Senior Worlds 2017: A Different Insight

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Senior Worlds 2017

A lot of you might know that I am hanging out at the Weightlifting Senior World Championships with three of Mash Mafia’s finest: Brian Reisenauer, Jordan Canrtell, and Nathan Damron, and our entire coaching staff of Vinh Huynh, Don McCauley, and me. However this article isn’t about their preparation, our programming, or anything like that. It’s about the other aspect of sport that people rarely talk about. It’s the real reason that we have World Championships and the Olympics, or at least it should be the real reason.

I was reminded of underlying goal when I was at breakfast this morning. I ate breakfast with men and women from all over the world. I was in the same room as Iranians, Italians, and Koreans. I waited in line with them, and I sat beside them. You know what I noticed? They were just like me.

Yeah we didn’t speak the same language, but they interacted with their peers the same way that Americans do. They laughed, and they joked with each other. It was a beautiful to just sit back and watch. This was a room full of athletes and coaches with dreams just like mine. None of them was really caring about the differences in religion or government. For this small moment in time, we were all the same.

We are all the same! We are just humans trying to survive this crazy world. I have to believe that it is the governments and the media that create the divides for power and money. I can’t believe that humans at the very basic level care one way or the other. Yeah I love my God, and I rely on my faith. Yeah I believe that it would be advantageous for everyone, but I don’t hate anyone for not believing like me. I don’t think that most humans really care.

Sports at an International level remind all of us that we can all get along. It should remind us that we are all the same at the most basic of levels. All of us want a chance to improve our lives. All of us want a purpose on this earth. All of us want to protect our families. All of us want the ability to worship and believe in the way that we choose without anyone or any country trying to hinder those abilities. We just want to be respected for the way that we want to live our lives. You don’t have to agree with me nor I you, but we must respect each other. Empathy is so hard to find in this world. However when athletes come together at a World Championships or Olympics, empathy can be found in abundance.

I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina in an area with a 1% minority population. I dreamed of meeting people from around the world. Racism was fairly copious in the mountains. The locals seemed to fear people that weren’t like them. A lot of the locals believed that people were dangerous if they didn’t look like, act like, and believe like them. I wanted to put these beliefs to the test.

I have never had the ability to believe people simply based on their opinion or their thoughts. I have always wanted proof. Heck I got into trouble more than once in middle school and high school for debating teachers. I didn’t believe that I was smarter than them. I just wanted proof from time to time.

Athletics have led me all over the world. I have met people from countries around the globe, and I am yet to meet a group of people that frightened me. As a matter of fact I often find way more similarities than differences. Last night Coach Vinh, Coach Sean Waxman, and I ate with a group of lifters from England. It was the most amazing time. I felt like I was eating with characters from “Harry Potter”. I loved it. I guess I just exposed the fact that I love “Harry Potter”. Yeah it’s true.

For all of you athletes out there aspiring to compete Internationally someday, I hope that you realize that there is something much more special about the opportunity than simply competing. It’s the experience of coming together as a Planet. It’s realizing that we are all so similar. Sports have the unique ability to spread this understanding of one another.

Look I am not some overly optimistic kid right out of college. I get it. We live in a world filled with some good and some bad people. As long as there is money and power to be had, governments and powerful people will try to get more than their share. Ultimate power corrupts ultimately! That doesn’t mean that all the rest of us have to succumb to the same evil.

Athletics has blessed me with the ability to travel all over the world. I thank God for that opportunity. Last night when the athletes from England told me that people in England used my programming, I realized the opportunity that God has given me. Who would of thought that a boy from the mountains of North Carolina would have people from around the world reading his books and using his workout programs? I never dreamed that this would be possible.

My goal is to show the rest of the world that people are all the same. None of us are really that different despite what you might hear on television or worse Facebook. Today a guy from Iran passed me the ketchup, and we exchanged the universal gesture of kindness, a smile. In that small moment, I realized that all the negative things that I have heard about Iranians are false. They are people just like me. They have dreams and hopes just like me. They have sons and daughters, moms and dad, and wives just like me. Today I pray to God that He gives us all the ability to love one another just like He commanded multiple times in His word.

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New E-Book “Bar Speed” for only $39

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