By: Curtis Dennis Jr May 2003
If you read my article, My First Meet, you'll understand how much I love this sport. I'm proud to admit that I'm one of the few people in my gym who are willing and able to do what needs to be done to achieve my goal in my quest for strength.
Now I must admit that at first I was all for bodybuilding but when I (and I don't know how many times I'll have to tell this story) got beat by a powerlifter in arm wrestling I was immediately hooked on the fact that he was awesomely strong and I knew right then and there that's what I wanted as well. But little did I know that it would completely change me.
For The Sport
I must admit I have bare witnessed to the camaraderie and brotherhood that power lifting represents. That's something that you don't see everywhere. The race, age, and sex barriers are broken the moment someone knows your a powerlifter. A few months ago, I met with a power ifter who was about as driven about power lifting as much as was. And like with other powerlifters I've met, it became a tight friendship.
In powerlifting, everyone wants to help others to be as strong as they can be and that's what it should be about. The unity of brothers and sisters in iron and knowing that fact makes us stronger as a whole. I also witnessed the mentality powerlifters have and that I had it all along. The fact that nothing is impossible and every thing is possible. I've seen it.
With My Own Eyes
I've seen guys like Brent Mikesell who's squatted over 1000 and plans on breaking into the 1100 and guys like Ryan Kennelly who's benched 800. To say that something is impossible to a powerlifter is an exercise in futility. We don't believe it! Telling that to a powerlifter would be setting off an explosion inside of them that will force them to do the inevitable.... achieve the impossible.
Powerlifting is all about dedication, sacrifice, courage, and honor and I'm proud to be of one of that breed. I also see that all powerlifters are warriors because they don't know the meaning of the words..."give up".
Believe me when I say that there are no chains in this world that can bind a powerlifter from his/her destiny.... the impossible. I believe this. I'm now doing things that I never thought possible and the best part about it is that I love it!! I love the fact that I can do things that no one else can do. Recently, I did 700 on rack lockouts (close-grip) and believe it or not I loved every second of it. I told my buddy that I look forward to doing 800 on lockouts.
I couldn't believe that I could do that, but now that I know, the sky's the limit. That's what powerlifting is all about. Sure there's pain involved (bench shirts, suits, etc.) But in my case its all worth it. Ask me if I would do 15 sets in my bench shirt again that day and my answer would be… YES!
Powerlifters are addicted to strength in every sense. They are drawn to others like themselves and I've seen this over and over again. When people ask me why I compete? There's no prize money involved . . . what do I get out of it? And I tell them this...
It's all about putting it on the line and going for it. You hear about that one kid who benched 400 in his basement . . . but bring him to a meet for a real test and see what he's made of. You know... get it in the books for crying out loud!!! Going to a meet to me means proving your dedication, honor, and courage and not to mention strength as well. And regardless if you lose or win, you'll have the respect of some of the strongest men you'll ever know... powerlifters.
While I was working at the gym, I've tried to get guys to put up or shut up so many times. I almost got one. This kid wanted to compete and I've told him so much about the sport. He gets to revue of the meet and . . . decides not to do it. I admit it was a downer to see him do that but his buddy that came with him that day wasn't planning on doing the meet and did the bench only.
I remembered him benching 275 @ 128 in the gym and only got 225 @ 128. Even though it wasn't what he wanted, he sure did get the respect of every powerlifter there who had years of experience. I mean, that's very impressive at his weight!
Ok, to make a point here.... I'm very proud to be a powerlifter. When people ask me what do I lift weights for, I tell them one thing . . . powerlifting. I'm very proud of the fact that I can do most things people my age couldn't do as far as discipline, honor, and dedication. You'll have to have some if you trained at 4:00am in the morning! But I do it because I'm on a quest of strength and not even sleep is going to stop me.
Not to mention some of my best workouts were done at 4am! All those bruises and scrapes I have from lifting and putting on equipment . . . I'm damn proud to have those! So think about this article when you come across a powerlifter or someone carrying a lot of chalk, powder, board, bands, etc… You think about their quest and what they honor! And then.... give them that respect.
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