Why You Take the First Step by Dylan Cooper

Below is an article written by 18-year-old Dylan Cooper. This kid has risen to the top of the Junior Division, and will compete in his first A Session at the Senior Level this weekend at the American Open. He is a Mash Mafia Weightlifting OG, and I am blessed to be his coach.

Enjoy!

First the “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book has dropped. You get 170 Pages, FOUR 12 Week Programs, Mind Set, and Variable Explanations all for the Black Friday Price of $19!

Get it here for $19:

The Mash Squat Every Day Book

We are looking for partners for our Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team with the immediate need on sending our onsite athletes to the American Open. We are not looking for handouts. Here is what we are offering:

• Free Consultation with me that is Coach Mash for a Donation in any amount. We can cover any topic that you need help with: programming, business, technique, muscular balance, or any other topic
• Free “I Do What I Want” T-Shirt and a Consultation for a Donation above $50
• Free 12 Week Personalized Program along with the Consultation and T-Shirt with any donation above $175

Here is where you Donate:

Help Support Team Mash Mafia Weightlifting

Why you take the first step

By: Dylan Cooper

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I was laying in my bed on July, 10 2012 when my brother opened my door
and said the 7 words that will change my life forever, “you’re
going to CrossFit with me today.” At first I threw a fit. I was in
no way shape or form happy about this decision my brother had made for
me. I was the most out of shape 15 year old out there. 6’0” tall,
120 lbs, nothing but skin and bone. I threw on some gym clothes and
went to the car.

On the way to the gym I remember being so mad that I
wouldn’t talk to my brother. But at the same time there was an
excitement somewhere deep down. I thought maybe I could get hooked to
this whole thing, maybe one day I would be the cut up dude that
strings together 20 muscle ups for a warm up. But once I stepped foot
in the gym every thought that I had in my mind went away. I felt like
I had just stepped across a border to a different country. I had never
seen anything like it. Random strangers came up and shook my hand and
started a conversation as if they have known me for years. But I
couldn’t hear them over the extremely loud music in the background.
Jump ropes, abmats and sweat angles covered the floor; I was scared
for my life at this point. I had absolutely no idea what was in store.

I would talk about the actual workout itself but I can’t remember
any of it. I don’t remember what the WOD was, or the warm-up, or
anything in between. All I know is afterwards I didn’t want to
leave. I felt like I was just initiated into this new breed of human
being that lived in the gym. I was hooked.

Fast forward 8 months to march the 3rd of 2013. This was the day of
the 2013 East Carolina Weightlifting Open. An annual competition held
by the pirate weightlifting. I went in to that competition with maxes
of 150lb snatch and a 200lbs clean and jerk. I remember not wanting to
do this meet. But the interesting thing is, is that no one was telling
me to do it; no one was pressuring me to compete. The only person that
was doing that was me. Because on July 10th of 2012 I made a promise
to myself that I am never allowed to back down from trying something
new. It has done nothing but the best for me up until this point and I
don’t expect that streak to die off anytime soon.

Again, I would discuss the competition but I couldn’t remember a thing, all I
remember are my attempts. Mainly because I looked back at them on the
USA Weightlifting website, they were: Snatch – 53kg/60kg/65kg Clean
and Jerk – 83kg/90kg/96kgX. I went 5/6 that day. After that meet I
didn’t say a word on the 2 hour drive back to home. All the thoughts
racing through my mind took away my ability to speak, my ability to
hold a conversation with any of the other 3 people in that car. Why?
Because I had realized that I have been bit by the weightlifting bug.
And this bite was much stronger than what happened when I did that
CrossFit workout back in July of 2012. There was absolutely no way I
could not pursue the sport of weightlifting.

One year later I am top 15 for male youth weightlifters, 2nd in the
85kg weight class. This is in march of 2014. I get the news that there
is a possibility that I could compete at the Youth Pan-American
Championships in Lima, Peru in May, but I had to bump up 3 Spots from
11th to 8th overall. The only way for me to do that was for me to go
compete in Reno, NV at the last minute qualifier the following week.
So what did I do? Me and my dad bought tickets to Reno that night.
This meet was running at the same time and place as Junior
Pan-American Championships. Therefore, I was the most nervous I had
ever been for anything in my whole entire life. It didn’t help that
I was sick to the point I winced in pain every time I stood up, I flew
in the night before, and this was the first time I had ever had to cut
weight. So many new factors all hitting me at once along with the fact
that moving up 3 spots and improving my total by 14kg was a bit of a
long shot. After the chalk cleared and my lifting was done I did not
get the total I needed. I totaled 246kg, 5kg shy of the 251kg total I
needed. I moved up to 9th spot, Aka first reserve position. This was
the first time I have taken the leap of faith and failed to make it to
the other side. I am sitting down in the backroom with the fact that
this trip was a waste of time hitting me in the face. Then a fellow
youth lifter, the guy sitting in 8th walks by and says “see you at
camp.” I was too brainwashed by my poor performance to take in to
consideration what he said. But about a week later I get an email from
Phil Andrews (USAW director of events & programs) inviting me to the
Youth Pan-Am training camp at the Olympic training center. That camp
was the spark that ignited my professional weightlifting career. And
to think that the biggest turning point of my weightlifting career
happened as a result of a failure. But it would not have happened if I
hadn’t have taken the chance and gone to Reno.

Fast Forward 18 months. I am a new person. A person that has national
medals, a person who has trained at the top locations in the country
including the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado
Springs, CO, Muscle Driver USA, and Mash Elite Performance. I’ve
also competed all across the United States of America. But if it
weren’t for me getting up and going to that CrossFit class back in
July of 2012 I honestly hate to think about where I would be. The
amount of times I had to test the water is too much to count. The
ability to take that first step is what separates the extraordinary
from the ordinary. If it weren’t for my ability to take that step I
would still be in my basement playing video games and solving
Rubik’s cubes. But the decision is completely up to you. What do you
want to be?

Follow Dylan’s Progress on Instagram at: @DYLANCOOPER94K

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The “Mash Squat Every Day” E-Book has dropped. You get 170 Pages, FOUR 12 Week Programs, Mind Set, and Variable Explanations all for the Black Friday Price of $19!

Get it here for $19:

The Mash Squat Every Day Book

We are looking for partners for our Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team with the immediate need on sending our onsite athletes to the American Open. We are not looking for handouts. Here is what we are offering:

• Free Consultation with me that is Coach Mash for a Donation in any amount. We can cover any topic that you need help with: programming, business, technique, muscular balance, or any other topic
• Free “I Do What I Want” T-Shirt and a Consultation for a Donation above $50
• Free 12 Week Personalized Program along with the Consultation and T-Shirt with any donation above $175

Here is where you Donate:

Help Support Team Mash Mafia Weightlifting

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