Where I’ve Been, Future Plans, and Why You Won’t Hear it From Me

TAGS: elitefts advisor, coaching logs, personal life, personal, update, elitefts readers, training logs, social media, dave kirschen, powerlifting

What’s up?

It’s been a long time since I’ve written an article for elitefts, and a handful of you may have even noticed I no longer have a log on the site anymore. For the few of you who may have been following and wondering about my absence, I thought I’d take a moment to explain my departure, and why you probably won’t see much else from me anytime soon.

About a year ago, I lost my mom following a long battle with Pick’s disease, a particularly aggressive form of dementia. Although I didn't touch on it very often, her disease spanned most of my time as an athlete on this site (about seven years or so). I should probably also mention that I am an only child, Mom didn't have any living siblings, and my father passed away many years ago. Any and all responsibilities regarding her care fell on me, and it was a fucking heavy load to carry for that many years.


MORE FROM THE WRITER: Choking on My Own Face


At the time of her passing, my wife and I were in the process of trying to obtain mortgage approval to buy our first home. Needless to say, the stress on my family was profound and little did I know, there was more coming.

About a month after we finally closed on the house and we were just starting to breathe a little easier, our new home was hit by a tornado. Yeah. A fucking tornado, the first in Connecticut in almost 20 years. Lucky me. While the damage was modest compared to some other homes in the area, we still wound up on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars and months of repairs.

Around the time Mom passed, I asked to take a break from maintaining my log on elitefts. I’ve always felt it was important to share more than just sets and reps, as we all know how much life can affect training. But as the pain and stress intensified, I found it harder and harder to share certain aspects of my life. Powerlifting has always been a source of comfort to me in times of stress, and throughout all this, I threw myself deeper into it than ever before, and it became a much more personal pursuit then it had ever been. By the time I started training for the recent World Powerlifting Organization finals, even sharing the sets and reps felt almost like an intrusion.

I don’t know if this will make sense to most of you, but the ones who’ve been around a while might get it.

This immersion into my training did lead to some success on the platform, earning me a runner-up spot at the recent WPO meet and a big PR total, but for some reason, it wasn't the same as before. I wasn't the same. And so my log remained inactive.

A couple of months ago, I was asked if I wanted to just retire my log and transition to the role of advisor, which I happily took. Although it meant giving up my sponsorship, I could still play a role in the direction of elitefts and participate in coaching events. It’s not that I no longer want to give back to this sport (that drive is as strong as ever), I just don’t feel like a training log is going to be the way.

I’m also putting less out on social media these days. I’ve shared a few lifts here and there over the last few months, but I think I’m pretty much done with that as well. I’ll still use these platforms to keep in touch with friends, post pics of my dogs and kid, and put out occasional instructional stuff, but that’s about it.

I mean, seriously, does anyone really give a fuck about some scrawny middle-aged dad lifting weights to 25-year-old gangsta rap? I wouldn’t. And to be honest, I don’t really care to see your videos, either.

I’m not trying to be harsh, but let’s be real for a moment. After 25 years of lifting weights, I’ve seen some truly crazy shit. At the WPO meet, I saw Matt Minuth tear his bicep off on his opener deadlift, miss his second, then make his third to set the all-time world record total at 242.

Hell, my training partner Chris Della Fave defies just about everything I learned in college exercise physiology on an almost weekly basis. I once saw the dude squat almost 1,000 pounds so hungover he had to wear sunglasses for the whole training session while barfing in the parking lot between sets. Can I really be expected to care about some kid’s RPE on a set of 495x5?

Mind you, I do enjoy seeing friends (I mean, actual friends) tearing shit up, but the vast majority of random dudes and chicks lifting in random gyms is just white noise to me. I certainly don’t judge people who post this stuff (I did for many years), I’m just over it, and I think I’m done contributing to it.

Be honest: is it really anything more than an ego stroke for most of us?

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I guess I’ve just adopted the view that if my accomplishments aren't compelling others to post them, then maybe I shouldn't either.

But don’t think for a minute that I’m ready to hang it up. While I’m not going to be posting every five minutes like a teenage girl, I’m all-in like never before, and I’m about to go even further down the rabbit hole.

In fact, I have a specific goal in mind. It’s a goal that until very recently I wouldn’t have even entertained the thought of, but now that it’s popped into my head, I’ve gotta go for it. Let’s face it: I’m 41. The window of opportunity for me to accomplish something genuinely noteworthy in this sport is closing fast. My body is tired and hurting. I know don’t have all that much time left to do something crazy, and I want to give it a go before it’s too late.

Throughout my career, I’ve always looked at the long game, and I’ve been careful to never swim so far out from shore that I couldn’t make it back. It’s served me well, as I’m in far better shape than a 40-something with my kind of mileage could ever expect to be. But that time is over. It’s time to find out just how far out I can swim.

While I’ve told my training partners at Hellbent Barbell and a few friends in the sport what this goal is, I’ll mostly be going into a social media blackout regarding my training. 


READ MORE: To Be or Not


If I make it, you’ll know.

But you won’t hear it from me.

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