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Tighten up the bar, lifter will repeat.
Mike Gray  |  Olympic Weightlifting  |  May 31 2012

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Tighten up the bar, lifter will repeat., Mike Gray,
Just about 6 years ago I entered my first weightlifting meet. I had been Olympic lifting for about 4 months and wanted to get into a meet before I took off for Iraq for the next 7 months. So there was a group traveling from San Diego up to San Francisco for the California State Games at a local High School.  It was a great time and I learned plenty about competing in a meet and what the difference between “gym” lifting and “meet” lifting is. 

There was one moment/lesson that will stick with me for the rest of my life though. Greg was there with me and saw it as well (and if I screwed up any of the details by all means correct me). In one of the early morning sessions I believe they were doing the masters males first and there was a guy who had to have been at least 55 doing clean and jerks with I want to say about 120-125 kilos. Anyways this guy was a pretty hard core looking dude and I believe he was wearing a headband to keep his grey hair back as he was lifting.

Well on his second attempt he didn’t quite lock out his jerk and the bar came slamming back down straight onto his head knocking him out, I’m not joking it drove him to the ground and he was out for a few seconds. All I remember thinking well he is done at least he got one lift in. I will be damned if he didn’t get up dust himself off and turn to the judges table and say he will take it again. Announcer says into the microphone “Tighten up the bar, lifter will repeat”! Then he got up there and made the lift after only a few minutes before that he was laid out on the platform like a corpse.I remember Greg just shaking his head, I remember thinking what the hell had just happened but most of all I remember thinking that is a tough SOB who just had a ton of weight come crashing down on his head and he went back and made the lift.

If you haven’t competed in a meet by all means please do but remember you are going to miss and you might have to follow yourself and get back up and take it again with only a couple of minutes to gather yourself. I just want you to think about that it could be a lot worse because I know I do when it happens to me.
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Mike Gray is a weightlifter for Team Catalyst Athletics.
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5 Comments
Matt Foreman 1 | 2012-06-01
Good story!
Greg Everett 2 | 2012-06-01
This guy was hard as fucking nails. I mainly remember the two of us looking at each other wondering who would be the first to go down the bleachers and check for a pulse.
Lee Tannenbaum 3 | 2012-06-01
Very cool! As an old guy, I can totally relate. Last OHS max day, my elbow went. Bar with 85K came crashing down on the bridge of my nose. Cleaned up all the blood, put on a band-aid, and made the lift the second time. Always, always, get back on the horse (so to speak). Thanks for posting this.
Other Aimee 4 | 2012-06-03
I like how your posts are always practical and useful.
Margo 5 | 2012-08-08
This title SOOOO needs to be a t-shirt!!
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