So, yesterday I began to type up a post related to Olympic lifting, when I was reminded of a video Chris and I had watched together over a year ago that had literally blown our socks off. We were in the middle of a lift and it swiftly gave us a roundhouse kick to the face and re-centered our perspective on things. Not only did it remind me that there are people out there cleaning, and then pressing overhead, more weight than I can deadlift, but it showed me yet another example of what can be accomplished when your mind is unshakably fixated upon something.
Maybe most of you have already seen this; if not, then I encourage you to watch it below. This is taken from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and features Matthias Steiner, who, at age 25, is competing for the Gold medal. The most moving part about this was not only did he clean and jerk 258 kilograms (that's 568 pounds for us Americans....yep, I'll wait for you to regain consciousness....), but his young wife of only two years had died in a fatal car accident the year before.
While Matthias knelt by her deathbed, he made a promise to her that he would become an Olympic champion.
He was the underdog in the tournament, and cleaned+jerked over 20 pounds more than he had ever lifted before. (For those of you who understand elite-level lifters, you know how incredible this was considering Matthias's training age). I think my favorite part about this is watching his face as he stepped onto the platform and grabbed the bar. Despite the fact that there were millions of people watching him, there was NOTHING on his mind except the fact that he WAS going to rip that bar off the floor and throw it overhead.
Matthias took his body and mind to a level that most of us will never even dream of. He defied logic, and slapped the face of the limits that are often imposed on us by others. He took something tragic that happened to him and made it into something good. Instead of sulking in a corner for the years following his wife's tragic death, he allowed the loss of her to push him and strengthen him to the point of accomplishing a near-impossible promise. The last promise he ever made to her.
An indelible lesson for all of us.