New again after years of competing, this is why it's so important to keep competing, rising, and knocking off rankings. Each new experience might camouflage itself in the world of Weightlifting, but it's the new feeling that you receive that makes Weightlifting so addicting. Not the weight but the anticipation, as I would chug monsters and yell, "Arnold" keeping my mind from thinking. I would go to a different place when I trained that only brought in feelings, no thoughts, nothing. This was always my secret in taking top spots. I would let each meet take full control, moving with the rhythm of the meet like I was the meet director's soul. Understanding each meet as an individual made me openly take in sights and sounds, allowing all feelings to bubble over and spill onto a platform surrounded by cheering crowds. I was not thinking about my lifting. I was not thinking at all. I was honestly just reacting to what had been happening all along.
"Why is he slamming bars and yelling Shankle on the stage?" They would whisper and ask, as I walked off stage more jacked than even before. More alive than the meet before, and ready to lift bigger weight than ever before. I sailed to the back room with yells and tears, so emotional and hyped all before my second attempt was even near. 5 out, no time for sitting, just pacing and breathing, feeling and never thinking. I did what I had to do to keep fear away, that's my response to those that whisper from far away. When doubt and fear gets in the mind of a Weightlifter... missed lifts appear. Faces of - "what if's" - and uncertainty cast upon your face. I would then need to pee and I would no longer pace. I would no longer yell, that's when you know it's bad, calm Jon North was a scared Jon North, leaving me with memories of bad.
Emotions are not thought and they are extremely far from forced. Emotions are driven from want and desire, long ago heartache and a chip on the shoulder. Emotion stem from the possibility of succeeding... believing in what you're doing and reacting on overwhelming feelings of self love, self happiness, and self worth. The hype to go out on stage is a life changing force, that forces your nervous body to lift weight that makes you feel sick, tired and down, only to stand up to spike all doubt to the ground. Now calm palms chatter chalk crumbs from your hand, leaving the air cloudy and out of focused like an early morning flight in the AM. This type of spark sets fire to others around you, a selfish thought now inspires others to clap chalk and slam bars, yell loud while shooting for the stars.
Chasing dream in night time gyms, lonely and forgotten in the corner of the CrossFit Gym. Classes move fast and high energy continues to dance, the lifter in the corner has to wait another two months until he or she gets another chance. A weightlifter looks for feeling from a tired numb body in the deepest bottom of a chalk bowl, as if a kid looking for the magic plastic spoon in a cereal box, opened eyes and bushy tailed, sometimes, "Bingo!" sometimes nothing. No feeling, only from your legs spiking pain up into your hips, achy and un-oiled your knees make sounds of "clicks". Hands rough like a race horse's hooves, sharpening the ski and getting rid of the dead skin to new. Icy hot gets warm then cold like the last 5 meets you have competed in. Asking a woman out on a date was better odds than this weightlifting thing. Oh well, back to bloody chins and smelly shirts, gym bags that could tell a story of all sorts. Knee wraps wrap tight and steady, taking you back to the meet when your emotions were brave, high and alive. The knee wraps as your armor and the bar to survive. Yep... in the corner of this gym, you are a weightlifter, one day alive, most other days disguised. Patiently waiting for the experience of your life.
Your first meet or your last is a first. Experience is knowledge, and knowledge is a choice. Take in your feelings and understand your past. Embrace, react and most importantly, be you.