Those who know me know I’m a quiet man, not for lack of things to say but because I feel the world is full of clutter and noise. I choose not to add to the noise and instead look for the quiet lives who are receptive to my words. Years ago a quiet, actually shy, girl walked into my gym. You wouldn’t have recognized her, or the gym, from what you know of them now. She was very thin, very quiet, and although she didn’t exude what you’d expect a fierce competitor to embody I knew there was a little fire in her.
Over the years I’ve had the privilege to coach Shannon in 4 regionals, 2 as part of our team, and 2 as an individual, and even the American Open national weighlifting competition. In that time I’ve been incredibly proud to watch her work, no excuses, bad days and good, setbacks and triumphs. She has done every crazy thing I’ve asked her from increasing her carbs and calorie intake, heresy for most females, to 2 a days, extra rest days, and I’ve been honored to have her consult with me in her training questions big and small.
To say she is not unique, that the work ethic is part of the process, would be a misrepresentation of the sacrifices and challenges she has endured to get to where she is today. In her first competition she could barely powersnatch or overhead squat 95lbs. Her current Snatch record stands at 180lbs and her capacity in every metric has gone up by the same magnitude. She is not special because of her genetics, she is exceptional because of her spirit, determination, and work ethic. I could not be more proud of Shannon, and cannot wait to watch her crush this year’s regional, which I can confidently say she is more prepared for than ever. If you want to watch something special, I invite you to join me in Columbus next weekend.