Recently I became a member of the East Coast Gold Weightlifting Team. Phil Sabatini has been working with me for around 2 months and I have been progressing really well. I had an awesome meet at the AO1 going 4 for 6 and hitting both a 3kg Clean and Jerk PR and a 7kg meet PR. I got invited to come down and participate in our National Training camp and was extremely excited.
I coach a lot of athletes but rarely get a chance to lift with a coach myself . I had a chance to be coached by Brenden McDaniel for a few hours a couple months ago and it made a world of difference. This weekend was going to be awesome , not only would I get to work with my coaches , I would get to get help from Leo Totten, Walt Walt Neubauer , Travis Cooper , and James Tatum . I would also get to lift head to head with Charles McDonald and Phil . I’m usually the strongest person I train with by far so I was pumped to have these guys to push me to another level. This weekend was going to be AWESOME!
Then 30 minutes into the first session on the first day ....my weekend (of lifting ) was over. I caught a snatch funny and my back went nuts. My low back was toast. I wasn’t sure what was wrong but I knew I wouldn’t be picking up another Barbell that weekend . I worked with the therapist on staff to try to loosen up but nothing was working . I could barely walk , couldn’t drive , and definitely couldn’t lift.
The next morning it only got worse , it took me and hour to get out of bed , so I headed to the ER. Something was wrong . Luckily I got X-rays and they came up negative so thankfully I didn’t slip a disk or have any permanent damage. I had a choice to make , I could spend the weekend feeling sorry for myself or I could head back to camp and watch and observe and absorb as much as I could. Like Phil says “add to the atmosphere “ . I didn’t want to take anything away from any other athlete participating in camp. So I chose to make the most out of the weekend and absorb as much as I could from the side lines.
I’m not going to lie it was not always easy . I’m extremely competitive and there were a few workouts I wanted to participate in so badly . 2 times in particular the 2 front squats and a jerk and max power snatch , man o man I wanted to lift with Charles and Phil , those guys are so big and strong and in shape I think we could have pushed each other hard in those sessions . Getting to share a Barbell with James and Travis would have also been a pretty awesome experience .
Instead I watched ..and learned . It ended up being an amazing experience anyway . My roommate Mike , who is an amazing lifter had a great camp and went above and beyond to help me get around all weekend . I got to shadow all of these amazing lifters and coaches and they welcomed my questions and helped me understand what I was seeing and how they were working on correcting all of these great lifters. I met and got to know my new teammates and watch them have technical breakthroughs.
One of my good friends and one of our club coaches had to fly down to drive me back home and he was able to watch a few sessions and take pictures as well . The team welcomed both of us with open arms and it was awesome ! I’m thrilled to be part of such a great group of people and got so much out of this weekend .
The weekend did not go as planned , but it is an experience I will never forget. Time
to get to work and make sure my back is healthy and ready for nationals in May. I’m thankful for every second , and it all came from making a choice . I could have chosen to feel sorry for myself and be bitter . I’m happy I picked myself up and chose to get better . We can’t always choose what happens to us , but we always have a choice about how we respond. The choice is yours .
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