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Last week at the XPC Finals I managed to obtain the all-time world record squat at 132 pounds, raw with knee wraps. Among all the continued support, congrats, and kind words from friends, family, clients, and others it really didn't set in. I had multiple people ask me what it felt like, and my only response was, "It hasn't set in yet."
I'll be straight up front with you, I NEVER thought I would obtain any all-time world record. Hell, it was never even a goal of mine. My goal in powerlifting has been to always just give my best and be the best that I can be on the platform. And to break it down even further, I never knew I'd join such an amazing team like Elitefts. I got into lifting in general just because I enjoyed working out and lifting. One thing lead to another and before you know it I'm on a bodybuilding stage, then a platform, and then on the world's greatest company's website with a training log.
To say I'm blessed wouldn't even cut it close. I would not be here today if it wasn't for my incredible parents raising me with proper moral values and work ethic. Them teaching me these intangibles lead into my scholastic work and later into my athletic achievements.
I was immature at the beginning, as any late teen, early 20 year old was, but as I matured I really began to see the impact training had on me. Many people started coming to me for advice and knowledge, since I lived the lifestyle and studied the academic side as well. I didn't know shit, but I did know was that as long as you were disciplined and worked hard things would work out for you.
This thought process still hasn't changed to this day. While I may still have some immaturity to me, I still see myself as an incredibly young guy trying to do some pretty big things. I enjoy having fun and just LIVING. While I am certainly learning a lot about running an online business, training clients near and far, and helping build and mentor college kids via Purdue Barbell, my roots are still tied to that kid in the gym having no clue what he was doing but going balls out on every lift he did. Grabbing every educational resource I could find and looking up to other bigger people.
I never saw my size as a disadvantage, but rather an opportunity to GROW in spirit and in mind. While the guy next to me in the squat rack may be squatting twice as much as I was, I wasn't going to let him be there longer than I was. I wanted to show people that what I lacked vertically, I had that, and then some loaded deep in my heart.
I've been lucky enough to run into people in college that gave me the push to do something more, and eventually find powerlifting, Dave Tate, Elitefts, and "Live, Learn, Pass On". I felt that I had finally found my niche. A company that lived and breathed what I did, but also supported a sport I wanted to be a part of. While it took me some time to get on an actual platform, I still trained my ass off like I had a meet in 12 weeks...EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I went to work and read articles from Jim Wendler, Dave, Louie, and more. When I went home I was reading PDF's and ebooks and finding a way to save money to make it to an Elitefts Learn to Train seminar. I actually fell short of making it to LTT4, and was so pissed after seeing all the awesome stuff afterwards that I immediately put $500 in a savings account and never touched it, only to save it for LTT5.
So what am I getting at?
After now having a world record, I can tell you, it really doesn't mean shit.
It's only a step, like the ones that came before it.
Where will this step take me?
I'm not sure, but I do know that if it wasn't for the railings (Dave and Elitefts, my family, friends, loved ones) I would have fallen back to the bottom of the stairwell.
What I do know is that I will always cherish that moment, as no one can take it away from me. But I also know that there is so much more to why I do what I do. It's not to set world records or put up numbers and generate YouTube hits. It's to empower other lifters, especially those that are smaller in stature, to push the boundaries of their body and mind. Find a passion, set a goal, and go out and accomplish it. No one can take your accomplishment of reaching your goal away from you.
The world record squat was never my goal, and my goal will never be number based. My goal is to improve the people that are around me. Whether that be in actual lifting, or just life. If my log just gives you motivation to go out and become the best teacher, husband, mother, or person, I've met my goal.
So what does it feel like to hold an all-time world record?
Not near as good as seeing the ones around me exceed their own.