I have a soft spot in my heart for the sport of weightlifting. Hammer throwers and weight lifters have a lot in common. We both pursue a sport where fame and money are out of reach for even the best athletes. We pursue a sport where if things go wrong the only person to blame is yourself. We pursue a sport where technical precision must be combined with maximal power. I could envision myself taking up the sport once I finish hammer throwing. I don’t have the engine to be successful in it, but I have the heart to fall in love with it.
The world of weightlifting also often overlaps with the world of throwing. One of the best books I read last year was Bones of Iron by Matt Foreman. Foreman trained in his prime under John Thrush of Calpian Weightlifting, a coach I had the chance to work with a few times in high school. Now Foreman is a successful throwing and lifting coach and writes for Catalyst Athletics. Catalyst Athletics is one of the top lifting teams in the nation. Their connection to throwing is that their top super heavyweight lifters are both former hammer throwers: Brian Wilhelm threw at USC and Tamara Solari at Nebraska. I could play the name game all day, but the reason for this post is that Catalyst is also about to release the documentary film American Weightlifting which I had the opportunity to preview last week.
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