others.  This goes for weightlifting and life.  How can I lift even more weight than I am now?  How can I become a better husband, a better friend, a better family member? How can I become a better man? I have been on every lifting program known to man, and every different style of technique as well, and with much trial and error I have found a way that has produced gold medals and the great opportunity to represent my Country. Even my way has wiggle room, and many different styles that can be done within it.  You can add arm bend if you like, or if you prefer, keep those arms nice and straight. Add in a dynamic pull to your liking, add more feet, or's totally up to you, not me.  Do you like a slower pull, or faster? Does the bar slightly drag your thigh on the "superman  pull"? Or as an athlete, do you like a little bit of space between you and the bar? Do you like pulling back a little earlier, or do you like staying over longer?  You choose. I only show up to a Seminars to help, never to become a dictator. I teach a style of lifting that has helped many athletes better themselves in Crossfit, Weightlifting, or just crush PR's and getting them one step closer to their goal. But I don't take credit for the athlete's success, absolutely not.  The reason is because every athlete on the planet is going to lift differently than the person next to them. I always say that there is a million different styles of technique, why? Because there are a million lifters in the world who move in all sorts of brilliant and fascinating ways that can never be taught.  This is why I am so in love with weightlifting, the beauty that lies in each athlete amazes me.  I sometimes feel I am in the safari watching different animals stock their prey, and then pounce on their prey killing everything in their way.  Every time, I jump out of my chair and watch in complete amazement.  No coach can take credit for rhythm.  No coach can claim instinct.  This is the athlete's accomplishment.  Did we as coaches help them find their way, their lift, their movement? Yes.  This in my opinion is what coaching is all about, helping an athlete find their niche, their power button, their motivation and their strengths.  Yes athletes should be taught a way, a rough draft as I call it, but then like a teenage bird, they must sooner or later spread their wings and do whatever they need to do to fly... and not fall. 

Watching an athlete smoke a PR.....well, it's one of the biggest joys of my life, even if I don't even know them.  Seeing an athlete hug their coach after a win hits home to me, and in my opinion is what sports are all about.  I can relate to the emotional feelings the athlete and coach share, because I have been there before, and hope to soon visit this feeling again.  Every kilo counts, and every little advice helps.  Even advice that you choose not to keep helps tremendously! Who are you as an athlete? You will never know unless you try, and trying can lead you down a dead end, which will then turn you around so you can find your way.  Fail is the best teacher. 

For all the coaches who talk bad about me, who send me hate mail, who tell others my style of technique is wrong, well my friends they deserve a hug, and maybe one day I can give them one.  I am not going to rant or get mad, there is no reason to. I simply feel bad for the blind fold these coaches are putting around their athlete's head.  I simply hope one day they can open their mind to a world full of ideas and methods, a world full of paint brushes that paint incredible paintings.  A power snatch is still a snatch.  There is no such thing as an ugly lift, just a missed lift or made lift. There is no in between.  This is my opinion blog.  If you disagree then great, that's what this blog is all about.  That's what the Attitude Nation is all about.  Do what works for you. 

230kg PR set of 5

Lift Big Weight 2016 2016

Friday, February 1, 2013

One Month Out

I have found myself re-reading this blog I wrote some time ago to keep me moving forward in a time where the sport wants to keep me down for the count.  This is one of my favorite blogs, and in my opinion one of the most important blogs I have ever written, right next to the Devil in the red dress, and him. 6 plus years of training and the last three weeks have been hands down the hardest training cycle I've experienced to date.  Ill see you in one month Arnold.  Ill see you in one month 166 snatch & 200 clean and jerk.  Cant wait to see what the mad scientist (aka) coach Pendlay - has done to my body and mind once the Arnold arrives.  I am no longer human, I'm a freak with no identity besides train.  I ain't got time for rest.  (plus new MDUSA video below.)

I huddle in the corner embracing rest with shaky hands and tears being smeared from cheek to cheek. My stomach turns with pain and the feeling of being home sick from the sorrow and guilt I have seeing rest whimper with abandonment. She holds me tight with her head sunk deep into my chest, making my shirt wet from her crying mouth locked wide open, as if she was screaming. A sad story of a girl who only wants love, a story of a young women who has no parents, who has no home, who needs someone to smile at, to laugh with, and to say goodnight to. Her old stuffed animals only give her a small amount of the attention she needs; she needs a family. Her eyes constantly wander, looking for someone to pick her up, and hold her. But no one ever does, so she becomes jagged over the years with let downs and sadness. Her flickering light slowly starts to die down into a whistling path of smoke. Her wandering eyes stop wandering over the years, as they now sadly stare down at her painted toe nails, that no one has seemed to notice or comment on. The smile she tried so hard to show, the smile no one noticed, the smile she used to try to bait people into her love with, was soon turned into a puddle of rain water, that dripped down the muddy bank into the lake leading to a land of nowhere.

I do love her, but I can’t be with her. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done pulling her locked arms away from my body. Disconnecting her drool from my chest to her mouth was like taking her soul. Her arms stretched out like Frankenstein, her blue watery eyes opened wider as panic rushed over her. Her mouth seemed to make no noise, but was open as wide as God would allow it. As she closed her eyes tears came down her face. Her mouth closed, her head dropped, soon she became lifeless.

She was there but not, her heart was pounding, but not working. I left her that day, and I walked backwards when I did it, hoping and praying that someone else would take her hand, and love her right there and then. She deserves to be loved, she deserves nothing less. She would only bring me down. She would only be a weight on my sail, I had no choice. Rest has no place in my life. I have no time for rest, only train. I will always love rest, but I will spend the rest of my dying days with train. Train is my life, rest is my heart ache. 

New MDUSA video is up. Sorry for some of the filming.  New film crew.....rookies.

Ain't Got Time 2016