Today I bring to you my olympic weightlifting hero John North. This man is one of the most inspirational weightlifters I have ever come across. His writing is inspirational, his character is unheard of, and on the platform he is in a league of his own. If you are looking for motivation, technique work or just a laugh read his blog Dark Orchestra.
Jogging by John North
The hateful forums. The American Open hype. The hateful YouTube comments. The nervous thoughts, twitches, and emotions. The pain that this sport has casted upon me, and the pain that life has brought me. The let downs and achievements. The highs and lows. The gold medals and bomb outs. My fight with drugs and alcohol. My sad story that is called my relationship with my father. My coach being away from me too long. The constant eyes that watch for my next move. The high bar that constantly stays floating over my head. The stacked 94kg class. All of this vanishes into the morning fog as I start my morning jog at 6:00 AM.
Something new for me, something that has helped me on and off the platform the last few weeks. I find a certain peace within myself that I never knew existed. I have met another Jon North that I am drawn to. A new me that is calm and quiet. Peaceful and mysterious. A Jon North that breaths clouds of morning fog and not flames of fire. Who never walks but runs, and who never talks but thinks. These crying thoughts that drown me with shame must be freed. These thoughts must run away from my skeleton pit mind, never to be seen again. Run away from me you blood sucking Demon, your thoughts that tear holes though my heart, will be no longer, as I run from you. Facing you has got me no where. So I run.
This old race horse has trouble moving when off the platform, so starting a jog is always an up hill battle. I step with pain as my knees start to play their own violin. It’s been said that my knees and back have their own Dark Orchestra. The more I think about it, we all have a Dark Orchestra. What is a Dark Orchestra? It’s a dark stage where we can catch our breath, and listen to our skeletons play beautiful songs of sadness. A family of outcasts that eat dinner together on a long wooden table filled with glasses of salty tears. A place called home. But this morning, there is no dark orchestra, just a quiet world where the sounds of bar slamming and judging eyes do not exist. Ready to listen to the key board of sneakers that hit the side walk of pavement. I am ready to enter the Apocalypse. Ready to enter the clouds of fog. I jog, I jog with rhythm and pride. I jog like Ali. I jog with Attitude, side by side with the Nation. I jog to forget. I jog to think. I jog because jogging is not weightlifting, it’s something different. The faster I jog, the farther back the bar above my head falls behind. The longer I jog, the less my body hurts. The old race horse starts to wake, the fog starts to clear, and now you can call me Seabiscut. Every drop of sweat that falls off my forehead is a weight off my shoulders. Come on coach, it’s my time to carry you to the finish line. Your presence is strong, even though hidden away in your own Orchestra of…… well, let’s just say your presence is still with me, and me jogging is a metaphor of moving forward with you, Shankle, and the rest of my teammates. I will jog for us. I will jog this morning to simply move, because moving is what I was put on this planet to do. God made me move well, so moving is what I do. God gave me bad book smarts for a reason. He gave me ADD for a reason. He invented coffee for a reason. He invented jogging for a reason. He invented weightlifting for us lost souls. Weightlifting is a castle of happiness from our broken paths of doom. He invented Klokov to not only look good, but, well….. Klokov is a damn sexy man. That’s all I have to say about that. If you don’t have a man crush on Klokov, then I don’t trust you as a person.
I write about weightlifting now, but when I jog I think nothing of it. I think of nothing. I focus on everything. I focus on my stride, the landscape, the sunrise that can make even the strongest man feel weak. I black out, this time not from alcohol, but from peace. Running breaks the weightlifting shackles from my ankles, allowing me to move in a way I haven’t done in years. I feel no pain for the first time in years, no back pain, no knee pain, nothing. It’s like my body is rewarding me from not beating it up, slamming it with weights, crushing it with bars, kicking it down until it pees blood or I get the shakes at night. My body cries when I crawl to the bathtub. My body screams when I puke white liquid from the amount of creatine I intake. But when I run, I feel weightless, I feel like Seabiscut. Sometimes, taking the time out of the day for no weightlifting, is the best weightlifting training for a weightlifting meet.
I feel I am addicted to coffee. I am addicted to moving. I am addicted to weightlifting. I am addicted to jogging. Yes, you can find me at practice everyday chained to the platform. But now, you can also find me in the early morning running through the Apocalypse, side by side with a calm Jon North that you may never meet. Salute.
Workout of the day: 5 October 12
A) 5x ME Ring Dips
B) NLI Workout Combinations:
Amrap in 2 minutes muscle ups (D1), CTB pullups (D2/ masters 40-52), Pullups (D3 Masters 53+)
Weight by Division D1 male – 135/95 D1 female – 95/65 D2 male/ Masters male 40-52- 115/95 D2 female/ Masters female 40-52- 75/65 D3 male/ Masters male 53+- 95/65 D3 female/ Masters female 53+- 65/45
***According to your level of ability, place yourself in the adequate division. Follow strict competition standards*