Walu Kung Fu
"The Sixty Seconds That Changed My Life"
A Personal goal that i achieved took place in North Miami Beach in October, 1986. That was the day that changed my life. Before 1985 I was a mediocre 220 pound powerlifter. I was in many powerlifting competitions and I would always place in the event, however, I never took first place. I was never the best.
In 1985 I saw a movie called Vision Quest. It was about a wrestler who dropped two weight classes to wrestle the best wrestler in the state, He defied the odds and became the best. The movie was the inspiration I needed to make this the year I would make my mark in Powerlifting. I met the premier Powerlifting coach in the Southern United States that year, Ray Hager. He saw my heart, and the courage, determination, and conviction I had about the sport. I became his trainee and was his number one strength student. For the next year I endured twelve hour grueling workouts a day. I listened to everything Ray said. The stage was set. Ray had groomed me for a 700 pound squat, 500 pound bench, and 700 pound deadlift.
On the day of the championship, I got in my 700 pound squat and registered a 500 pound bench press. I opened with a 655 pound deadlift. I made the lift, but something was wrong: the bar was different. It had thicker knurling, less bend than our training bar. It was starting to tear my hand. On the next lift, Ray called for a 705 pound deadlift, which was a new Florida state powerlifting record. Over a Thousand people were watching me. I stepped up to the platform, set up, bent down, and pulled the weight. I didn't even get it to me knees. My hand tore open and there was blood everywhere. I dropped the bar. It was too heavy and I just could not do it. I had one lift left. A thousand people were cheering. Ray took me on the side and gave me the motivation I needed to continue. He told me to reach inside myself! I was announced with 60 seconds left to make the lift. I stepped up to the platform, took three deep breaths, broke an ammonia capsule, bent down and grabbed the bar. I threw my hips in, locked the bar out, and saw all white from the judges. The lift was good! At the awards ceremony that day I had broken the Florida state deadlift record. I had won my weight class! I had won the Best Lifter trophy! I was the best pound for pound lifter in the competition.
With this accomplishment, I was invited to the Nationals and was put in Powerlifting USA Magazine as a top 20 elite world class Powerlifter. Most important to me, Ray hager awarded me his personal powerlifting belt. I went from being a 10 dollar an hour bouncer to being one of the most sought after bouncers in South Florida, Making 500 to 600 dollars a night. I will always remember that sixty seconds on the platform and Ray's words will always ring in my head: What one person can do, another can do. All you have to do is reach inside yourself!
August 18 2016