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Chuck and I are on our way to MDUSA to coach some of the strongest athletes in the United States. Just a second ago, Chuck asked me what it is like to try and master a brand new sport at 41 years old. What a great question! Hopefully the answer will help someone else out there begin a new section of his or her life regardless of age. The biggest roadblock is Fear!
Am I scared at times that I will fail? Heck yes! Of course I don’t want to fail. I want more than anything to inspire my family, friends, and all of you guys. The key is to keep in mind that I will inspire by simply giving every ounce of me in the effort to do well in the Grid League. It’s going to be a long road. No doubt! Every week I am learning movements that are brand new to me like: toes to bar, muscle-ups, and handstand push-ups. A lot of my competitors will have been completing these movements for 5 or more years.
Another obstacle is my conditioning, and exposure to barbell cycling. I have spent the last thirty years performing specific movements: snatch, clean, jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift. My whole training up until now has been geared towards a one-rep max. Now I am being asked to hit moderately heavy weight for 20 reps. This is a big difference. Learning to relax and breathe is the biggest issue, which simply comes from exposure to the movements.
Basic cardiovascular training is also a concern because that lung capacity is going to be very important during aspects of certain races. Luckily that is one of the easier aspects to improve, and just means putting my time in on the rower and aerodyne. One thing that will never stop me is heart. I will put in the time and do the work. Effort will never be the problem!
I came home Wednesday after working with the Carolina Crush Coaches, and my wife could tell that I was a little down. When I was there they picked out my weaknesses, which are shoulder to overhead and a power repeat movement. I actually PR’ed my shoulder to overhead by hitting 245lbs x 12 reps unbroken, but then I was dead. I need to hit 20 reps in a row, or at least 15 and then rest 10 seconds before hitting 5 more. It will just take time and work.
When I got home, my wife reminded me that all I can do is my best. I have to leave the results up to God. He expects my best effort and nothing more. Yesterday I was back at it with the hardest day of training in my whole life. We are having a training day at the new facility Feb. 22nd, and I am going to be in the best shape possible. I am going to have to change a few things from now to then.
Even though, my strength is not where I want it to be just yet, I am going to have to focus on conditioning and unbroken reps to show the coaches that I can improve in those areas. No problem! I will resume the strength training after the training day. I still want to push the strength numbers up a little more, but strategy will be everything going forwards. Paul Klein, the Head Coach of the Crush, sent me a workout geared towards my weaknesses. Will Hall and Paul Stewart will help me add a little to the workout, and then it is go time.
Doing something new is definitely scary. I could take the easy way out and just powerlift my whole life, but that isn’t me. I constantly have to challenge myself with new adventures in life. This is the biggest challenge that I have accepted in a long-time. I want this so badly for so many reasons, but ultimately God owns the results. All that I can do is give every ounce of heart that I have to give. I can do that! I will do that!
I urge you all to be bold in life. If you have a passion for something, go for it. I am not saying put your family at risk. I am just saying to take wise steps in obtaining that goal, that passion. I have never been disappointed for trying something new. I have only been disappointed for not trying. Don’t let your age determine what you can and can’t do. If you are on this earth, then there is a chance to do something awesome. I will be trying new adventures until the day that I die. God made me like this, so I am not going to fight Him.
I am not just talking about sports and athletics. If you were meant to be a great artist, then start creating. If you were meant to be a Doctor, get your butt in school. If you were meant to be a great coach, start making contacts. Inspire your family and the people around you to follow your passions and dreams. The world can be so dark at times if you watch the news and read the newspaper. The negativity can bring one down quickly. I challenge you all to be a light in a dark world.
I will leave you with this thought. What do you want people to say at your funeral? I want people to say that this guy loved his family and friends, spent his life helping others, and was Never afraid to take on new challenges. I can assure you that there will not be a lot of: “he could of”, ‘he should have”, or “if he would have” being said about me.