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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Watering Young Seeds

How do you grow the sport of weightlifting? How do we make it more popular, more of a "cool" thing to do and be a part of? CrossFit turns Reebok and blows up. The world goes bonkers over 21, 15, 9 and falling to the ground bloody and the feeling of death. I DID. I started as a CrossFitter. A strong CrossFitter, hence began weightlifting. I loved CrossFit. Still do, and still respect it....from a distance, but now my love is found on the bar. It's a fine line between the argument of these two worlds. One would say CrossFit is being a well rounded best at everything. Ok.....well rounded, yes....but best, I'm not convinced? To be the best or the greatest you have to take your focal point and center it on something. Whether that be running, or gymnastics, or olympic lifting you have to be dedicated to that certain thing. Then, you have to slave in hours and hours and hours of work on just that. You want to be the best kipping pullup guy and you better believe you're going to be doing a hell of a lot of kipping pull ups.

Anyway, back on track here. Weightlifting. What do we do? How do we get our kids involved because they are the gateway to our future. My daughter goes to every local event around, sits and watches almost every practice I do, and cheers me on on every lift. SHE thinks it's cool. She think I'M cool! But how do we further that? I don't ever push her to want to lift but becuase of all the time she watches me put in she just naturally wants to do it too....maybe? She has a bar in which she does the lifts on her own. I add in a few coaching ques but am hesitant to "coach" her yet becuase right now it is just FUN to her. I want it to stay fun. Lord knows it's a twisted form of it once you get to this point. She makes lifts and smiles saying, "Look, I'm strong like my mommy!" It definitely encourages me to lift more! She does the snatch, clean and jerk, and when she's really wound up she combines the two in kind of a split snatch/jerk thingymajig! Either way, I like it because she's up and moving around.

I have another girl, Marin Chew, who in the same way watched me and started being intrigued. Her parents are friends of mine. Mom dabbled in some CrossFit for awhile but primarly is doing training for figure competitions and her dad trains Muy Thai. She came in to watch though when all our paths crossed. She's a tiny little thing who until recently was not one to really do the "sports" thing. After months of watching she, (cute, little bitty, young girl) Marin, wanted to lift big weights....LIKE MEEEE!!! I've been working with her now for about 3 months and the girl is an animal! And most of all...she LOVES it!! She has been saving up her money for the last few months  AND BOUGHT WEIGHTLIFTING SHOES WITH IT!! Her form is prestine! Her lifts are increasing every time she comes in. She's rocking leapord tights and tank tops!! She watches all my videos and reads my blogs! She knows everyone on my team from watching too much Youtube and you better believe she's stronger than all the little boys in her class!!!

So again, I do we make this sport more popular? It all starts right here with US! It starts with the Lindsay Taylors, Donny Shankles and Jon Norths. We are paving a road to all the younger people out there that WANT TO BE LIKE US! We have to stand strong as role models. We have to convince these little people that we are cool....AND WE ARE!?! We have to show them we are having fun and that hard work sure pays off! We get one little Marin through the door, and she goes and tells all her friends and they tell all their friends and soon we will rule the world!! RIGHT? Ahahahaha, well maybe not rule the world but hopefully we will grow this sport to a higher degree. What blows up fast comes down fast......long steady work holds strong. Hopefully we are the sport of the future? 

Team California Strength 2012

*missing from picture is Kevin Cornell, Robert Blackwell, and Tom Sroka

Wouldn't you like to lift like a girl???

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fight with PR

I sit in this dusty corner of the gym sipping my water, gathering myself before I go up to fight with PR. This fight seems to come few and far between here lately and I have been walking away defeated too many times. The pain getting here is sometimes a battle all on it's own. I feel so beat down on my fight up to the top. Even the lighter weights seem to uppercut me when I'm not looking. You have to be quick on your feet in this game. You have to know when to hit and have just the right spot to take him down. The floor seems to have less bounce than it did before, and the air around me is stagnant with left over chalk clouds that billow around me. The smell of sweat and tears fill the room like a must in a guys locker room after a football game. Everyone around me cheering, I think, cause I can see their lips moving but all I hear is my head telling me to pull the shit out of the bar. I hate this fight, but yet I love it. Everytime I get here I feel the bar raise a little more. Even if I don't win there's something good that always comes from it. I had one less failed attempt on my way this time. My positions are better, smoother, stronger. I am hungrier. I leave always wanting more. I know what I want, and I know what it's going to take to get me there. Lots and lots of these battles, like little stepping stones to the top of this temple I want to walk on. Everyone wants to be on top, but only special few have what it takes to get there.


Get up.


Get UP.


Get. The. HELL. UP!

Do it again and again until your body can no longer be unsatisfied at what lies at your feet. Lift. Sit. Breathe. Lift again. Turn on this fight and bring out the heavy artillary. Then pack your bags for the reward at the end. Every day is a battle. If not PR today, then LIFE, or BILLS, or REAL WORLD? Get better everyday. Come everyday and most of all BRING IT everyday! Quit making lame excuses of why today is not YOUR day. You hurt? So do I. You're tired? I haven't slept yet!You're hungry? I'm always hungry! and it's that hunger that will get me through to the end. The end, where then and only then, I can sit, kick my feet up, and relax....looking down off my temple at the fight below me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Crazy isn't here yet...

You haven't seen the best part yet. This isn't's not even close. Everyday is a turning point though and if you're just tunning in, you're walking in on the best part. I'm just now making a stand and my legs feel strong. They're stonger than ever. I feel like I can throw boulders into the sky, or at least smiley faces to the back of your head. My blood is pumping, so hard now it makes me shake. I take a deep breath in and still yet it leaves me unsatisfied. I wan't to lift heavier bars and rip the heads off dragons. I want to take this aggression out on something!?! I want to scream and beat my chest as I jump out of the white forest and rip the faces off red headed bars! Throw on another plate, bring your friends green, yellow and blue. You better believe I won't give up without a fight. I've never been there before but today I feel dressed for battle. I have my army to pick me up if I should fall. They'll dust me off, slap my ass, and send me out for another round. Today, I'm feeling CrossFit and thinking AMRAP till collapse. This fuel inside me burns hot and so deep now there's no turning back. People are starting to see it on my face. They're starting to feel the heat as I walk by. Don't be scared my friends, it's just the life in me being brought to a boil. I lose more and more of it as it evaporates out of my body and on to the floor along with everyone else's hopes and dreams. These dragons fly around my gym barfing cupcakes instead of blowing flames. All it is in the end though is a bunch of smoke out your ass. I'm typing this in my weightlifting shoes. I'm not done. I've only just started. You haven't seen the best part yet. This isn't's not even close.