Yesterday was one of the best days that I have ever spent as a weightlifting/powerlifting coach. I started my day at 5:30a driving to the Muscle Driver USA headquarters in Fort Mill, SC to coach Rebecca Gerdon in the MDUSA Weightlifting Team Tryouts. I arrived at the MDUSA Headquarters around 7:15am, and I have to say that I was a kid in a candy store. Muscle Driver had their products scattered all over the room, and anyone who knows me realizes that I love the Muscle Driver and Pendlay brands. Coach Pendlay was of course on hand to witness the talent, and he is quickly becoming one of my favorite people in the strength world. He always takes time out to talk with me, and this time he even trusted my to coach a couple of his athletes: Elizabeth Akinwale and Ginny Hoover. Of course everyone knows Elizabeth Akinwale because she is the star CrossFit Athlete and doubles as a top ranked weightlifter. Everyone should be refreshed to know that she is one of the most humble people that I have ever met. She didn’t take herself serious at all, but she is one tough girl. I believe that she snatched around 100k and Clean & Jerked around 110k, but remember she is in the middle of her CrossFit season. Unbelievable athlete!
I was there to coach my rookie sensation weightlifter Rebecca “The Natural” Gerdon, and I can say that she became a “true baller” yesterday. She Snatched 64k and Clean & Jerked 89k for a Clean & Jerk PR and a total PR! When she gets a few more big meets under her belt, the sky will be the limit for her. I can’t describe the feeling that I had yesterday watching a girl trying out for a professional weightlifting team that two years ago I was teaching her the basics. It was the pinnacle of a two year perfect journey. I watched her over the last six months simply come in to her own. It was like watching a butterfly break out of its cocoon transforming from a caterpillar that can barely crawl into a beautiful creature that can soar like the wind. All of you Crossfitters out there know how difficult the Oly lifts are, so I know that you understand what it has been like to watch her development. I have several athletes right now that are on the verge of blossoming: Caleb, Drew, Rabbit, Eze, Matt W., Hayden, Dylan, James B., Lauren, and several others. The next three years are going to be really interesting. Coach Pendlay made the comment that Rebecca could be Clean & Jerking 100k/220lbs right now with a few tweaks. No matter what happens with the team selection I am really proud of Rebecca.
Rebecca’s meet was over at around 11:45a, and from there I drove straight to Hickory, NC where 15 of my athletes were doing work at the IPA NC State Powerlifting Championships. Here is the write up my Greg Nuckols:
He did a great job giving the blow by blow, and check out the video at the end! I just want to say a few words about the meet. First my beautiful wife did work this weekend! She squatted 300, Benched 155lbs, and Deadlifted 345lbs. She set PRs in the squat, deadlift, and total(800lbs). She also totaled Elite in now her second weight class. I also have to tell the world of a moment that could have wrecked this whole glorious day. I was driving from Charlotte to Hickory in one of the best moods of my life. I was actually in the middle of tweeting “I love coaching my athletes and slamming bars”, when I received a panicking phone call from Caleb Tilson. Now realize I had received word that Drew had squatted 300lbs which lead me to believe that she was well on the way to totaling Elite. I had actually given the call to drop her opener on bench to 145lbs just to be conservative. Well her opened was dropped, but there was one big problem. She missed it! She had been called for a soft lift off when Caleb didn’t manage to get out of the judge’s view quickl enough. Well instead of repeating a coaching decision was made to go up to not 150lbs but 155lbs. This is only 5lbs off her max, and low and behold she missed it. Caleb put me on the phone with her, and I could hear the panic in her voice. I told her to relax, and I would be right there. I preceded to drive like a maniac to get there in time. I pulled up to the convention center, jumped out of my car, and ran like a mad man. I made it with a few minutes to spare. I went straight to her, and I told her to calm down because this was a done deal. Anyway she walked up to the bench like a boss, and on her third try she nailed it! What a relief!
Probably the most inspirational part of the day was the performance of Lisa Gniewek. Lisa has been a MashEliter for almost five years, and now she is battling Stage IV Lung Cancer. Let me tell you right now that Cancer doesn’t have Lisa! Lisa has cancer! She not only competed, but she won her division. She set a meet PR for her squat, and had one of her highest totals ever! She rocked it! More importantly she has inspired us all to never quit, to look adversity straight in the face, and with the power of God go to battle with NO FEAR!
Anyway Greg’s write up explains the rest, but I wanted to share the story about my wife and Lisa G. I also want to mention what a great family the Mash Elite Family has become. We are tight! We lift together, compete together, we eat together, and more importantly we do life together. I simply love being a part of something so special! God has truly blessed us all with bringing the MashEliters together. It is something that we all should be thankful for. I also want to mention Greg Nuckol’s unbelievable performance with a 1885lb Total at 242 lbs for the all-time Raw Powerlifting Record. All of our guys simply killed it yesterday. I am telling the world right now, if you aren’t signed up for one of our seminars, then you need to do so right now. Rebecca and Greg will be teaching at all of these seminars with me, so if you want to know what we are doing to reach such huge milestones in strength, come check us out!