He squats down in front of the bar, rolls it back and forth in his grip, then with a sudden surge peels the bar from the floor, I can hear the plates rattling and he bangs out 15 reps. I don’t know how much weight he had on the bar, but it had to be in excess of 600 lbs. I cant let him see me not go heavier so I grab a 25 and start to put it on the bar, but before I can bend down to slide it on Craig looks at me and says shaking his head from side to side “Kid” and he’s holding his hand up with 5 fingers showing. I look at him with a doubtful look and say “Five plates? seriously?” he simply nods in affirmation.
So I returned the 25 to the tree and grab a 45lb plate, the whole time thinking ‘no f*cking way!’. So I get ready to do my set, I shake my head with doubt and I hear Craig say ‘Kid, don’t let that bar punk you”. Now, I don’t know what it was about the way he said it but I thought ‘hell no, I’m not going to let this f*cker beat me down’ I grabbed the bar, I took a deep breath and cleared my mind, I pulled up and back and the bar came up and slowly ascended, it scraped my shins and I could feel it hit my knee caps but the sh** was moving and I thought I might sh** my pants.
I stood straight up with the bar in hand, and then let the weight down with a crash. I was psyched, 495 was a new personal best, I looked at Craig and he was actually smiling, he nodded and said “very nice”.
Some people had taken notice of what we were doing, the fitness gym crowd wasn’t used to seeing big weights getting lifted like that. I saw Chris walking to us and he had a yellow rubber coated 100 lb powerlifting plate in his hands. He looked at Craig and said “look what I found”. Craig nodded and put the plate on the end of the bar, Chris looked at me and said “Jay there’s another one in my office, can you grab it?”. I nodded and went to his office and grabbed the bulky plate returning to them both and putting it on for Craig.
Chris looked at the bar, then turned to Craig and said “810”. Craig simply nodded. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I had never seen a bar with that much weight on it.
Craig stared at the bar, it was a cold stare, he was breathing deeply, and exhaling slowly, it was like some meditation, he was going somewhere else, somewhere deep in his mind that he had to draw upon for strength.
Onlookers had gathered, there must have been a dozen men and women looking on as Craig squatted down to grab hold of the bar.
I could feel my own heart beating in anticipation, then he methodically exploded up, his face turning a shade of red like I had never seen on him. His neck veins bulged out so far I thought they may burst.
It was an awesome spectacle of raw power but the even more impressive feat was that he didn’t do it only one time, no, he repped it six times, with the finally coming with an explosive crash that must have registered on a Richter scale.
Continues on page 6 …
What i read it motivated me.
You make me courios how he was looking …
HUGE RESPECT MAN !
Oh my God…I read the whole story and I can tell you for sure,it’s the most amazing story I’ve ever read…I ended up in tears. .
Damn….Hell of a story.
Damn good story. It’s worth reading it
Gooood story! Motivation for all of us
Great story and sad at the same time.
S**t , this story just made my day ,what an inspiration
Thank you for sharing this inspirational story.Huge respect for Craig. R.I.P man.
The description of this Craig dude reminded me so much of Ronny Coleman! Or Kai Greene!
It was so sad in the end it made me cry!
As I read this story it motivated me to make sure that I don’t personally judge anyone. I’m in tears right now.
Amazing story! Got me motivated AF!!!
Thank you for sharing. This motivated me to try my hardest at work, gym and life in general. RIP Craig.
it was a story which stook me from inside
I respect that man who had lost solo much in his life … the pain felt but still didn’t quiet …. respect
Beautiful. Best thing I’ve read. Who was the author?
Bro i hope you make it to the pros,and as for Craig,Humangous respect brother rest in peace 🙂
wow…great story. Thank you for sharing. it just showed that we shouldn’t judge people by the way they look or cover of the book. You’re a good guy and you deserved it <3
Craig … i would like to know his full name … I aint easy to impress but this …. Jeez buddy … made me cry …. would like to frame a picture of craig and hang it on my wall … please let me know his full name ill research him to hell and back if needed so to find a pic of him….
Awesome Read!!! Very inspiring and great encouragement for positive hope. We should always lift up others as in this story, never hate always congratulate…. Now I am going to hit them Deadlifts!!!
Wow, what a powerful and truly inspirational story.
I read this the tears poured out from my eyes, a journey of sadness lifted by a simple gesture, hope turned from despair. Craig is a part of you now and always, respect for you, for the respect you showed him.
So many in the gym have the attitudes that you pointed out, pre-judging someone, before you now them is a bad part of human nature.
All the best for your pro career, take Craig to the top with you!
Literally, made me cry
…RIP Craig .Huge respect
It’s touching I’m here droken down now at work like I’ve known this guy but I lift daily but I love this story and hope to compete one day and my life
Damm, this GODDAMM air is so polluted that my eyes start to make water run down from them, what a great story, only someone that has put their headphones on, know’s how it (story) feels….Respect!!!
Great Fcking Read!
i m not a body building enthusiasts or gym goer but story touched me deeply and inspired me thanks for sharing such meaningful storry
Pay this forward! Thank u for sharing.
The story is touching but if only he got born again and gave himself to Jesus, he would have found more meaning to life than just developing the perishing body. Craig may your soul rest in piece.
RIP Craig ,What a Nice story,made my day….
What a story man. Damn! What an insiprational story. May your friend be good wherever he is.
This is an amazing story. I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. Everyone needs a friend. R.I.P. Craig
And now I am crying. Like a baby.
My eyes are sweating after reading this. I hope Craig is at peace now, RIP Craig.
Am i looking in my future?? Cant tell…
But life is never easy… tommorrw never comes.. untill its too late….
We meatheads who enjoy this type of stuff can’t help but tear up when you get all they way though. This needs to be made into a short movie somehow. It’s too good of a story . Much respect thanks for the story.
Teared up a little; Damn, the feels. It’s 10:45 and I want to deadlift. For Craig and those like him.
Respect is the one and only makes a perfect human
Craigslist was the f***ing man!!! Every time I read this story, it motivates me to keep pushing. Life is hard, but that bar is just a thing.
I’m so sorry for your loss and I am so thankful that you’ve known this man and helped him in a very small but soul touching way. Wishing is for the young and gullible but I really wish (with everything inside me) that things could have worked out differently. Mourning for both of you.
I cried like a baby too.Thank you Jay and Craig.You both are an inspiration.
Wow! What an awesome and inspiring story. I’m glad you shared.
I stopped about a paragraph in on page 3 — got the gist of it. SHAME on the gym members for singling out this guy just because he didn’t fraternize with the other gym members. Here’s my message to you: IT’S A GYM, NOT AN ICE CREAM SOCIAL. If you think yakking with strangers at a gym is so important, then GO TO PLANET FITNESS. “Pigpen” was there to WORK OUT, not butter up to you arrogant snobs. And that desk girl who asked the owner why he “even let him work out there,” … WHY NOT? HE PAYS HIS DUES. WHY NOT, BIMBO ??? I’m one of those gym goers who never speaks to anyone unless someone speaks to me first. I’m a woman. I swear, if I ever heard some floozie insulting me behind my back, I’d march straight over to her, force a 45 pound plate into her arms and challenge her to lift it overhead — 15 times, because that’s exactly what I can do. I’m there to get strong, not buff up my social skills. Don’t like it? TOO BAD. Go to Planet Fitness where everyone yaks and yaks and doesn’t take muscle building seriously.
amazing man… this story motivating me right now i have tears on my eyes.
thank you for this inspiring real story
Awesome stuff brother … thanks for sharing that with us,