I know. At some point or another, you were minding your own business, sitting on your tuffet, eating your curds and whey, when along came a spider. You may hate them, but I love them. You'd be hard-pressed to find a living thing more polarizing on the planet. Maybe snakes, but they are in the same vein and I love those, too. We see these creatures and we know they are dangerous. Some of us just can't get past that, like it's something primal in our DNA.

People either love spiders and are fascinated by them, or they can't stand them and wig out like little girls and want to crush them instantly when they see them. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground or indifference on the topic, when faced with it up close. They are designed and inclined to kill, but they are also capable of magnificent things: spinning beautiful webs and moving with the speed and rhythm of an impossible dance; sensing dangers so early and acutely they seem to have presentiments before the fact. They are miraculous beings, and though well-suited to kill and consume, they are not at all singular in purpose. A lot like humans.

To my point more specifically, a lot like lifters. I feel like there's a lesson there.

Sure, we lift. It's something we are compelled to do. For many of us it is a mechanism for surviving ourselves, psychologically, and a major part of our identity. For others, lifting is a hobby that came naturally and, though we may not be conscious of the fact, it serves to keep us busy and distract us from the growing nearness of our own inevitable conclusions. But I would hope lifting is not the only thing for any of us. We are also miraculous beings, and though we may be well-suited to lift, neither are we singular in purpose. I love lifting and coaching, and both are strong aspects of my identity (punny, I know). But they are certainly not all of my identity. Not nearly. These may be the things I am most known for, but there is a lot more to me than that. I pride myself on the fact that I excel in many categories, even if most people won't ever really know it.

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Whenever someone tells me they want me to do a podcast or they want to film a video about me (crazy that it happens, I know, but it does), I automatically assume it will be exclusively covering the topics of my killing and consuming, or lifting and coaching, as it were. However, I'm a personable guy, so I always make an effort to hear people out. Having already covered these aspects of myself to the point of nausea, I grow weary of the repetition. And beside that fact, it becomes boring for listener or viewer, much the same way articles about only lifting become tedious and eventually off-putting for the reader. I mean, how many times can you read about how I think it's a bad idea to max out for YouTube and Instagram, and that it should be saved for peaking or the platform?

Knowing all this, when Kendall Alston and his crew approached me with the idea of filming a documentary about what a normal day in my life looks like—and not simply my lifting or my coaching—I'm sure you can imagine that it hit me like a breath of fresh air. I mean, who doesn't want to do something new? Of course I agreed. After an entire day of filming (I mean an entire day) and months of work on their end, the project turned out to be just that: something fresh. Something new, in an industry of repetition. My hat is off to the guys at Mortal Athlete for this piece. I'm honored that someone thought I was interesting enough to invest the time and resources to put this together.

It's worth mentioning these same guys put together a documentary about my legendary lifter Ellen Stein, and got stories out of her I hadn't even heard before. Apparently she ran with the Olympic torch at one point! Be sure to check that one out, too. On a side note, for any of you who may be interested some of the other things I spend my time on, I recently published a collection of poetry, which is available on Amazon, titled Clues About Ghosts. They touch on that in the documentary also. You can grab a copy today.

If you think this is something your friends would like to see, please share this article on your social media. And, as always, feel free to reach out with ideas for articles, or questions you'd like answered in future pieces. We will be back next time with your regularly scheduled training and coaching advice, don't worry.

Here is the documentary:

5thSet Trial and Error — The Failed Experiments