I’d like to introduce you to and welcome Lones Green to the TPSmethod.com team as an author.
I am confident that Lones will give you thought provoking and intelligent commentary and advice on our sport.
Please enjoy and share his first column.
Recently, many powerlifters seem to be using their social media accounts as platforms to convince others that there is only one “right” way to approach powerlifting be it emotionally, cognitively, or physically.
This grandiose display of commitment, enlightenment, and autonomy appear to be thinly veiled attempts to actually convince themselves of the passion they are so adamantly projecting.
This is a problem. Why?
The internet is not the fourth judge.
Bigger than that, forming our self worth by a social media platform is both self-deprecating and deductive. Even bigger than that, forming our self worth or self identity with ONLY one thing (such as powerlifting) makes for a very fragile self-worth. Self-worth should be multidimensional. What happens when the singular thing of which we define our self worth cracks, or completely falls apart? So do we.
At one point, powerlifting was totally and completely my identity and sole source of self-worth.
It’s still a large part of it. The passion I have for powerlifting will always be here. However, it’s not my entire identity anymore. I’m happier and healthier for that. There’s more to life than spending every waking moment obsessing over numbers or worrying about where your next source of protein is coming from. You can #grind healthily, and work powerlifting into your identity in a healthy way.
Powerlifting doesn’t have to rule every single neural pathway of your brain in order for you to be the best powerlifter you can be. Yes, to be the best powerlifter you can be requires immeasurable amounts of time, commitment, and sacrifice. Often for many years. Any lifter than has been involved with the sport for a long period of time will tell you this.
This no great mystery.
If you haven’t learned this yet, you will in the future.
However, if powerlifting does not govern every single one of your conscious thoughts, that doesn’t deem you less committed than others. Most of the elite level lifters that I’ve come into contact with have more going on within their every day lives than JUST powerlifting. They have meaningful relationships. They have families. They have careers outside of powerlifting. They might even watch television from time to time.
Their self worth is made up of more than JUST powerlifting.
The exorbitant proclamation of one’s commitment to powerlifting via social media has become rampant and absurd.
Commitment can’t possibly be discerned by the occurrence or intensity of which one projects commitment upon others.
“Commitment” in itself is an abstract concept.
The definition may be different to someone else than it is to you. Because someone’s definition of commitment differs from yours, or if someone chooses to participate in powerlifting with an approach that differs from yours, does this make them less than you?
Of course it doesn’t.
It is possible and healthy for you to display a high level of commitment to powerlifting, and integrate that into your self-identity or self-worth.
There is truly more to life than lifting weights.
You must have control over your own powerlifting, not let powerlifting control your life.
I encourage you to let powerlifting mean what it means to you, and for that to be enough. If you’re pressing your own personal meaning of powerlifting on others, what does that say about yourself?
The Self-Worth of a Powerlifter:
- At the end of the day, no one really cares about the amount of weight you can pick up and put down, or how you did it.
- No one really cares if your squat was in knee wraps or in knee sleeves.
- Powerlifting can take a lot from you, if you let it.
- It can take your time, money, emotions, and potentially even your identity.
- It will take what you let it take.
- The compensation (which isn’t guaranteed) comes in the form of a number (your total).
- A number of which is never going to be enough.
- We as powerlifters are blessed with a curse of continually wanting more.
- This is the drive that keeps us continually pushing through pain and struggle, unwavering and often without question.
Is a total all that you can gain from powerlifting, though?
Maybe to some, that’s enough.
I can tell you from my personal experience, there’s more to gain from it than my hands can type.
It depends on your cognitive appraisal. Powerlifting showed me that I can commit myself to something and see measurable progress.
It’s given me invaluable relationships I wouldn’t have found without it.
It’s shown me that my time is limited, and that my body is precious.
Powerlifting facilitated my transformation from a child into adult.
It taught me lessons that I learned to use in other areas of my life beyond lifting weights.
Powerlifting has made my lift more meaningful, and this is what I wish to help others find.
These are all intangible benefits that came from a tangible sport.
I started powerlifting with the goal of squatting 600 pounds. 600 became 700. 700 became 800. 800 became 900. 900 will eventually become 1000.
It truly will never be enough, because I am blessed with the curse.
The insatiable hunger for bigger numbers is ingrained in my self-identity.
It will leave me in physical pain, and still wondering what would have happened if I would have just done one last meet or pushed a little harder.
This is truly a blessing, and truly a curse.
However, my eyes are open enough to see past the facade now after being involved with powerlifting for 12 years.
I spend more time focusing on the above aspect more than the below aspect of this idea.
The curse reminds me it’s still here, every time I come off the high of a PR and think, “what’s next?”
The curse reminds me it’s here when I reach across the steering wheel to start my car with my left hand because my right arm has been too fucked up to turn my hand that way for years. This bring a skewed perception of reality, because often times I don’t even second guess starting my car the way I have to.
However, the blessing remains steadfast in all that I do.
In a powerlifting modernity where love for the sport and commitment has been traded for a money making machine, I encourage you to ascribe to and spread principles like honesty, reality, genuineness, integrity, and passion.
Be real with yourself, and be real with others.
Regardless of outlook or perception, the commonality that we all share is that we are in this sport together.
The commonality that many of us share is that we truly love the sport.
We are not enemies.
It is up to us to be the change we wish to see.
About the author:
Lones Green is a powerlifter of 12 years.
His best competition lifts are an 870 pound squat, 575 pound bench press, and a 690 pound deadlift in multi-ply gear.
Lones runs a successful powerlifting coaching business, Calloused Hands Powerlifting (@callousedhandspower).
Lones has been involved with the sport of powerlifting for over a decade, and has had the chance to network and train with many elite level powerlifters over the years.
Originally from Tennessee out of Cell Block Gym, Lones now resides in Central Pennsylvania with his fiancé, Chloe.
However, don’t be surprised if you see him at a powerlifting meet anywhere in the United States.