Talking to Jon North about the Story of Life

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Talking to Jon North about the Story of Life

Today I have the privilege to interview Jon North on The Barbell Life Podcast. This comes at a time where several of my athletes are being tested in their lives with some small speed bumps. Lately no one has been tested more than Jon of course. I am hoping that some of his words might inspire all the athletes out there that are overcoming adversity. With the help of God, Jon actually overcame death, so the big question that I have for him is, “So now what?”

None of my athletes have had a heart attack, but they are still dealing with issues in health and life. I have given a lot of talks lately, which made me believe that all of you might need the same talk. None of us like obstacles. An obstacle represents something that is getting in the way of our goals.

Here’s the thing that none of you realize. It’s overcoming those obstacles that you will remember most. It’s overcoming those obstacles that will make you stronger for the rest of your life. When you are talking to your children some day, you will tell them about the obstacles that you overcome.

Winning is great, and I did a lot of that. However it was the road that started in the bottom that I think of the most. I had to overcome a torn quad, major disc issues in the lumbar spine, torn rotator cuff, and fractured vertebra in my cervical spine. It’s overcoming those injuries that made the entire journey special. That’s what made me stronger and more prepared for life.

Cade Carney is a freshman running back at Wake Forest University. He suffered a freak knee injury during practice the week after rushing for 110 yards and scoring 3 touchdowns. This injury sidelined him for three games. Some people would have let this freak occurrence ruin their entire year, but that’s not what Cade did. Instead he rushes for over 100 yards and scores a touchdown during his first game back. It’s moments like that Cade will remember for the rest of his life. Tests like that will make him a stronger person for the rest of his life.


Life is filled with obstacles, and not just sport injuries. The economy will go through some major downs. There will be rough patches during marriages. People get sick. These are the bleak realities of this broken world. It’s how you deal with these tests that will define you as a person. Are you easily broken? Or will you persevere?

Those are the life lessons that all of us can learn from sports. These are the lessons that no one wants to talk about because overcoming obstacles isn’t the fun part. However it’s overcoming obstacles that will define you, and overcoming those obstacles will reveal your true character.

I was just telling my athlete Jacky Bigger this same story. She is dealing with some issues in her life, which gives me an opportunity to coach her on life and not just weightlifting. Here’s what I told her:

Success isn’t linear not even close. There will be bumps in the road, but it’s those bumps that you will remember the most. Most athletes don’t realize that the journey is much sweeter than the end goal. The end goal is just the result of the path taken. That’s all!

We are all on a path. The path is where the story lies. Think about any great goal like the “Wizard of Oz”. Dorothy finally meeting the Great Oz was only a few minutes of the story. The rest of the story was all about her journey to find him. It was the journey that made the movie/play so amazing.

The same goes for your personal journeys in life. I am not just talking about athletics. Some of you might start a Fortune 500 company some day. Whatever you do, it will be the journey that writes the story of your own life. Each journey will require perseverance and determination to weather the storms of life.

Today I will talk to my friend Jon North about literally overcoming death. I am curious what direction that he will take now that he has survived a major cardiac arrest. Someday Jon might write a best-selling book and become famous for that book. However it will be his personal journey that he will remember the most.

Jon has overcome learning disabilities, drug addiction, and now a heart attack with the help of God of course. Whatever success he has with his life will never compare to the joy of overcoming these obstacles. Those moments have altered him as a person. Those moments have made him stronger. It’s the lessons learned from all of this adversity that Jon will pass on to his son, Lincoln. Those are the treasures earned from a life well lived.

Whether you are dealing with an injury or your first business just went bankrupt, I hope that today’s blog touches your heart. Life is filled with rough patches. That’s just the nature of this broken world. It’s how you overcome those rough patches that will define you as a person. It’s those rough patches that become your story. I suggest writing a beautiful story. I want you all to write a story of perseverance and resilience. It is this story that you will one day tell to your grandchildren.

What will your story be?

By the way, Jon is in the middle of one of life’s speed bumps, and that is recovery from his heart attack. I started a GoFundMe to help him out while he is recovering. As you can imagine his hospital bills are staggering. If you want to help or share, this is the link: ==>

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