Ashe County Lessons That Will Help All of You

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Ashe County Lessons That Will Help All of You

As I was driving back from the funeral of my friend Chris Moore, I had time to reflect a lot on life. I left right after the service because I was flying out the very next day for Tbilisi, Georgia to coach Team USA in the Junior World Championships. I thought a lot about Chris’s accomplishments in life. He inspired so many people to have the courage to live out the passion within their hearts. His writings, his podcasts, and his other works will live on. Does that make him somewhat immortal?


I don’t know the answer to that question, but I can promise that his works will live on for a long while. They will also live on through all of the people that he inspired. If they are worth a hill of beans, then they will share his teachings with the people that they care about.

This is not a blog about Chris Moore, but I wanted to give you guys a background. The memorial service forced me to look at my own life. I had to ask myself some tough questions. Who am I inspiring? Who am I helping? I mean really, what good am I doing?

None of us can really know if we are helping other people. The people that we help tend to keep quiet until our own memorial service. All we can do is hope to inspire. We have to look into the future, and we have to ask ourselves some deeper questions. What do I want people to say at my memorial service? In what way do I want to make the world just a little better?

After asking these questions to myself, I took a long look at where I’ve come from. I am going to tell all of you, but hang on because I want to teach you guys some cool things. This is not going to be a long blog about look how cool I am. However it needs to start with a little reflection.


I am from the most northwest corner of North Carolina. I am from West Jefferson, NC nestled deep within the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. This little town lies within Ashe County. For some reason all of us that are from there simply refer to our home as Ashe County. Maybe it’s a southern thing.

There are no interstates or major highways that lead to Ashe County. If you find yourself there, it was your destination or you are lost. We are somewhat cut off from the world. There are pros and cons to this just like anywhere else, but all and all I am very proud to have hailed from such a remarkable place.

So far in my life, I have won three world championships in powerlifting, played D1 college football, competed in Olympic weightlifting at a National level, written two books, host a podcast listened by thousands all over the world, and now I am on my way to Tbilisi, Georgia to coach Team USA. My life has been exciting to say the least.

However, there is nothing more exciting than your hometown recognizing your work. This town made me who I am. My family raised me. The people around me up there made me tough. No matter where I go in this life, I am a mountain boy from the Blue Ridge.

Last month my hometown newspaper, “The Jefferson Post” and my hometown am radio station “WKSK” ran stories about some of my accomplishments. Personally I would rather be recognized by my hometown than the New York Times. Why? I am not quite sure, but my passion is to inspire the young men and women of my hometown.

I grew up with a hardworking family. However not many people in my family went to college, and I am pretty sure that I am the only one that ventured around the world. They live a simple life, and they work hard. Sometimes when I have to leave my family at home, I envy that simple life. We are going to spend most of July in the mountains, and I am very excited to get back home.


Here’s the thing that I am trying to say. I had a dream that included a barbell from the time that I was eleven-years-old. I didn’t know how I was going to make a living lifting weights, but I knew that I was going to follow my passion at all cost. This was a time when there wasn’t a CrossFit anywhere. No one knew anything about lifting weights. Yet I was going to show the world the beauty of the barbell.

I am not saying that everyone should set out teaching the world about the barbell. I am saying that we should all follow the passions within our hearts. Those passions aren’t there by accident. God puts them there, and it’s up to you to use them. The key is what you do with those passions.

If you use those passions for self-glorification, you are going to live a lonely unfulfilled life. However, if you use those same passions to inspire others, then you are doing a good thing. I want you to inspire others to live a better life, and I promise that your heart will overflow with joy.

My life isn’t just about teaching people the movements of the barbell. I use that as a platform to teach them so much more like balance, closeness with the Creator, and the importance of family. It’s a real honor to help so many people. It’s the real reason that I do anything within my company. I just want to be a small part in making the lives of others a little better.


I have been on both sides of this. I was a selfish athlete for the first few years of my life, and that led to depression and loneliness. If you spend time loving your family, worshipping your God, and loving others, you will spend your life filled with love, joy, and fulfillment.

Here’s the takeaway from all of this:

1. Discover your God given passions.
2. Live those passions out no matter where you are from or what your circumstances are.
3. Inspire others to live a better life.
4. Nurture the relationships that God puts in your life.
5. Leave the world just a little better.

Gosh I promise that if you do all of this, whether you are rich or poor, you will live a life of fulfillment. You will inspire others. When you are on your death bed, you can look at your loved ones and know that you did a job well-done. That’s all that any of us can hope for.

If you live in my hometown of West Jefferson, NC, I want all of you to know that my heart will always be with you. You guys made me. My mother and father, my aunts and uncles, and all of my friends helped to shape me. I am forever grateful, and I am forever proud to be from Ashe County.

KJ(my best friend), we are forever Ashe County. We did that together. Love you man.


If you own a gym or want to own a gym, we would love to partner with you in the “Mash Barbell Affiliate Program”. Our program includes:

-Monthly conference calls to answer questions and teach our curriculum
-Option to receive programming from one of our three International Level Coaches
-Database of conference calls and workouts for affiliates to access anytime
-Mash Mafia Branding
-Location on the website for people to identify
-Affiliate clinic to teach our ways of coaching, principles, values, and mission statement.
-Ability to participate in the “Child At Risk” Program

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