Step Back From The Bar An important lesson learned from stepping back from the barbell for a few breaths.

I gripped the bar. Rocked back and forth a bit trying to find the right balance with my weight on my heels. Then as I ran out of methods to procrastinate, I tightened my hamstrings, brought my chest high, and began to rise. One inch, two inches, three, and three, and three—the bar stopped moving. I dropped back down to my starting position, and tried to psych myself up, but I just wasn’t feeling it. The mental games had begun.

Just then Coach Sam, called out to me: “Conor, step back from the bar.”

The moment I let go of the barbell and stepped back a couple steps, the mind games ground to a halt. The past was now the past.

I breathed in…and out. I stepped up to the bar aggressively. Placed my grip with confidence. Tightened everything up. Pulled hard and steady. One inch. Two inches. Three inches. I Exploded upward. Dropped down under the bar and caught all 175 pounds. Then up again.

This time I took my stand.