The Importance of Your Support System

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I had already written a blog/article this month on something totally different. But driving home last night something hit me and I knew these were the words I needed to put on paper.

Yesterday in Orlando at the Europa Games in my first power lifting meet I’ve ever trained for WE totalled 1957 pounds. I say we because while I may have been the person with 700+ pounds on my back and in my hands I did that not because of myself but those who surround me. It’s so easy to get wrapped in our own efforts and accomplishments that we fail to realize that without those closest to us none of it is possible. No one does anything in strength sports alone. There is a group of immediate people who directly influenced what I am capable of and all in their own unique way.

My wife Hannah – She wasn’t there for any training sessions, never loaded or unloaded a single weight. But without her I never would have made it to the meet. There were nights were I may not get home until 12am because we had a five hour squat session and every time I had one of those late nights I came home to my food being cooked, my clothes being washed, and most of all someone to talk to about anything but training. While she may not have directly been a part of my training her taking the time to cook my food and wash my clothes gave me more time to sleep and recover which is paramount. Not to mention the mental aspect of agonizing over a training session that wasn’t the greatest, but If I ever had one of those sessions I knew I could come home and without having to say a word my wife could take my mind off of training so that it would no longer eat at me.

My Dad Joe – Every morning he would wake up an hour earlier just to make sure he turned on the heater inside our Garage gym where we train so that it would be perfectly warmed for our 5am training sessions on the crisp Georgia winter/spring mornings. That right there is MVP worthy because I can’t stand training in a cold gym; I’m a big baby I know. Every session my Dad was there to spot me, load my weight, and of course make sure I didn’t sandbag my accessory work. More than that was the mental clarity he gave me during some of my most difficult sessions. During one of my last bench sessions of the prep I was mentally having a terrible day, nothing was moving right and everything just sucked about the session up to that point, but in that moment my dad pulled me aside and knew exactly what to tell me in that moment. He didn’t scream or yell or curse, but he knew exactly what would connect for me in my head. It seemed to work because I hit a PR that session which ultimately led to me setting a Junior World record this weekend for bench.

My coach Steve Goggins – Mr. Steve programmed every session of my prep. He knew exactly what weights I needed to hit and when I needed to hit them. In this case it wasn’t a point of Mr. Steve trying to push me harder or heavier, the biggest thing he did for me was hold me back. As ironic as that sounds I’m the type of person who doesn’t know when to quit, I always want more in everything. To push myself to the absolute limit every session. Mr. Steve showed me when to hammer the gas and when to pull back and coast. It was hard for me to accept at first but once I gave in to it my strength sky rocketed, in four months I added 120lbs to my squat, and 130lbs to my deadlift.

I could sit here for an hour going on about what the people around me did to get me to the meet on Sunday, but my main point is this. I may have lifted the weight Sunday; the judges may have been looking at just me. But what the judges didn’t see is under that platform I was standing on the backs of all of the people who helped me in their own way, like my wife, my dad, my coach and so many more.

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