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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Eat, Sleep, Train

Team AN 

New video. Wednesdays training.  

Last week of our hang block. 

Join the ANW Program at 

Green Monster 2016

Monday, August 26, 2013

Human Clay

The three meets below are a timeline of evolved techniques
First National Meet. (I am a few lifters in)  No body contact.  Classic pull. etc

Qualified for Nationals for the first time. Slightly more superman pull, lower start, low thigh contact.

AN Catapult

The song I wrote this blog to

The swoosh of the bar passed my body like a train to a nearby landmark.  Fast and furious, loud and violent, triple with extension.  A no wrong way to lift hill, grassy and tall, as millions of paths of different ways climb the rocky banks, and the sharp corners of doom.  I pull like the wind, with a whistle from my coach and a buzz from the buzzer, the athlete must react like a horse out of gate, or better yet, like creasy bear shooting the gun to go, swim and fast, with proper training and believing she will win her first race, while his black shades and his alcoholic lips wait at the finish line. Proud and stubborn, egotistic and cocky a weightlifter must be, that's how I was at my first American second meet ever.  The break through of who is this, and why is he so crazy.  The golf clap turned oddly shaped as critics type on the forums of hate. I slam the bar with my old style of technique, to show the world that Coach Jackie Mah might coach different than I do now, but her methods work while others fail.  I lift blindly for that's how I should, listen to your coach young athlete, for then you will be good.  There is no such thing as technique young lad, just who will lift the most weight, and who will be the one holding the gold. A lever system of different, a melting pot of hers, that I took from her to only mold my own later down the road.  I am a thief, this is what I am.  I have stolen different techniques for years I have, a thief in the night my hands have meshed those who have stolen techniques of their own.  Accused of the same crime, we are all walking this jail house line, melting pots of hot, mixed with our own thoughts that leak to others in passing or plot.  You stole from him, and I stole from her, we create what we think works the best, while the athletes we teach end up winning the golds, reaping all the benefits of these stolen concepts.  Fights rage, as N.O. Explode gets drunk, somewhat like my farther, but mostly like my strut.  Walk with energy, lift with passion, my triple extension technique is the best thing that has ever happened.  No wrong, and no right, my way now is just as right as the train passes my body in the midnight night.  My way of under is just as right as pull 'til you see the thunder.  A shrug under is what I coach, but back in this video a shrug high is what got gave me a great meet, PR's over my feet, and a crying coach of joy, as we hug with a mission accomplished by a young rookie and her ideas of long.  Who can lift the most weight?  Who can get under what seems to be impossible by marching sheep of white, as they live in their comfort zones tucked in all so tight.  A million ways to lift, my way is only one, is my way the best? Abso-fucken-lutely you son of a gun.  

I catch and stand, slam and cheer, a fist pump follows as my future is clear.  A young rookie I was, and now I coach, just like Jackie Mah, my very first coach.  Great success, in many other methods, lever systems that turn, and bodies that deliver a simple message.  Win, fight, and keep the gold PR's in sight.    I was skinny but boy was I right....for dropping out of school and giving this sport all of my might was the correct path to go down, even though others said different.  Thank you Matt for sending me this song, as I listen I can remember the feelings I had, at my first national meet with a corner full of support.  Butch Curry helping, as Paul Doherty was cheering. The audience clapping, as I yelled Arnold and smashed my meth pipe.  Watching the smoke circle up my skinny shaved legs, no more drugs will I be your slave. I have found Arnold and this Asian coach named Jackie, this sport is my new life and you my friend are a smoke filled mirror that will live in my past.  I will put you in a closet and write about you here, in the Dark Orchestra where tears fill the stage full of many that lay near.  You the reader, what style do you use?  I know you have smashed something on that stage of might, your chest out proud as you crush the demons that bite.  We are new, we are fresh, lifting young with many blood stains on our chests.  We must lift, we must coach, no matter how we get the bar above our heads we must lift more weight than ever before.  Beat the man next to you and breathe in success, for handwork got you here, and this style of technique is the best.

Move on I did, after punching a man in the face, I was kicked out of my old club, and now training in a new space.  By myself, at the Rock House Gym, no coach but the YouTube videos in the background.  I felt the bar brush one evening day, I looked at my wife, and she asked me if I was ok.  I laughed and smiled with confusion on my face, a new way of lifting must have made its way.  A slice from the thigh, as skin pealed like an orange, still very triple extension, as the bar never made a noise.  Coaches approved, as I shrugged high, the older more classic way of lifting was still in full effect.  Homeless and coach-less, living in a car, to bar slamming hopeless dreams at times.  One day become a National Champion was a dream filled with steam.  The Bulgarians entered my life with their catapult ways, the bar made so much noise that my ears rang for days.  What is this odd creature I asked, for these men had a weird bar path.  My technique before this was changing by the day, morphing into its own before even this day.  But this was something new, fresh and alien, the way the bar met the body made me think again.  Max Aita and Martin, Shankle and Dave, these lifters made my melting pot stir for days.  My mind thought and discovered, evaluated and soon surrendered.  My brush over time was met by a hit, above my ouch bone was bruised like a son of a bitch.  To peak the bar in this way, the bar path moved in a whole different way.  The start was funny for the ass was low, the shoulders moved in a line that threw me for a loop, the double knee bend was more delayed than my career getting started, if it wasn't for the meth pipe I've might already been a champion, now I just watched and learned at this odd looking finish, was she arched not straight, and why was this? These Cal Strength guys are so different than most, a fight club of some sort that makes me want to join.  Run the streets at night steeling fat to make soap, human bodies moving around the bar like we weren't supposed to talk about it.  The leader Dave, stood tall by Shankle, for the arm bend on this man while lifted I have never read in an article.  I began to lift, like these athletes I followed. I peed blood for months, as a clean athlete on a Bulgarian training system was buried deep six feet down, and so were they.  Dead and tired, no rest days and max out sessions that never seemed to end.  I was still a young rookie that was hoping for rest around the bend.  I kept my mouth shut, and my eyes wide open, for in the dark I stole from them, when they were not looking.  Now I have multiple coaching techniques, Jackie Mah's hand book, mixed with Paul Doherty's philosophies. A Bulgarian system with catapult technique, laying in front of me I could hardly sleep.  Like legos they laid, a puzzle to solve, a concept to build and a technique to stand tall.  How and what, when and how, which lever goes where, and for how long? Silly putty I played, as water made my thoughts move, dreams to achieve, and past memories that won't remove.  The start of something new and great, that started from the Jackie Mah's lift.  Technique doesn't matter nor exist, only who is going to lift the most weight. 

What is your melting pot like?  And how will it morph?  Will you steal from mine or keep it all?  I hope you steal from mine to build your own.  Create your ship and sail home.  Salute.  

Melting Pot 2016 

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Overall Man

Ripped overalls with pockets full of broke.  Brown bag full of sorrows, and hopes full of let downs.  Banned from society, outcast from the world.  You the dreamer no longer dream, but only hope to find where this old dirt road leads.  You walk with pride, as your knees fucken scream with pain.  Holes in your shoes like holes in your heart, shot from the gun of loved ones and sprayed by the machine gun of life.  You still stand, I still write, we still walk, we still carry on as our blood shot eyes fill with dirt and our hair with exhaust from passing trucks. The smell from the black fumes reminds us of home. It reminds us of hiding spots while parents fought, closets full of coats and umbrellas that came alive and comforted us as a crying child.  The dark is safe, the light is open.  A cigarette brings back James Dean, as the 3 legged dog morphs into a strutting cheetah.  Messy hair from falling fast, soon combs back like a wet comb as we fall forward.  A chip off the old black that could get a cargo ship lost in its depth.  A middle finger cold and frozen, stuck high from seeing so many stuck up.  Red knuckles and permanent damage from fist to wall, hate to self-pain, and frustration to must figure something out or else.  No money to spend, but a fuck load to gain.  No future, but a hope to one day look back at the past.  A dying want, with nothing to feel, a fight deep down, that seems to only roll in the belly of hunger and a mind of dizzy as the lack of sleep drains your thoughts.  Homeless with no home, loneliness with no one, empty and ready to fill the void that is restless within you. 

An old abandoned warehouse lies in ruins at the end of this dirt road.  The green grass slowly turned into burnt rubber, while the smell rose dark and the backward town seemed hidden but visible from where he was standing.  The once blue sky turned yellow, as black clouds traced through like arrows being shot by a thousand gladiators.  The graffiti on the walls of the broken warehouse dripped like tears, while the windows closed like fear.  A street sign that reads welcome, as the five-story warehouse quietly whispers turn around.  Wind that talked, and weeds that grew so high they wrapped around the man's ankles.   His cigarette burnt his fingers, making him jump and say, "ouch!" a necessary reaction.  He whipped his hands against his orphaned overalls, while his head turned like a spinning top trying to figure out what and where his windy dirt path had taken him.  A small child appeared randomly by the front door of the warehouse entrance.  Probably 4'9 and 180 pounds of muscle.  She was strong and confident, wide-eyed and alive.  A tall and skinny man walked up behind her with his eyes never unlocking from the overall scavenger that found himself now surrounded by at least two dozen men, women and children.  A complete circle was formed, smooth and fast, out of the dark shadows they appeared.  A few more from the warehouse, even a handful climbing down the black trees that were bent and fallen but perfect for climbing and tree forts.  The dirt below his feet was grey ash that slowly fell from the sky as if winter time during Christmas.  Memories of the once good times in his life passed over his face, before realizing they were and have been dead for many years.  His overalls slapped back and forth from the wind that swooped up and over the cliff in front of him.  It seemed as if the world literally ended 100 feet from the broken warehouse.  He started to lean his head up and to the side as if he was a kid in a car seat trying to see out the windshield in front of him.  He was suddenly awakened from his thoughts and curious adventure, a mental adventure on top of a real life adventure.  It was hard to faze the man that walked the dirt road with torn cloths and eyes filled with abandonment.  His chip held a lack of surprise, while a tender and sensitive feeling of sadness created a shock wave of constant depression.  But this......this gingerbread house in the middle of the black forest made his heart beat for the first time in years.  His lungs filled back up with air, and then the silence broke.  

A little girl broke the circle and sprinted towards the man's leg.  Her mother ran after her with her arms out as if trying to catch a chicken.  A panic took over the mother, but soon came to ease as she saw the little girl and the man talking to each other in a safe an ancient whisper.  The little girl said, "Hello", and the man said, "Well, hi".  He looked down at her glassy brown eyes and asked what her name was.  She responded by not answering the question, but instead saying "Their are many bad days in this forest where the dirt path meets, but my mom says that if we keep training hard we can make it to the promise land".  He looked up to the mother who stood a respectable distance away, while still being motherly.  She looked back at the man with no emotion, only her hair in the wind, and the men behind her who looked like monsters with beards of strength and legs of trees.  The women looked like lions, fast and furious, strong and hard working.  These people didn't look like the normal folk, they looked as if they.......well........they looked like him.  Holey clothes with ripped hands.  Sad faces with hungry souls.  Dry marks from tears, under a brain full of motivation.  The only difference from the man in the middle of the circle in the burnt black forest on the edge of the world and the strong people is that they looked like they had found something to be motivated for, while he stood empty handed.  He looked down at his hands with his forehead crinkled tight, while his eyes pierced down looking for something that should be resting like home in the palms of his hands.  But nothing, for the people around them had something.  The little girl tugged on his overalls that looked as if they were going to rip at any minute. She said, "Follow me sir, I want to show you something".  They started to walk to the front door of the abandoned warehouse where the tall man with the red beard still stood, eyes locked like an eye to a target.  He seemed like the leader, but then again... they all seemed like the leader.  The man looked back at the mother to see if she had any problem with the new plot of the situation.  The mother nodded her head, walked fast and then joined them by grabbing her little girl's hand.  

Inside the warehouse laid 30 to 40 medal cots.  Side by side, dream by dream, wall to wall they sat with medal feet, bodies of blankets, and faces made of pillows.  The little girl jumped on one of the beds out of either excitement from a new visitor, or just because she was a freak athlete, and that's what athletes do, they move, they jump, and they test the limits.  She was defiantly testing the limits of her mother, because she was soon told to get down.  The man entered the next room and to his surprise found something that would change his life forever.  It was a large bar that stood 30 feet tall, and at least as round and wide as the whole warehouse.  How he didn't see the massive metal behind the house seemed impossible.  It was shinny and long, dense and strong, alien like was an understatement.  The overall man reached out and touched the bar as if touching his first-born's face.  There was a moment of complete silence while he tried to gather his thoughts, and control his emotions.  He had so many questions, but stayed quiet.  Besides the little girl, no one had spoken yet.  Just look, expressions, and gestures were being used thus far.  The only noises were coming from the wind that had now died down, and the footsteps that had now stopped while admiring the pure shock this lost man was in.  Wings..........wings he thought, with his hand leaned against the bar and his head down with thought.  He looked up at the man with the red beard and asked.....wings?  The tall cold man who seemed to take the leadership roll nodded his head as to say, "Yes".  "Wings to fly," the little girl said as excited as possible.  "If we lift the bar hard enough everyday, my daddy says the bar will someday fly us away to the land of bright."  She said this while pulling each finger down as if she has rehearsed it a million times, and once finished she looked back up and followed with a jump and a clap out of excitement for nailing the plan the tribe had in front of them.  The man looked fast to the bearded man with a look of excitement as well.  The beard of the man nodded up, then down.  

The wings on the bar spread at least 100 feet wide on each side.  On one side of the bar the wing hovered over the black forest that covered the warehouse and the people who lived in it.  The other wing spread out past the end of the world, or what really was the cliff that led to the land of bright, where the trees grew tall, grass grew green, and the ash was replaced by rays of sun and wind of warmth.  The mother of the little girl finally spoke.  Her voice was soft like an angel, as her brown hair now fell straight down on the side of her face from the wind dying down.  "There is only one way to get to the land of gold and bright, green and happy, cabins of wood and water of clear."  She then looked at the bar......he followed her eyes to the bar.......the quiet stood for a while as he felt at home, as he felt alive for the first time, as he felt a part of something, as he felt he finally had something to feel, grab and lay in the palm of his hands.  He looked back at the mother with a smile on his face.  The black ash started to fall from the sky, and the bad day started to come to night.  His eyes wide, his heart beating fast.  

She looked at her bloody hands and then smiled at her beautiful daughter looking up at the overall stranger.  She then said in the most calm and soothing voice he had ever heard in his whole life.  

"To train everyday."  

Wings 2016 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Fog

A grey sky on a cold day. The gym door closed, but unlocked and open for the world.  The loading dock door rattles open as I use my body to pull, my butt as a lever, and my arms like cables. Watching the chain beside me slither like a snake, guiding the flexible door past my head and peaking high above the gym roof.  A breeze from the outside fog falls to my feet, gasping its last swirl before falling to its death.  My Adidas sweat suit acts as armor, keeping me safe and warm, focused and protected.  A fanny pack full of the same dreams, just located in a new pocket. The zipper cold from the gym air.  My hands shaky with nerves, as the smell from left over knee wraps causes pain to my nose, and a slight twitch to the face.  A familiar smell in an all too familiar world.  Standing with new shoes, on a path of old, leading to a platform of new.  A cold gym is the best, for cold makes sweat dry, making the bar stick well on the athlete's throat, keeping the athlete's elbows raised for gold, and out of reach from injury. The cold gym makes the hot coffee fresh, cooling down yesterday's struggles, and focusing on today's goals.  My sweatpants low on my waist, as I look forward to them rising higher and higher, as the years move on, and the time ticks round.  Hopefully one day my pants will be covering my head, as I poke two holes to see my athlete's achieve more than I ever did.

Small chatter as the coffee machine in the front room drips, some stretch, while others sit.  A room full of rookie athletes ready to bleed experience, some stretching and rolling, some doing nothing but drinking coffee while all are reflecting on the journey ahead.  Reflecting is the best warm up an athlete can do. Leaving behind the past, and focusing on the future is a champion's best asset.  A mental warm up is what comes in handy, when a hard training session lays quietly in front.  Calm and collect, deadly and destructive, all while being necessary and life changing.  I watch the minds of the young roll like hills. The grassy meadows they still have to climb, the burnt forests they will get to know. Side by side, platform by platform, resting bench to resting bench, coach's eye, to a weightlifter's feet, a rhythm lifter amongst a strength lifter, all fill the cold foggy gym with different philosophies amongst millions of ideas.  One must choose why they are lifting before becoming a champion, once this is established, the athlete will grow and grow fast, running full sprint to the bar in front of them, ready to meet hell before achieving heaven. 

I cross the gym floor with a limp, as I make my way to the fan, facing its wide circular back to the outside mist.  A white world surrounding a dusty gym full of broken hearts, and broken bars.  I turn the fan on even though the cold makes my finger tips numb.  A fan must be turned on at all times no matter what the weather may be.  The sound of the fan alone eases a person's mood, humming soft sounds of comfort, as the skeletons lay to sleep.  A turning fan is water to skin, as the cold moves swiftly around your body, as the athlete moves fast around the bar.  I turn the fan on for comfort, white noise, to feel the outside world as I live in the inside of a gym. 

This gym is cold this morning, and first practice is always painful, but once the athletes get moving, everything makes complete sense. 

Cold Gym 2016 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Beginning

Hand prints from my fist ever athlete Andrew Jester after qualifying for school age Nationals, one of the biggest highlights of my life. This was the moment that sparked my true love for coaching.  Andrew went on to become a National Bronze medalist a few months later.  

I want to say thank you to my Attitude Nation family for all of your love and support. I am excited to start a new chapter in my life as a full time coach. I am eager to take my love and passion for the sport of weightlifting and pass it on to others. Being a coach, I now have the unique ability to win more medals and make more teams, than being an athlete alone. The past 7 years, weightlifting has been my life as an athlete. Now it is time for weightlifting to be my life as a coach. I am still hungry and more passionate than ever. The journey is not over, it has just begun...

Weightlifting 2016

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Glass Case

My hands lay locked together inside the front pocket of my sweatshirt.  Fingers passing one another as if pointing to a new path that leads to uncharted territories.  An orange sky covers my morning walk, as the cold air creates a cloud of memories that start from my gut, passing my stinging heart, touching my soul, and then escaping out of my mouth for my eyes and ears to watch and hear replays of joy and cheers.  A slide show of tears and hugs.  A highlight reel of raised hands, high fives and goals reached. My lips tingle from the taste of the weights I have kissed, and the kilos that have kissed back.  The bar that I have hugged a million times plays over and over in the early morning fog, as the blood from my callused hands welcome my face from disbelief, as I sit kneeled in a pond of my own hard work, embracing the pain that has brought me so much love, so much life.  My knees against the wood, and my chest facing the ceiling makes my arms swing back with great flexibility.  My grip fully released, from years of being hooked.  Time stopped, while my fast paced breathing calmly slowed, and the feeling of life laid upon my body, as I dipped my head into a memory filled lake that I once swam in as a little kid.  A cold but awakening rush opened my eyes full of tears, while a reflection of my life passed throughout the cheering and overwhelming feeling of achieving a goal, that was staked back when my legs were skinny, and my hands were soft.  A time when Arnold ran down my arm, and the bodybuilding world swirled in dust behind me.  A time where innocence ran throughout me, and dreams of weightlifting took complete control of me.  My eyes opened, as the blurry vision and the alien planet looked back at me.  On top was heaven, but the climb up was life changing.  

A quiet walk with loud memories filled with cheering crowds and Shankle yells.  Steiner slams, and get off me bro chest slaps.  LeBron James chalk throws as USA pumps proudly against my chest, while bleachers bang with stomping feet, as three story stadiums chant... "USA".  I walk under the orange glow of the rising sun, as thoughts circle my mind full of number one fingers raised high for everyone to see.  Teachers who doubted me, and society who forgot about me.  Family members who were once worried about me, and friends that didn't understand me.  I raised my finger high in the air to let the world know I was number one, coming from a place where alcohol reigned king, while dreams were once drunk with gulps of constant regret.  My eyes open wide, while many doors I closed shut, leaving drugs buried low under my feet, as many podiums took me higher than any crystal could have ever achieved.  My love will never die, and the feelings will never leave.  Locked away forever, in a place where only I can go.  One day this vault will create dust, while my old hands will wipe away the years with one smooth swoosh.  Unlocking thousands of memories to share with others, to share with my kids, and my kid's kids.  I will one day re-open this vault, and the memories alone will take me back to the cocky in your face, Jon North, that once lived proudly in the jungle of bars and plates, platforms and chalk, judges and critics, fans and haters, coaches and competitors, bomb outs and victories, goals reached, and goals lost.  Tears of joy, and tears of sadness.  The path I was on will never be forgotten.  

I fought for more than me, and I achieved much more than 100 Gold medals. I achieved life, happiness, and a meaning.  I achieved hard work, and the opportunity to meet thousands of great people.  I have built great relationships, and built new friendships.  I have found myself, something I have been looking for my whole life.  I have achieved confidence, and an understanding on what it means to be a man.  Weightlifting has made me a better husband, son, brother, friend, and person.  I have learned so much from being an athlete in the sport of weightlifting.  The greatest joy that weightlifting has brought me is the platform to help others.  I fight for the "room 2" kids that stare out the windows while being horse fed ridalin.  I lifted for the forgotten college graduate that was once praised for attending, but now lost and forgotten in the world beyond.  I lifted for the society prisoners that I was once a part of, the ones who slave a dead end job.  The unhappy.  The misunderstood.  The garage lifter who trains on their own.  The black sheep everywhere...... I lifted for them.  I lifted weights to tell parents ADD is good, not bad.  Being yourself is better than any gold medal.  Finding yourself is the Olympics of life, and achievement of a lifetime.  I have won the Olympics twenty times and broke every world record there is to break.  I have a golden outlook, coming from a dark narrow viewpoint I once looked through.  I once lived under a rock, and now I stand tall on a boulder.  

You the reader are everything to me.  Out of everything, my biggest achievement is you.  I have found my home, found my family, found a shoulder to lean on and an audience to relate to.  I have found a keyboard to cry upon.  Because of you, I have accepted my skeletons and bettered my life.  Accepting the past is what you have given me, and I am forever grateful to you.  I am forever grateful to weightlifting for giving me the opportunity to meet you.  This blog is what made me a better athlete, by not hiding my skeletons...but getting to know them.  Your support has given me the confidence I needed in everyday life.  Your kind words have helped me become kinder to others and myself.  By you reading this blog gave me a voice, a voice that I didn't even know I had.  So thank you.  Thank you skeleton, thank you for everything.  Thank you Weightlifting for introducing me to my Dark Orchestra family.  

My coaches....... what can I say.  I love you all.  Without you I am not me.  Without your guiding light I am still in the dark.  Without you I am still addicted to drugs and alcohol.  Without you coach..... I am just a college drop out with empty dreams and a path full of thorns.  You gave me air to my lungs and a beating heart to defeat the demons that pulled me down.  I walk down this orange world thinking about every coach I have ever had.  The cold breeze makes my hot forehead cold, as my tears dry like the chalk on my hands.  My steps are heavy as my emotions way me down.  I look up to see the future, only reminded of the past.  The past that has created a small smile of fun and out of control times we have shared together.  I hope coach.... you are smiling too.  For the memories are with you.  My shoulders sway, as my eyes lay closed, in memory of all those who have taken time out of their life to help with mine.  I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  My heart bleeds to only give back for the blood you have drawn for me.  I will be forever thankful to my ever-dying day.    

I finally arrived from my morning reflection.  I watery walk on a clear crisp morning..... what a perfect morning it was.  I grabbed my back from the pain.  My knees screamed to stop moving.  My right elbow clicking from bad lockouts and rusty joints.  My left hip higher than the other as my walk stings my right calf from the lean my hip has given me.  I walk into my house while my wife lies still asleep, looking more beautiful than ever.  I pass my long hallway where my medals hang in their glass case, protected from harm's way, and proudly in sight for all to see.  They look beautiful and bright, happy as if the moment we met each other was happening this very second.  These medals have no emotion but happy.... I could swear they are smiling.  Only if they knew how many medals I let die throughout my journey.  I don't tell them or show them that though, I smile and tell them I am proud of them and that I love them.  They of course smile back..... nestled comfortably in their glass beds. I knew as I walked away the next part would be the hardest.  My head sunk low once I left sight of the medals.  My heart rang heavy.  I must retire my shoes and singlet........ the pump to any weightlifter's heart.  

My shoes and my singlets stared back at me on the bed, as if to say they didn't want to go to summer camp.  They looked defeated and let down, sad and lost.  They looked as if their identity had just been striped.  Crusted chalk, crumpled numbers still pinned to the singlets laid lifeless amongst bloodstains and coffee spills.  Once on top of the world, now dead.  Once the fastest feet in the world, now slow and old, dusty and forgotten.  The USA slightly faded, as the rips down the legs of the singlets spoke many stories, and told awesome adventures.  Each singlet told wise stories, different adventures, and not yet talked about experiences.  Each singlet has a life of its own, while each shoe lifted miles and miles of platforms.  I will hang you up high to never be forgotten, I told them as I started to place them in their glass case.  So high that no one will forget about you.  Your stories will live on forever every time someone looks at you.  Your impact could change a life.  Your view alone can spark a conversation that could lead a young kid down the great path of weightlifting.  You could one day change a the life you changed with me.  And who knows, one day when I have kids, I will take you out of your glass home.  

I am officially retiring as a proud athlete of this great sport.  Go USA. 

                                                                         Thank you

 Jackie Mah
Paul Doherty
Donny Shankle
Dave Spitz
Max Aita
Glenn Pendlay 
Ben Claridad 
Rob Earwicker
Greg Everett
Kevin Doherty 
Freddy Miles 
Phil Sabatini

Most importantly Special thanks to my lovely Wife Jessica North.  You were there the very first time I touched the bar, and you are here for the very last time I touch the bar.  Thank you for all your support over the many years.  I love you.  

Coach 2016