Would I do it All Over Again?

There is something that has been weighing on my mind lately.

A friend of mine heard that I was looking to get my hip resurfaced, and he noticed my constant limp. That’s the result of pushing your body to the limit and squatting over 1000 pounds. So he asked me… would I do it all again?

I answered him right away. “Yes.”

But I’ve really been thinking more about this over the last several days. I mean, I’m in my mid 40s, and I need hip surgery. Would I really do it all over again?

REGRET?

I coach hundreds of athletes both in person and online. Thousands of people follow my programming. 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.

Well, here’s my real answer: I would 100% do it all over again.

My willingness to put it all out there 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 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.

My Crazy Choice

I have no promises for any of you on whether or not 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 was I going to do after college?

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 I could make my body. I wanted to realize the potential of my body. I was fascinated with the changes I had already made with the body I was given.

There were many safe jobs I could have taken back then, and there would have been nothing wrong with working at any of them. But 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 Olympian 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.

Still Walking the Path

That moment led me down a path 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 – Ed Coan, Steve Goggins, Chuck V, and so many others. 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 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 multiple 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 didn’t end up working out. Most of the regrets I have in my life are with things I didn’t try. If you try something and give it your absolute best, I don’t think you will ever regret that. When you are my age, I don’t want your regrets to be 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.

Hip surgery is in my future, and that’s fine. I might walk with a limp everyday of my life. I might be in pain 100% of the time. All of this is what I accept. 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?

Without a doubt – yes, I would.

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