Evolving from lifter to coach, I find myself telling stories about lifting and life just like John, my first coach used to do. When John passed away a few years ago, I was the one blessed with the job of closing down that historic place, just as we were moving into the new gym. It was as if the torch was passed from OHC to ABG, from one John to another. I have the original outside gym sign hanging up inside at ABG as a daily reminder of where I came from and where we must go. I hope I do him proud and keep that culture alive for generations to come.
I have had the conversation before about meets. What you fail to realize it this: If someone makes a team, goes to another country to lift and comes in 15th place, what real "high pressure scenario" did he encounter? I have been to many Sr World Championships. When I see the US team lifting down the hall, 200 yards away from the main venue in a room the size of our gym while the best fight it out the next day on the main stage, I realized that unless you are in contention for a medal you will never feel any sort of pressure. How can there be pressure when your fate is sealed to lose because you are unprepared?