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Friday, March 8, 2013


Doing nothing is harder than training.  Pacing is more leg work than squatting, and waiting is more nerve racking than getting a look from a competitor in the warm up room.  Coffee and a clock, an itching body and too many thoughts.  Tea at night as I sit in this Orchestra of dark hoping to see the light soon enough.  Just writing about training makes my thumbs hook when typing.  Loud techno music replays in my head when the night is at its most quiet.  I close my eyes and see dead coffee cups scattered everywhere around my feet.  Every last empty cup is a teammate I have lost throughout this journey.  The only way I know how to repay their sacrifice is to drink more coffee.  I must be happy, this is the single most important part of training.  Happy leads to good mood, good mood leads to motivated, motivated leads to heavy weights, heavy weights lead to the Olympics. I would rather be a happy person and not a weightlifter, than a weightlifter that is not happy.  Both happy and weightlifter is the number one goal for any weightlifter, or athlete at that.

Details I cannot go into, but ideas and plans I must follow.  The bridge is strong and sturdy, and has two lanes that cross both ways. But I must walk one way, I must walk with a barbell on my back, to a place where happy lives, where people get me for me, who yell at me like I do them, who have similar ideas and methods of atmosphere and attitudes.  This is everything. Atmosphere is the home of happiness which leads to lots and lots of bar slamming, lots and lots of yelling, smiles, and tears. Some people like a certain way of training, a certain way of getting jacked up, a certain way of being motivated, which is great.  There is more than one way to lift weight, just like there is more than one way to look at the sport, view training, and get jacked up. Many different attitudes and outlooks mix and match for training.  Just like there is no wrong way to lift weights, there is no wrong way to train. Their are a million different atmospheres scattered all over the world in a million different gyms. I must find mine. This is a message for everyone across the world.  If you are not happy doing what your doing, then stop doing what your doing.  I would rather live homeless than be trapped into a web of regret and self captivity.  Winning only matters if you love winning in the sport you are winning in. "No comfort zones" - Shankle.

Never lay your sword down and surrender to a situation or atmosphere that isn't personally working for you. Fight! Lose! Live fucken homeless! I would rather rebuild from the bottom to someday be happy on the top.  Winning the gold of happiness is the hardest gold medal you could ever achieve.  Let's talk about happiness, let's make happiness our number one goal, and let the rest follow without ever resting. Let's use happiness to lift weight, big weight.  Not some top secret program, or technique, but true self worth, true love, true living.  I must go back to the start.  I must find "Jumping" Jonathan North again.  I must write Arnold across my chest while training.  I must slap hands and scream, chest bump teammates while at times becoming nose to nose with one about to fight at any minute.  I feel this is a win win for all.  No more walking on egg shells, no more apologies. Just Johnny Cash with his guitar.

Calm before the storm is what I was before the Arnold.  The Arnold never came for me due to a horrible back injury I received by the weightlifting gods in the warm up room.  The storm never came. The calm still surrounds me. The storm has yet to show its face.  The storm will come.

Atmosphere 2016


  1. Great post, Jon. Definitely speaks directly to a lot of people, including myself. Best of luck to you!

  2. i think this explains a great many things... slam bars, bark at the moon and smile!

  3. is donny part of these unspeakable things?

  4. Aw man dude, Im sorry that happened to you. Its sad to see you leave mdusa too, where are you heading?

  5. When will the Attitude Nation gym open up? You should have to prove yourself before being made a member. Devise a test Jon!

  6. huge fan jon...still early in the year lace up move on and slam bars...huge loss for team md