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Would I do it All Over Again?
There is something that’s been weighing on my mind lately. A friend of mine asked me, “If I had it to do all over again, would I still have gone so heavy for so long?” He asked me that after hearing that I was looking to get my hip resurfaced, and he noticed my constant limp. I answered him right away giving him a definite, “yes”, but I’ve really been weighing this in my mind over the last several days. I mean I am 44-years-old, and I need hip surgery. Would I really do it all over again?
I coach hundreds of athletes both in person and online. Thousands of people follow my programming whether it be e-books or a free program on my website. I figured these people deserved to know the truth. Am I leading people down a road of regret? That’s the real question, and that deserves a real answer.
Here’s my real answer. I would 100% do it all over again. My willingness to put it all out there like that has given me the opportunity to coach all of these people. What if I hadn’t? I would be working some job. I would grow old. Would I be pain free? Maybe and then again maybe not! I would die one day having never accomplished anything. That’s not living in my opinion. Remember this is just my opinion. This is simply my perspective, and I am not telling you what’s right or wrong. I am just saying how I feel about this.
I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wonder should I have done this or that. I don’t want to talk about ‘should haves’ and ‘could haves’. I don’t want to set that example for my kids. I want them to follow their passions to the very end. I am not just talking about strength or athletics. If they want to be a doctor or an artist, I want them to give it their absolute best. If they want to play the piano, I want them to practice longer and with more intent than anyone else.
My hard work and sacrifice has opened so many doors that would not be there had I not given my absolute best. If I had not lived this life, would all of these elite athletes listen to one word from me? Would any of you reading this still be reading this? The answer is ‘probably not’ for both questions.
I have no promises for any of you that you will reach your ultimate goals. There are too many variables that come into play, but I am going to tell you a short story to put things in perspective. When I was a young man in college, I fell in love with training. I had worked out and lifted weights in high school, but I didn’t fall in love with it until college. Towards the end of my college career people started asking me questions about my future plans. What are you going to do after college? That was the question that I was getting more and more.
Looking back this was a valid question. I would be asking my kids the same thing out of concern. All I knew was that I loved training. I wanted to see how strong that I could make my body. I wanted to realize the potential of my body. I was fascinated with the changes that I had already made with the body that I was given. There were many safe jobs that I could have taken back then, and there would have been nothing wrong with taking any of them. However I decided to chase my dreams, and I never looked back.
I drove to Colorado with $200 to my name. Somehow I was able to find Wes Barnett as a coach, acquire a job, and get a roommate all within hours of arriving in Colorado Springs, CO. I look back at that moment a lot especially lately with this terrible hip. I wonder to myself what would have happened had I failed in Colorado. Would I have come home with my tail tucked between my legs like a beaten dog? I probably would have come home, taken a safe job, and lived a safe life. However that wasn’t God’s plan for me.
That moment led me down a path that I still find myself on. That path has taken my on quite the journey. I have won three world championships in my lifetime having competed against some of the best powerlifters known to man like Ed Coan, Steve Goggins, and Chuck V. I have broken several world records including one that had stood for over fifteen years. I have trained at the Olympic Training Center with the best group of weightlifters that America has ever seen including six Olympians. Two Olympians with one being a Bronze Medalist have coached me.
As a coach I have been Team USA’s Head Coach three times. I have been the primary coach of countless International Team members including one Olympian. I am a friend of the most amazing people in strength including Joe Kenn, Louie Simmons, and Dave Spitz. All of this is because I was willing to take a chance and put it all out there. I have lived a fairytale life doing exactly what I love to do.
Look I am making no promises to any of you. You might do exactly what I did and wish you hadn’t. I am simply telling you what happened with me. Of course I wouldn’t have regretted it if it hadn’t of worked out. The only regrets that I have in my life are with things that I didn’t try. If you try something giving it your absolute best, I don’t think that you will ever regret that. When you are my age, the only regrets that you will have are the ‘should haves’ and ‘could haves’ of your life. Those things will haunt you all the way to the grave if you are anything like me.
I might be getting a hip surgery this year, and that’s ok. I might walk with a limp everyday of my life. I might be in pain 100% of everyday. All of this is ok by me. However I won’t be sitting here in my chair with nothing to say like a lot of people out there. Instead I am sitting here in my chair with several novels of information inside of me waiting to be shared with the world.
So would I do it all over again? The answer is, “Without a doubt I would do it all over again.”