Together Alone / The Horse & You

Why do we lift? Why do we push, pull and heave? Maybe its due to our inner desire to push back on the people who want to pull us down. Maybe we heave to move the boulders that stand in our way. It’s your path, heave those boulders & slam bars!  Your path, know one else. Don’t forget this. Yes, support is a beautiful thing, but the beauty blossoms when the support that is supporting your beautiful endeavor succeeds, and success lies within you.  In order to succeed in your journey, you must push those out of your lives who bring pain and negativity. We must pull those we love closer to our hearts. We must heave our dreams high so we can reach for them everyday. Without dreams, we are left numb and captive to the ones who want to mold and sculpt us into something we are not.  Or worse, We are left Vulnerable to people who see us as stepping-stones in their own personal goals and endeavors. For their dreams are nightmares to us, something we never want nor will ever take part in.

We want to reach our potential through our own values, not those of others. It’s only when you are alone, is when those who truly care for you show up. When you are constantly looking, the people you seek will take when you’re not looking.  A good friend and support group will pull for you, not pull you down. The horse sinking in the sand must be pulled up from death to light. Pull that horse up like you do the bar. Please don’t miss this lift, and don’t let the white horse die. Do you remember how you got here to this blog?  Yes, loving life and lifting to better ones life. Now pull that horse up and let’s then grab a bite.

Together we are strong, alone we are weak, to stand alone together is how to truly pull the horse back onto its feet. From the sand to running at pr’s…we will never accept defeat. Together alone is how to gain strength to compete. It’s how we speak to each other without words. Together alone is how train hard when the body is tired, knowing that someone across the world is going through the same, well…for some reason it takes away the pain. The less pain we have, the more strength we have to slay the dragon.

Yes, the morning’s are foggy, so our vision lies low. Lets push, pull and heave this sword through the lions neck, watching the blood draw down our chalky hands as if water through mud. See you in the gym my friend, alone and together.



The Morning Joe News

In other news, the Weightlifting world has taken a turn for the worst. Athletes have shed their skin, guts and all internal organs have been thrown to the wind. “How is this possible?”  The BBC news asked on Monday’s “Morning Joe”. Skeletons don’t talk they do, so sorry Morning Joe…no answer for you.  While the sun tucks the rest of the sleeping beauties in, the skeletons of the dark are awaken by the brightness of the night sky. Yells and screams are heard from street corners to fire stations, from garages to gyms around the world. “Ground shakes!” The neighbors desperately try to explain the ongoing disruptions while they sleep. Looking around for someone to blame but always falling short, because a skeleton in the day time looks, well…..just like you. Coffee shops seem to open unannounced, as skeletons share Weightlifting stories with battle scars to show. The night is just getting started, for the training is yet to show.

From town to town these creatures of the dark seem to take over the Weightlifting world.  When skeletons train, the normal world soon turns into the world of Weightlifting. Coffee shops filled with bones of white and eyes of dark as keys type on boards that are connected to screens of dreams. An orchestra of skeletons play outside on 1st and Pike. Violin strings scream songs of sad, as other skeletons embrace their past as gusts of wind swirl past.  Every skeleton is an outcast, but in numbers they cast a shadow from one gym to the next. Some skeletons prefer garages, some barbell clubs and others prefer CrossFit gyms. What’s your poison? Every session in the gym is a ballroom dance to these skeletons. They lift to dance, they dance to lift. A celebration of some sort, as they hug and bond. In my reporting I just can’t seem to make out why they are celebrating, maybe I just don’t have the Weightlifting bond.

The sun starts to rise and the skeletons of the dark disperse. Where do they go? I have no idea. Maybe these skeletons live amongst us throughout the day without us even knowing. Who knows….maybe I am a skeleton writing this article in the Morning Joe. Who really knows?

PS: You reading this might want to check your closet door….it’s probably open…

All In

Why the thought to become a champion? Just become one. The early morning sounds are filled with nothing until you do something. Fill your coffee with not cream, but chalk. Let yourself go. Stop holding yourself back. Extra shot in the coffee on a simple morning as sleep washes away from your eyes while the windshield wipers clear your vision. An extra shot for turning a simple thought into reality. You must risk everything, for without risk we have nothing. The shit we think we need, we need no more. Love, family and dreams we must work for. A simple task filled with an all in push for one’s desire to overcome the doubt in one’s head. What others say is shut down by the slam of your car door. You walk into the gym with so much more. Loud but silent, one slips into warm ups with serenity. Yes, this bar is due for a tune up, but your strength needs it more. Live in reality my friend, don’t live in thought.

Who needs you? That’s the question you should ask yourself when trying to figure what’s important in life. You know who depends on you, that’s easy. Now figure out all who don’t and move on. Don’t forget yourself throughout this process. You need you, in order for you to be there for them. The bar from ground to overhead is more than a sport, but true strength within. Touching those like family to conquer the danger that creeps around every turn, you must be strong in order to protect. For the dragon must be slaughtered so the fire doesn’t touch the ones we love. Shankle kills wolves and lions; what do you kill? Find what you need to protect and you will find what you must kill.

In order to organize your training you must organize what’s important. Going all in does not mean training full-time, it means giving those that love you all of you. Reach for the people unknown, to help many is helping your serenity. For their light will shine as your path will only continue to blind those who hate. But we must keep our circle close, because the circle is the energy and the power that gives us the strength to reach within ourselves to reach others. Without the circle we are lost without boundaries and direction.

If you are doing it for you, you are doing it for them. The one who is selfish in action will truly affect those who are in need of self-satisfaction.

No go do it! Become a champion!

In Death I was Alive

31 Years old today. From birth to death, to death to birth. I write to you this morning with love in my heart as I am blessed by God for a second breath. Lips of red and alive I can kiss my son on my birthday. Hands of warm I can touch my wife. Chest of beating I can hug my family. Fingers that pulse I can write to you, skeletons of the dark. First place I went after my cardiac arrest?….. My blog, now filled with light in the Orchestra we play together, a sanctuary where we can confront our past with open eyes and painful tears.

I am glad to be alive. 31, statistically should still be 30. Above ground I type, for underground is where I could easily lay. Still talking to the gold figure in the dark of pitch black. 15 minutes flat lined in a place I can’t explain with words. I tried on the podcast with Travis but was stumbling over my own feelings and the understanding of what stood in front of me. I like to think that in Heaven I could have been, or Heaven I was going.  Petting my childhood cat while catching up with my Grandfather.

It’s a weird feeling writing to you today. I feel an outer body experience being up this early, coffee in hand, while emotions take over my hands. As the outside night has now turned dark blue as I drink this coffee as black as the trees outside. I am not supposed to be here, but I am. I feel God put me back on this earth for longer, but for what?  Who and what was that gold figure I was talking to?  As I watched myself – out of my own body, talk to the gold figure from afar, and then back to my personal perspective it switched, talking to the gold figure for at least 15 minutes. Honestly, it felt longer. We seemed to have talked for hours. Over what? I don’t know. The gold knew me, and I seemed to fully understand the situation at hand. I slightly remember a feeling of almost begging to be back on land. I don’t know if strings were pulled or if this was the plan? I then woke. I then lived. In death I was alive. This is a fact. I woke up and then begin to ask the questions one can only image asking. Where is my family? What happened? And for some reason the third question I asked was, “Was there a shooting?” Maybe I watch too much news. In death I was somewhere besides earth. Now I sit here writing to you blessed to be alive, cherishing magical days with my son and wife.

31 years old. A day that is truly “extra credit”. I feel we should celebrate everyday as if it’s a birthday. Or better yet, someone else’s birthday. I want to give more than you know, sometimes I just don’t know how. I want to give but at the same time I must support my family. It’s an odd situation when looked at from the inside out. I think I have a calling though. Something that has been on my mind for the last few weeks. Something that has spoken to me. I am going to get involved in the homeless. From Vets, to young people. Lost adults and drug addicted souls. I think I can help. I know I can. Yes, I want to get involved in my Church, but this to me is involving myself for God, without the credit. I will take none. I will help those that don’t need anything, but more of someone. That someone will be me, and maybe this transformation to one person will spread like the butterfly effect to many all around the world.  If one down and out homeless person can change his or her life, just maybe it will affect so many others. If I can change one person’s outlook on Weightlifting, then just maybe this will spread to many others in our community. See, to me it’s all outlook. This is how true gains are made in anything in life.

Stand up and outlook over the horizon to where you see yourself going, and where you want to set foot upon. I will take this experience with people who need me, just like I need you, the skeletons of the dark. Yes it’s light now, but the past never brightens, it only awakens to our understanding and acceptance. The dark will forever live. We will forever live in the dark. I get emotional thinking about you, the people who play your violin with me. Back in 2010, I sat down and wrote, and because of that I found you. Thank you for finding me, for it helped me find myself. I truly love you. God bless and happy travels.

Pre Energy & The Silent Owl

Four gentlemen.  Four scholars.  Four men captivated by the bar, sailing the gym with empty guts filled with swirling waves of energy drinks.  Their caffeinated adventure and their midnight chatter sways them along the distant and never ending ocean made up of sugar, and birds that circle their ship of chairs and coaches tied together by the strings from each men’s shoes.  Knots that pull tight just like the grip they use to hold their shaker cups, keep the boat attached, while the men roll deeper into dreams and goals they didn’t even know where there.  Hands move with their mouths, while body language follows the rhythm of the conversation.  Laughter rings out throughout the empty sea as one of the men ask for another shot of energy.  “Hell yea!” Matt says to Ryan, as powder starts to pour like sand from a shoe.  Powder that dances as it enters the cup…. a cup that will soon be shaken.  Pink powder that is legal, how this is possible makes the men burst with laughter even louder than before. A drug that allows the men to feel comfortable around each other, like a beer at a business meeting, or coffee on a first date. An ice breaker, a conversation starter, a counselor of some sort, constantly begging for more truth, more discussion, more of you.  Body building magazines that lay scattered on the wet deck, only to be glanced upon and then thrown to the side, leaving the magazine empty and unfulfilled.

When lost at sea the only thing to do is chug powder, crack monsters, and feel the smooth face of miss brown eyes against the palm of your hand. The yellow birds occasionally swoop down to catch a better view of the on board barrels that reek of motivation and wide eyed emotion.  The gusts of wind from the splashing whales and rolling kilo plates made miss brown eyes’ hair find peace above her head, blocking out the sight of the birds as if a slide show was being played above all for men’s heads.  A slide show of blue ski for miles, and clouds that made shapes of Dimas on a unicorn jumping over caffeinated waterfalls.  It became quiet for a moment as all four scholars of their respected career choices drew from their rich and inviting drinks.  A smack of the lips and a shake from the head was only the start of the after drink ritual.  The classic look of the cup from a stretched out arm like something was wrong, meant that everything in the world was right.  Chatter laid still in peace, as the sound of the boat slapping the water gave each man a moment of tranquility.  Chunks of energy powder found its way on the back of each mans throat and behind the gums that always seemed to bleed when brushed.  A fast chew as their eyes pinned wide, but the sight could not make out what laid in front of them from the pure concentration of the task at hand.  Rocks exploded as the supplements taste and high powered electricity punched them in the face, followed this time around – by a fast and violent sip to wash the left overs down deep into the belly of the beast.

Another topic popped up like the silence was never there.  The silence grabbed its doctor bag and medical kit and flew away.  He was glad to leave, for he was an owl, and owls had no business being out in the middle of a ocean made up of sugar and yellow birds.  The silent owl was always known for being realistic, and this situation was far from anything that lingered on making a bit of sense.  To the four men reality couldn’t be more real. The spray of the ocean tasted like sugar, and the circling birds drew a certain shade that they could feel upon their skin.  How could this not be reality?  A reality they could taste with every sip of their mixed multi-colored contraptions they were drinking, like a pirate to his alcohol.  The front room boat stayed swaying as the lobby squeezed the shoe string boat closer and closer to the tiny door that was becoming bigger and bigger.  A door that became land, and land that lead to the land called gym.

Jokes and ball breaking would be soon rudely interrupted by a heavy reality.  Ideas were the reflections that the men saw when they pierced through the depth of the water, as the boat swayed closer and closer to the growing door.  Looking back at them was the what if’s and the how comes.  Whales that rolled in circles with giant smiles upon their faces.  Fish that spoke English sang songs from the 90’s, and the outer banks of the ocean came to a stop, as if the water and sea life had no where else to go.  All roads led to one destination.  All the whales were swimming to one location, and the birds were flying to help guide the four men home.  Soon the men realized their ocean journey was over, and the front door leading out from the gym lobby and into the gym was 10 feet high and partially cracked open.  Chalk dust fell like snow from the cracked door, as the music bumped through the dead end ocean walls meeting their feet and carrying up through their bodies.  The energy drinks were gone, empty, now living inside them.  The door flew open as the owl of silence made its way to the front of the boat, grabbing the rope with his wing and tying the boat to the long wooded post that the yellow birds momentarily made their new resting spot.  “Let’s go boys……it’s time to train.”  – Silent owl.

The Elitist Coach

A skeptic to the point of blindness. Eyes wide shut as life passes by. There for the taking, only to be taken away from a lack of desire. Ambition runs deep, but pride kills the weak. The elitist mind-set is cancer to the set of values one must accumulate to fully better ones self. So elite, one forgets the most simple tool…to listen. The betterment of others is dependent on ones passion to be selfish in ones love, for others will blossom from the sentimental emotion connected from speaker to listener as a hand to glove. Without the desire to learn more, without love, others will fall short from ones short-comings and lack of. When given the chance to be helped to help, the coach of this matter will seem to choose helplessness. Finding time to take down others to build oneself. That just might be their greatest tool for building up, to only fall victim to a break-down of business and self-worth.

A one way road leads to a one way ticket to satisfaction. A world filled with endless acres of sand lots for heads to wallow in, take part in, and become lost within. A certain fear drives these coaches to hide when options present themselves. A fear that turns opportunity into a competition. Succeed from others into a justified opposition. Swatted down before the root uplifted from the ground. Remarkable how a coach can cast upon such negativity in a career of life changing opportunities. See, I look at coaching as therapy. To help someone is the most rewarding self fulfillment I can think of.  I think it because I have felt it. The understanding of being apart of one journey in a positive and product way will set the path for any one seeking to experience such therapy.

What are you scared of? Change? Indifference? The sculpture of success must be chiseled everyday, one without an edge will wast away. Come out from yourself. The world is not after you nor is your community. We are no the bad guy. Stop hiding from yourself and join the fight. People depend on you my friend, even you depend on your insight. Step forward and lay your sword down, you will feel so much lighter. The days will be brighter. Most importantly…the people around you will be happier.

Rats & Cheese

I fly out soon. From sun to moon. Thinking about the coffee on the plane, where I will write an article or two. Up and down I go, landing city to city while my thumb rubs my callused hands, in anticipation of a weightlifting wonder land. A bag full of tools ready to hammer these weights down. Nail gun for the superman pull as we stay over longer than an extended stay back in my meth days. Days of dark now warmed by the window seat of light, as I watch the sun rise in flight. Another trip away from home. Another flight home, as I connect with people a feel an erg to know.

Airports I know so well, as people walk past me in fast forward. Alone I sit, a nobody to them, but someone to you. Another coffee down, as my ambition to change the world touches ground. Seat belts off while off I go, running from the non-lifters in a dead sprint I go! The gym rat gate is know where to be found, only the cloths and shoes of the gym owners I see wave me down. A high-five and a fast car ride we drive. To the gym where we feel most alive.

Greeted with smiles and at times hugs, hand shakes firm from the heavy lifting from floor to above. A gym full of magic, I have made it safe and sound. I have found my place in life in this gym in a un familiar town. Away from home, but home at last. I find comfort in the gym as a rat does with cheese. With he bar I am free. Accepted in this community is all the acceptance I need. Eager to coach and excited to motivate. We are strangers that know each other well. Connected by the bar and all it does. An unspoken understanding that speaks volumes from one look upon wide open eyes. Getting better is the betterment of our training, as pvc pipes turn into bars. Coffee turns into c4. Music turns into blood flow. Atmosphere turns into pr’s. A personal record is a personal gain that personally effects each athlete.

Glad to belong. Happy to have a song.