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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let Go

Inspired by Donny Shankle
Back burnt to a crisp from the overwhelming heat of our past.  Our necks pinch in pain from the constant looking back, seeing those we have lost throughout this sport.  The old saying is, "they come and they go," but do they really?  I still feel them behind me as I stand upon this railing.  I still feel their presence on this bridge.  I still see their faces hang in defeat as I hang mine in pain. At times lonely in a sport of one, surrounded by many that can be easily forgotten when alone too long.  To repeat the same thing everyday makes for bones weary and eyes teary.  Minds lose the simple touch to reality, as dark gyms breathe clouds of cold while dark shadows sit beside you for company.  Once friends, once teammates.....never to be heard or seen again.....only memories fill this gym as my old Adidas shoes look back upon my empty face, in pure solitude, while a blanket of hell lays upon my back keeping me warm and ready for my next attempt.  I am a warrior of this gym, of this platform.....and I will die amongst my shadow, I will take my final breath chasing my goals....even if the single goal I am trying to reach kills me.  I am the dark.  I am hell.  I am a survivor of a sport that kills so many.  A sport that breeds to destroy and grows to chop, for dreams are big and the fall is hard, the sound sounds nice as the sight from afar looks bright. One only feels the true fright once the weeks stack upon the next, as the body hurts and the money runs tight. Parents and friends ask why.....and soon you do too. I stand on this rail with the wind meeting my face.  This spring day makes me want to train outside more often.  A beautiful day like this makes me wish I was a cyclist.  A hand simply lays itself upon my right shoulder, as another hand wraps around my left ankle.  My naked body warm from the hot air that soothes my soul, as my skin gets cold from the past trying to ease me off the rail of this tall bridge.  I find it funny that we think we are the ones holding onto the bar......
My penis hangs like my toes 80 feet above, as my heels stay down and dig, just like I have been taught, just like my body has known to understand after all these years.  Hands out wide like an eagle ready to fly, ready to be set free.  It seemed like yesterday that when the front door opened I would jump with joy for the idea of fresh blood, new lifters.......something new in a gym of the same.  I'll never forget the day I started hating this sport......and we all do at some time or another.  It reminded me of the time when Donny was asked in an interview what his favorite lift out of the two was.  His hat laid low, his eyes lowered, as his silence convinced the room it was a question taken very seriously.  He then with no movement at all, no hand jesters or a single blink of an eye responded with...."I hate 'em both". The day I came to this same conclusion is when all my friends left me.  They walked into the door with a smile on their face, while mine smiled back ready and eager to embrace new friends.....only to be constantly taken away by the devil in the red dress. Once friends, now dust on a bar.  Once training partners, now a partner of my own.  All alone again as my path continues with left over shadows of others and myself.  Memories that fill the eye as these keys tap.  For this blog is a dark hole of what has happened and what will come.  Doors now open while my eyes stay down, hardened by the reality of what this sport brings.....broken bars and shoes of old, plates of color as dark is my new father.  A single light to 5 rings is the shadow that others leave.  Guiding me to what they could not, as their lack of strength gives me fire within my gut.  Shankle who has taught me more than weightlifting.....but how to fight, will carry on with me 'til the day I cannot.  I sit alone on my resting bench as the dark gives me light.  My old shoes still with me in this never ending fight.  I still stand with this hand on my back, burnt from the burned out light they try to keep me back.  My past is my past while mistakes I have made.  Gold medals and victories are hard to find underneath a pile of dirt, pissed on by others and laughed at by most.  Doubts within and doubts by others, chatter behind my back even by those I call my brother. 8 years down, this reunion is emotional.  I wanted to write to you the Nation, a family I call home.  It's nice to be able to talk to someone in a sport of such solitude.
Scared......fuck yes.  Nervous.......fuck yes.    Not only about letting go.....but the next 8 years.  An email was sent and I read.  Wise words from a lion, who takes pray on the jungle he roams in areas unknown.  His legacy forever will live on......and lessons taught will never be forgot.  I now know what I must do to succeed moving forward..........
I let go, as my heels raised like my head to the sky.  I fell to the water of fully embrace my future not yet told......
"We must learn to let go"  - Donny Shankle
The Path  2016

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