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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Thank You

I snap this red bull open, as the beak of my hat lays low over my eyes, preparing my thoughts for the journey that lies ahead of me.  A crisp chug of sugar rolls down my throat, as a gust of wind from the open gym door hits my body.  I am writing to you exactly what is happening at this very moment. At this very moment, I want to take this time and thank you for being there for me through thick and thin, through the hard times and the good times, through the loses and the wins.  Thank you for supporting me throughout the collections of many mistakes I have gathered throughout this journey of life and weightlifting.  Thank you for accepting me for who I am, and giving me the confidence to keep moving forward.  Thank you for pushing me back on the platform after suffering the horrible injury at the Arnold.  Thank you for putting up with my rants, and my over the top emotions.

Thank you for reading this blog, and being a part of the Dark Orchestra, a place where we can truly let ourselves live and be free. Thank you for letting your skeletons out of the closet, and facing them head on like I have done with mine.  Thank you for keeping me sober from drugs and alcohol.  Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read depressing blogs about my broken relationship with my father, drug addictions I have fought, and bad days in this mean sport of weightlifting that I love to write about and share with everyone.  Letting the world know there are more bad days in this sport than good, but the one good day makes it all worth while.  The one good day keeps us black sheep marching forward, creating our own path in life, separating us from the herd that makes us feel dead and down.  A herd of white fur that kills thoughts and buries them beneath the ground, as dreams and ideas scurry for shelter leaving us back where we once started.....hell.

This Red Bull only gives me a fraction of the energy you give me.  I can truly feel you on the other side of this screen, and I truly hope you can feel me as well. Thank you for your emails, your messages, your hand written letters that leave stains of salty tear drops from both our glassy eyes.  Thank you.  Thank you for rooting for me at meets, and getting my back on forums that are out to hang me.  Thank you for watching my videos, and giving me feedback on the comments.  Thank you for being my coach, because a coach you truly are.  Thank you for being the red light on the camera making sure I fucken squat, making sure I hit big weight, making sure I don't retire 'til we make the 2016 games, because I'm not going to lie, with the growth of the's very hard to continue training.  Some ask me how I even make time for training.  How can you still be an athlete? Where do you find the motivation to continue in this sport with everything you have going on?  My answer is you, you the reader, you the YouTube watcher, you the podcast listener, you the Twitter follower, you the Facebook friend, you the skeleton who has gone through the same dark hell as I have.  You the once heroin addicted son of a bitch.  You the once unhappy person who worked a shitty job that you finally found the courage to quit and live the midnight train life, finding what makes you truly happy.  I only coach what I have experienced, and I only write what I have been through as well.  I am you, you are me. We must stick together, because without each other, we lose our own self, we get lost in our own bodies, we find hell once again.

Thank you skeletons for making me face my once locked away demons, giving me the momentum to become a better person, and better weightlifter.  Thank you for pushing me like the wind on my back.  Guiding me to create a better life for me and my loved ones. Thank you for the kind words before I leave in a few hours to Venezuela.   I am not looking to hit any PR's, because this meet is not about me, nor my personal goals.  This meet is about representing you, the USA, the AN Family that stretches world wide, across the seas and into our coffee.  This meet is for you, the ones who I have never met, but call my family.  The family I have never seen, but know is there.  The ones that are there silently, loudly, and dramatically chasing each individual dream one PR at a time.

Thank you for everything.  I will see you back here, on the stage of dark, with violins playing and skeletons dancing......back here, in the Dark Orchestra on July 1st after we bring home the hardware at the Pan Ams.  Salute.  I will miss you all.

Skeletons 2016


  1. You are right, we are here behind you just as you are behind us. Go get em Champ!

  2. I made sure I had my coffee sitting right next to me while reading this. Show'em how's the champ. Salute!