A Russian heavyweight weight lifter, Leonid Taranenko, held the world record for free-lifting 499 ½ lbs. He had tried on several occasions to break his own record by lifting 500 lbs. Each attempt had failed until his coach intervened for him. During the world championships, he again had lifted more weight than everyone else in his class and was in first place. Knowing he had nothing to lose on his last lift, he told his coach to put the 499 ½ lbs on the bar confident that he could lift it. Instead, his coach discreetly placed 500 ½ lbs on the bar. Taranenko successfully lifted the weight above his head and created a new world record. This story so eloquently illustrates how our thoughts about ourselves become beliefs and our beliefs become our mindset and our mindset becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes these thoughts become so ingrained that we need help to move forward.
My power lifting coach Larry P. used to tell me, “If you can see it, you can be it!” He would have me sit on the bench, close my eyes and picture going through the whole lift from beginning to end. He would have me picture the bar flying up with ease and three white lights going on. (In power lifting there are three judges, a white light is a good lift, you need two out of three for a successful lift.) Coach P. was a champion power lifter in his younger days. I listened to him because I respected his work ethic and knew that he was a former champion.
I listened and I learned. I worked hard, ate right, and made sure that I got enough rest at night. I did everything the coach said to do. I put my time in the gym, did my meditations, I was as ready as I could be. My first meet was the USA Power Lifting National Bench Press Championship. I went up to the platform, went through my routine, and sure enough three white lights! I won the National Championship that year which was 2003.
Since that time I have been blessed enough to win eight more National Championships and Two World Championships. I still hold several bench press records to this day. The moral to the story is, if you want to be a champion, get a champion as a coach! If you can see it, you can be it! Thank you coach P.! If you ask me what makes all the difference between first and second place, I would have to say having a great coach!
©2015 Rev. K.T. Coughlin