LGN 62: Happy Birthday, Justin.

I’m jumping on the bandwagon to wish a very happy birthday to my coach and friend (not necessarily in that order), Justin Case.

Justin has created something in Underground Athlete that is amazing to be a part of.  Even though I pay for it — it is a gym after all — I still consider it an honor to be a part of the community and to have his experience, dedication and vision in my corner, so to speak.

It’s been good times.  Painful times in that intense training/workout kind of way, but good times and always constructive, creative and in the direction of progress.

From the first time I did EDT pushups/assisted pullups and you were yelling at me because I was sooooooo close to 100.  So close.  Got your blood pressure up with that one.  What’d I get?  Like, 97?   And then my triceps were visibly bruised from the effort the next day.  I didn’t know that could happen.

And when I overcame my 185 lb. deadlift mental block.  (Don’t round your back, people.  Never round your back.)

The first multiple chinups in over two decades.

Reaching my goal of benching over 100% of my bodyweight.

That time you said, “Watch your chin.”  I said okay and then proceeded to crack myself directly in the chin doing a barbell press.  Haha.  And ouch.

You were lucky enough to witness the Thigh Hammer maneuver I invented where, after an exhausting set of dumbbell presses, I slam 50lb. dumbbells directly onto my quads from shoulder height while trying to sit up.  Couldn’t figure out why my quads felt bruised a few days after that.  Hmmm.  “Oh!  Bring my legs up to the dumbbells first.  That does make more sense.”

Those running finishers.  Oy gevalt.  I dunno, though.  You’ve got another year on you now.  Still think you can out-sprint me, old man?  (For any readers, the answer is very much yes and by a lot.)

Your thoroughly kicking my ass leading up to my first Tough Mudder (or the part of it I completed).  “So, that.  Times five.”

Laying face down in the grass and dirt at Tough Mudder while you rolled that killer, knotted, level 10 cramp out of my calf with a stick.  I could not get him to go ahead without me, people.

Being highly entertained by your mountain biking … uh … skills.  We have to get some people together to do Fountainhead.


It isn’t just the physical either.  It’s really about the mental aspect.  Not settling.  Not fearing pain and discomfort.  Breaking out of the comfort zone in order to achieve anything worthwhile.

Even on my lamest days in the gym I’m still moving forward.  That’s cool.  And even on my lamest days I’m still more fit than I’ve ever been.

Oo.  This Benadryl is starting to kick in.  That’s a good way to keep a blog short.

Happy birthday, coach.  Keep up the good work.  You may not take it upon yourself to be anyone’s source of motivation but you’re changing lives (cascading through degrees of separation) through your work and your example.

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