Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy New Year 2013

     It's Christmas eve, but it's also the last bench press day in America for me before 2013... I'm ready to work the firehouse for Christmas then head off to Russia to end what has been an incredible 2012. There is no need for a new years resolution to start working out as I am committed to this and will be until I am the weight for the pallbearers to lift. 
    I plan on hitting 3 gyms in Europe while I am overseas and will stop in my old gym in Brooklyn, NY when I am there on layover to say hi to family (travel is never an excuse to skip)... And in the now, the gym is relatively empty, it's around 2 in the afternoon... I've been through more than a few warm up sets for my final chance to max out in 2012. It's 345 pounds on the bar, or 156 kilograms. I tried it right before summer cutting season began but came short as I was able to press it off but not lock out completely... But my mind is in a different place now, and so is my body... 
    It's been a long and amazing training year, over 15 years now in the gym, and I still learn more and more every year about diet and training. I realize now that since I began going to the gym at 15 years old, at this point in my life more time has been spent in the gym than time in my life that was not spent in the gym. I look at the 345 pounds, it's more than 170% of my body weight, I know I can lift it, I just never have, but like Einstein knew relativity was true before he could prove it, I've long known it's in my genetic grasp to move this weight although I was told when I started I would probably never bench more than 225...
    The warm ups are done.... It's game time as I wait for my spot who is finishing his set on legs. I've warmed up with some pop songs, some classic rock, even a spoken word song while I was in the locker, but for the lift I am feeling the need for energy, I find Puddle of Mud's Control on my random pick with my mp3 player. I remember when I first lifted one plate in my parent's basement, thank you so much again Dad for buying that rusted old weight set. I remember hitting two plates in high school with my training partner Iman, I don't know where he is right now as we lost touch with time, but hope his training journey was as good as it was then... I remember 275 and 315 in Empire Fitness with Steve and Matt behind me in our Brooklyn gym that is now long gone, I also remember in that same gym seeing a guy benching 3 plates and wishing to get up to that weight one day, later on I learned his name to be John, but better known as The Captain Power who today we share our strength and belief in the iron church together daily, I remember benching 225 for 21 reps in Arizona last year thru a rigorous 3 month bench plan... Beyond lifts, I think about what the gym has done for me in the majority of my life, I think about how it has affected me in every aspect of life, my job as a firefighter, my dating life, my friends, my family, school, health, love, hobbies, passion, and will. 
     The gym is not just a place for the body to grow, but it has been a place that my life has grown, it is my church, and the bench is my altar.... I follow the same routine for every flat lift, I tell my spotter the same thing I have said from years of practice, "No lift off, no help whatsoever unless I ask or I drop it." As Puddle of Mud is hitting the bridge of the song I am at the edge of the bench shaking in anticipation, I want this badly, I know if I can get it, it means my life goal of 365 is within even closer grasp... I grasp the handles in the same place I've grabbed thousands of times. As the weight descends on me I feel the rush, the pump, a new year is coming, a new year to train and bring my body to the next level of fitness I can take it, a new year for opportunity that the gym will lead me to, a new year to breathe and live every day to the fullest because we never know when our last is coming.... As the weight descends I also know by how much I am controlling it coming down that it is going to go up very easily. It touches my chest right on the lower 3rd of the sternum, and I begin to drive it upwards with no bouncing, no stopping, and no arching. As I lock out an all new max on the last heavy chest day of the year I think about all that the gym has given me, and for 2013, and for the new year, I'm not asking for just a little more... I'm asking for everything.

    Next workout is in Russia. Happy New Year.


  1. Power on!! yo son, my motivation just increased to a 9....2013 is going to be a good year, I will blog in the next week about my goals....

  2. Good luck for all your 2013 Plans !