The Pants, They are a Changin.’

March 13, 2014

So early on this year, I made a commitment to un-frumpify (I’m officially coining this term) myself and try to reach out into the fitness community.  I used to make a greater effort to get out and meet different fitness people and do fun workout play dates.  It was fun.  I’d be at a different Crossfit box every weekend trying to establish myself as “that guy” when it comes to weightlifting.  Over the years, I’ve gotten so focused on building myself and my team at home base that I’ve lost that drive to basically go out and meet people.  Establish connections.  Make friends.  And that stuff is important because as it turns out, Olympic weightlifting now has a recognizable foothold in the general fitness community and it’s up to the younger generations to un-frumpify our beloved fringe sport and show people how beautiful it is.

Let’s be real here, there’s a reason that weightlifting had been shoved into the dark fringe sport closet along with all the other unappealing sports.  Think about how many differences there are between weightlifting and powerlifting.  How about bodybuilding?  How about yoga? Running on a treadmill.  There’s just not a whole lot of common ground.  In fact, a lot of effort had been placed BY WEIGHTLIFTERS on how different we are from all other things weight related.  I’m guilty of that more than most.  2005.  18 year old Ben is at a party and has to explain on four different occasions (to four different young ladies) that he doesn’t actually bench press.  That he doesn’t have a “back and bicep day.”  Literally for years I would refuse to do ANY upper body whatsoever besides pull-ups because I was so focused on how different weightlifting is than just lifting weights at a conventional gym.

I got over it.  I got off my high horse.  I’ll bench once every three months so I can load up 315 and say “yep, still got it, BROTHER”  But more than that, I’ve just stopped caring so much what people think weightlifting is.  The rise of functional fitness and the company, Crossfit, has definitely helped with this.  27 year old Ben can now go to a party (LOL when was the last time I went to a party?) and I won’t even have to explain what weightlifting is.  That in itself is amazing.  And when I tell people that I’m a weightlifting coach and my job is to give people progress in the snatch and clean and jerk, people have an idea of what that might entail.  So back to my un-frumpication process.

"Hey, girl.  You like doing 7 sets of 1 at 85%?"

“Hey, girl. You like doing drop sets of paused snatches after going for a daily max”

I began taking steps this year to reach out and meet as many people as possible in the fitness community.  I began doing things like giving free seminars and going to dinners and workshops with the intention of building weightlifting in Sacramento, solidifying my place as a respected weightlifting coach and improving my communication skills.  Admittedly, I am somewhat introverted, so it’s not like my idea of a good time is going out and meeting new people.  But hey, as it turns out being a good communicator is being a good coach.  Who would’ve thought?

So I challenged myself.  I got out there and that’s how I met a few very awesome, very special people from Lululemon and I’m proud to say that I’m now an ambassador for Lululemon in Sacramento.  What that means, I honestly am not quite sure.  But I think it means I continue doing my part as an ambassador for weightlifting, build connections and continue my journey reaching out to different areas of the fitness community.  I’m motivated more than ever to make and surpass goals, build up my team and take them to the national level and to make connections with others both within my sport and outside of it.  Plus now I’ll dress better.  In the gym anyways; because I’m still gonna be that guy at the metal show rocking the Canadian cut-off tuxedo.

Speaking of style, when I think of weightlifting style, I always make the connection to those tapered leg Adidas soccer pants.  I mean, up until around 2010, that was THE uniform for weightlifters.  If you were the one dude at a national meet that wasn’t wearing Adidas soccer pants, well . . . you probably weren’t in the A session.  Just sayin.’  So for that reason, my old torn up Adidas pants will always hold a special place in my heart (even though I wasn’t even an A session lifter until last year).  So maybe it’s time for something new.  Weightlifting has changed since 2005 and so have I.  Maybe it’s time I change my pants too.

6 Responses to “The Pants, They are a Changin.’”

  1. trinette said

    Strongest ambassador ever! 🙂

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