Woods-Moving to the Left.

August 31, 2014

Contender for my favorite track of the year.

Track by Woods.  Photo by me.

Went hiking in Skyrim.

Went hiking in Skyrim.

The Ecstasy of Gold.

August 25, 2014

Here’s another video for you guys.  No audio commentary but it’s probably the most fun I’ve had making a video in some time.  My original idea was the song “Dream House” by Deafhaven.  I felt the melodic black metal crescendos would complement super slo-mo recorded on my Gopro perfectly.  I only collected a handful of shots last week and paired them with some random video of me outdoors for the sake of juxtaposition.  I had about 3 and a half minutes done and was already comfortable with my composition.  It just seemed kind of wasteful to leave out 6 minutes of song and I didn’t really want to wait to collect more video.  I’ve got close to 20 heads on my team so if I spend all my time worrying if I got everybody, I’d never finish any projects.  I changed songs to something a bit more cinematic and literally LOLed a few times at how perfectly overdramatic the finished project ended up being.  

Hope you enjoy, yamdancers.

I also threw it up on my youtube page.  


WarriorZ Open 2014 Video.

August 24, 2014

Another video post.  Enjoy!

For more info on yamdancers.

Pt. ONE.

Pt. TWO.

Lake Margaret Trailhead.

August 23, 2014

I’m no photographer.  But man, oh man do I love taking random photos of the woods.  Here are some photos of the Lake Margaret Trailhead.  It is BY FAR the prettiest hike I’ve done since Kevin and I went on the first BK Adventure to Lake Aloha.  Aside from a few log bridges, it’s actually the easiest hike I’ve been on as well.  For a day hike, I’d rate it at a 2/10 difficulty.  Sounds lame, right?  but it leaves you with tons of energy to just enjoy the scenery and the beautiful lake once you get there.  Possible site for BK Adventure II?  

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 6 photo 7 photo 8 photo 9 photo 10 photo 11 photo 12 photo 13 photo 14 photo 15 photo 16 photo 17 photo 18


The Kono 2014.

August 22, 2014

No write-up because I talk a LOT in the video.


Mock Meet.

August 10, 2014

Check it.  2 of my new lifters.  Logs.  Etc.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but one of my favorite parts about weightlifting and strength culture in general is the the idea of storytelling. Literally all of the people that influenced me throughout my weightlifting journey have also been adept storytellers. Whether or not you want to look at the relationship between weightlifting experience and a greater ability to tell stories is up to you, but I will say that personally one of the main reasons that I continue to compete and develop my skill is for the richness of the experience that goes along with personal development. You simply cannot have one without the other. That 3AM drive from Shreveport to the Dallas airport . . . in thunderstorms, where you stop at a haunted gas station Scooby Do style is a direct result of my quest for personal development. That time at The 2011 American Open when I had to drop a bunch of bodyweight and Donny Shankle talked trash to me at weigh ins (it was hilarious. Seriously) happened because a major part of me growing up was wanting to get really good at the snatch and clean and jerk. The same goes for this Vegas story. Though not directly related to weightlifting, it IS the story of a weightlifter hanging out with his friends in Vegas.

This must’ve happened at least 6 years ago at this point. My buddy had just turned 21 and wanted to go with all of his bros to Sin City. I was already in too deep at this point. I didn’t travel ANYWHERE unless it was for a weightlifting trip. The rest of the time was spent saving up money so I could go to the next one. The mere idea of spending money in Vegas for a non-competition trip seemed like a ridiculous idea to me at the time (seriously, I was committed. And broke.) So we were all hanging out one night and he turns to me and says one thing,

“bro . . .”

With that “bro” I could see into the depths of his soul and I could see his vision of him partying with all his other newly 21 year old friends and with that “bro” my own dedicated, competitive (and broke) soul softened. “I’m in.”

I saved up. I went to Nordstrom Rack and bought myself a “nice” pair of shoes and a “nice” shirt; you know, the same vertical striped button down and snug denim ensemble that all of the other 21 year old YOLO’s (oh wait, that wasn’t a thing at the time) wear to “da club.” To this day, I still avoid wearing a button down shirt because it hangs on me like I’m a giant walking table and dinner set or a giant shoebox.

“Hey, who let that covered wagon into the club? Oh wait, that’s a dude.”

We exit the plane; four YOLOs and a dad who came along with us for “supervision.” Admittedly, when we drove through the strip the first time I was amazed. Unfortunately for me, (and this is where the story get’s interesting) the first place we drove to is a buffet. Generally, when you hear stories about the first time a young man visits Vegas, you’d expect to hear a bunch about debauchery and binge drinking. This is not one of those stories. It’s not that we didn’t drink or party; because we did. But my main vice, one that will probably follow me until the day I die, is food.

I don’t know what it is about buffets, but there is a very good reason that I avoid them like the plague nowadays. Remember my aforementioned competitive (and broke) spirit that I told you about earlier? For some reason when I pass though the doors of a buffet, the combination of me being consistently broke and competitive gets turned inward and I engage in the most self destructive binge eating behavior you have ever been lucky enough to not witness. I’m a 6 plate man: 3 filled up with multiple combinations of mains and sides to get a taste for everything, 2 “fetish plates” where I gorge on one or two items that just really “did it for me” and 1 dessert plate to settle my stomach and combat all of the sodium I just ingested.

Let me point out that not one of my friends that went on this trip could tip 175lbs if they were soaking wet wearing concrete boots so it’s fair to say they don’t think about buffets like I do. At the time I was a trim 225 but I was still coaching wrestling at that point so I could eat however I wanted and still look reasonably jacked. My buddy’s dad paid for our entry and I went to work like locusts to wheat. My stomach was like Noah’s ark; I made it a point to eat two of every animal. My friends had never seen me like this. I think at one point Kevin tried to reason with me. I’m not a man of reason . . . at least while in a buffet line. 6 plates later, I lean back in my chair, take a sip of Diet Pepsi and am already thinking about how nice of a sleep I’m going to get even if it’s right next to one of my buddies. Sure, it’s only 8:00pm in Vegas but my friends are just as tired and full as I am, right? Wrong.

“Walk. Walk?”

“Yeah, my dad is just going to drop us off at the strip.”

We walked. Well, they walked. I was about 20 paces behind and losing speed. After two minutes I was already sweating. I can remember it being hard to walk in a straight line. Had I done the impossible? Was I ACTUALLY drunk off of food? I try and distract them with gambling, that way I can can just stand behind them and sip on water waiting for my wits to come about me. No luck. Four broke 21 year olds in Vegas can only mean one thing. “We’ll just walk back to the hotel. We can see it from here.” Oh, hell no. “YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING FROM HERE” I pleaded. I had to make a decision: pay for a cab or go for the longest walk of my life. I think we all know what my broke ass did.

I’ll let you fill in the details from here. To give you a frame of reference, we stayed at The Palms which is a relatively nice hotel located OFF THE STRIP. The walk may have only been a few miles at most, but that walk will remain in my memory as the longest walk of my entire life.

And that’s the story of a 105kg lifter in Vegas.

Speaking of T-Shirts.

August 6, 2014

Check out this drawing I did for my buddy, Charlie Z.

I did the drawing and they threw on the text.

I did the drawing and they threw on the text.

Charlie is hosting the WarriorZ Open on August 16th at his gym in Elk Grove.  I think they still have spots open so sign up if you’re in the area.  I competed last year and it’s a great event put on by great people.

Entry form is HERE.

New Merch: Elation.

August 6, 2014

Hey it’s still tank top season, right?

image 2

Trick question.  It’s always tank top season.

Didn't want to upload the actual design because people have straight up stolen my drawings before.

Didn’t want to upload the actual design because people have straight up stolen my drawings before.

Buy these at my blog store.  I’ll make a women’s racerback when I get around to it. I thought about throwing these on different colored shirts but you know what? I LIKE wearing black shirts.  Given the choice, I’ll wear a black shirt every time and since these are a reflection of my feelings, I felt BLACK was the best choice.

Endless cycles of failure and fatigue.  Punctuated by brief moments of elation.  Keeps me coming back for more after 9 years of enjoying the process.  


Friends and internet friends,

We’re in the planning stages for our 3rd annual Club Swole event.  This is something we do every year to help get myself and my athletes around to national meets.  Back when it was pretty much myself and Cecily, we went to JR nationals, Collegiate Nationals, etc.  But since we’ve grown, my main focus is getting MOAR people to Nationals and the American Open.  I’ve got close to 20 heads on my team at this point (think Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood except for weightlifting) and a lot of them are building towards the American Open total they need for December.  Point blank: If we’re going to get there, we’ll need to raise some serious cash.  This Club Swole is going to be our biggest ever.  I’m talking Casino tables, silent auction, bites to eat and of course some tasty beverages.

I’ll post more info here as we hammer out the details, but right now it’s looking like it will be happening October 4th at the gym.   Check out this fun video I made from last year and hopefully it will spark your interest enough to come party with us.