Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Close of Another Year

Just a few random thoughts to close another year:

Will we ever be honest with ourselves as a nation, and really call a spade a spade? Political correctness has gotten ridiculous!!

Will the democrats and republicans actually learn to play well with each other? We the people are really getting tired of your arguing and accomplishing nothing!

Will the economy get turned around? I hear all of the military branches are hiring!!

Will their ever be restrictions added to receiving welfare? If you can afford cigarettes and liquor you don't need welfare!! Plus I hear all of the military branches are hiring!!

Will we see the military draft come back? PLEASE!!!!!

Not so funny to see Mr. Obama speak of the same communications failures in our security systems that were supposed to be fixed after 911. That was over 8 years ago. If they can't work together, FIRE them!! Sounds like a good idea for congress as well!!

Americans have great power, we just have a tendency to follow and listen to the latest rhetoric instead of doing our own research and making a decision for ourselves. It's easier to listen and join the bandwagon. Don't take sides because of your political color, make a decision because it's good for our country. Take the health care bill for example; all of the republicans voted against it, democrats for it, none of them read it because it's over 2000 pages long. We freed our country with a single page document containing 1337 words, not pages!! Our politicians today need to actually get involved with the bills they are voting on.

Have a Great New Year, and get involved!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

BRAZIL - In Country

Our plane touched down in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil at 2:40pm local time. A very beautiful city from the air with green planted fields almost touching the concrete of the city streets. As the plane taxied to the terminal it was clear to see some of the poorness surrounding the high rise apartments of downtown. All of the houses around the airport reflected severe poverty with tin roofs and in the cases where there was a covering over the main doorway, usually resembled a worn quilt or blanket of some kind.

The red dirt was evident everywhere from the runway to the car and bicycle tires and shoes on the resident airport workers feet. Stepping off of the plane, I thought I had landed in a community of 2 or 3 thousand people not 700,000!! There was only one gate and the luggage was delivered by a tractor with a flatbed trailor behind it. It would have been easier to take the luggage from the trailer than the 20 feet of moving belt that was the luggage carrousel.

The hotel has been excellent and is one of the best facilities I have been in during the World Championships. The rooms are quite large and beds very comfortable. The air conditioning keeps the room at a very nice 18 degrees centigrade, perfect for a good sleep.

I had beers with some of the local Brazilian lifters last night. Amazing that even below the equator all lifters can laugh at the same jokes, even through an interpreter, and throw the same insults at each other for fun. Got reaquainted with friends and lifters from championships past and enjoyed catching up with them. It was an excellent first day and evening.

Friday, September 4, 2009


It's almost like a homecoming of sorts. Watching Team USA come together at the Houston airport is a lot of hugs and laughter and sitting cross legged on the floor, in the fixed string of airport chairs or wherever they can find a spot. Chatting, exchanging stories about their summer or home or lifting, whatever, it doesn't matter. It's like a family at Thanksgiving or Christmas. What's interesting is that some of these kids are really kind of meeting for the first time.
Each qualified for the team in their own way, either High School Nationals or Women's Nationals or Men's Nationals, now they are here a part of something for some of them that will bond them to this group forever. They will follow each other in some manner, especially with today's technology, for maybe a lifetime. They will share friendships and hardships with each other because of this trip. As a coach, this is what being a part of the USA World team is all about. The relationships I have managed to create with these young people is the reason for me being here. I am truly blessed to be a small piece of their transition into adulthood. Whether they finish next week as a World Champion, a World record holder, make it to the podium, just finish or bomb, they will grow physically and mentally and be better human beings because of this experience.
For some, it will be their only time at the World Championships, their only opportunity to represent their country in any manner. For others they have been here numerous times. Except for the ease of international travel, it's hard to tell one from the other. They blend into a blur of red, white and blue uniforms, smiles, chatter and laughter.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


It would be so much easier to just lead your kids through their life. You could ensure their decisions make good sense. (at least from your perspective!) You could use all of your life's knowledge to make their life so much easier than you had it. They wouldn't have to suffer all of the set backs and let downs you had to work through. They would only know the successes and highlights, never the hard times. When hard times did find their way into their lives you would have all of the answers ready to solve any problem.

That would be so much easier. On us anyway....

The real difficulty is having to watch them struggle with the little problems of life that seem so large to them. Knowing that they have to work through these issues so they are better prepared when the REAL problems confront them. And will they be any better prepared for the REAL problems? Only time will tell.

Struggling is okay.... you have to remind yourself that it is true. You can't protect them all of the time and issues that involve the heart are the worst. Definately not your territory and if you try you are reminded how far off base you really are. You really have no opinion on the matter. No matter your position, it's wrong!

They will ask. When they do, you have permission to listen and support, but not to have an opinion. An opinion will only complicate an already complicated situation. Be support...

I am trying.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Team Idaho Sponsors

I will say more about our sponsors after we return from Brazil, but I want all of our sponsors here in Idaho to know how much your support means to each of these lifters and to me their coach. Without your continued support both monetarily and spiritually we could not make this journey.
I promise each of you that these lifters are working their hearts out to do the best they can. Each week they improve over their last cycle and continue to surprise me with their accomplishments. Amanda, Jesse and Kenzie each want to do Idaho and the USA proud and do their part for Team USA to leave Brazil as World Champions. As a member of the coaching staff , we will do our best to ensure each of our USA lifters have the opportunity to hit the best meet they can and if possible, stand on the podium at the end of the day.
I love this opportunity of representing the USA and work with these great kids from all across our country. I am very proud of our team every time we compete on someone else's soil.
Thank you Idaho sponsors for helping this dream come true for these kids. They will realize how important an opportunity this is each in their own time, and they will return the favor to another. That's what it's all about.

Heavy Triples Tomorrow

Tomorrow we will be hitting what we would be expecting to be our openers at the World Championships. Each of the kids will be doing 2 sets 3 reps and if things go well this should end up being their opening attempts. Kenzie should be squatting 470 for triples and Jesse should be squatting 625 for triples. If they hit these it will definately prepare us for big numbers in Brazil. Kenzie has already tripled 195 in the bench in her new Inzer RageX shirt and tomorrow we will try her new Titan Katana, see if it fits and if it will make a difference. Her new squat suit came in as well so we will hit her triples in that. I don't know yet if Jesse's Titan gear has come in, but if not he is very comfortable in his Inzer suit and he will try his new Inzer RageX shirt tomorrow as well.
Lots of chalk dust and loud tunes for some big numbers. I hope everyone on the USA team is having the lifting cycle we are. Things are looking very good at this point!!
Amanda, have a great lifting session this weekend and try to stay focused. Lots of changes going on in your life right now, stay the course for a few more weeks and we will see you in South America!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

14 Days Out

It's amazing how much time you spend as a coach going over the nominations and shuffling placings between lifters to try and calculate where and who needs to place in the top 2 or 3 compared to the Russian team or the Ukraine team and which team can sneak in to take a spot either in our favor or against us.
I know it all comes down to how we lift on our day, but running numbers prior to the championships can drive a coach crazy!! The USA team is so close in team points to the Russian team in both boys and girls categories, if either team doesn't quite come in according to the nominations list or happens to win a weight class not expected to, then the Team Gold is up in the air. Then of course you have to watch out for the other countries that can sneak up on you or move from one weight class to another in order to gain a spot on the podium. This is what makes this a fun coaches sport.
And while we coaches are going through all of the possibilities, our lifters just need to hit the numbers they have been training for. As a coach, you hope the numbers they are hitting in the gym are quality reps and leave room for no doubt as to depth or pause. We can't be there to watch each lifter. We must depend on their training partners to push them and ensure their lifts are good international quality lifts.
My Idaho lifters have 3 more heavy lifts before we leave on the 4th and this Saturday will be the Saturday that will really determine where they are able to open their attempts which will pre-determine somewhat where they will finish if they go 3 for 3 in a particular lift. I just hope they get all of their gear to work in for the next 3 weeks, I know we are still waiting for Jesse's, although he is very confident in his current gear.
Before you know it we will be counting hours instead of days. I love this time of year!! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Won't do that again!!

Have you ever heard about someone accidently injurying themselves and you think to yourself, "What a moron!" "How could they have done that?" I always did that when I heard about someone getting hurt using a table saw. I never could figure out how in the hell they could cut themselves using a table saw. It just didn't make any sense to me. I mean this is a very high speed piece of equipment, you have to be careful when you use it.
Well, it makes sense now!! I get it or should I say I got it?! Now I realize just how fast that blade turns and I am just a little slower to react than the saw. I know what you are saying. "What a moron!" But I have to tell you until the moment it happened I would have said the same thing. I just had to make this specific angle cut on a 3 foot long pice of hardwood. Of course the cut had to be length wise and of course it had to be on edge, so as I am pulling the board through the saw and pushing it with my other hand, I am watching very carefully. I realize it is not the best of conditions, and a table saw is probably not the best piece of equipment for this cut, but the table saw was out and I wanted to get the job done and I knew I could make it work. Well as I am pulling and pushing I looked from my pushing hand to my pulling had only for a moment to make sure the board was riding correctly and of course the board fell into the slot for the blade and since my thumb was what was applying the pressure on the board, it followed. Before I could glance back to see what had happened the board splintered in the blade and I got a nice thumbnail manicure. Needless to say it trimmed a little more than the nail and to top it off one of those lovely hardwood splinters ended up in my index finger. My response at this exact moment. "What a Moron!"
I inspected everything and figured out I was going to be fine, just feeling a little stupid (and lucky) and once I got the bleeding stopped realized the work I had done on the piece of wood was for not. I would have to start over again.
Now this proves that I am definately male and human. I started over again with another piece of wood and wouldn't you know it, I went through the same motions and made the same cuts using the same equipment. Now that's either persistance or stupidity!! I tend to lean towards persistance, after all I can't let an inanimate object like a table saw kick my ass. Can I?

Friday, August 14, 2009

20 Days Out

We are 20 days out from the 2009 World Sub-Junior Powerlifting Championships in Brazil. Amanda has left the group and is moving to Louisiana for school. She will meet us in Brazil in September. Jesse's lifts are going great and Kenzie is performing just as well, both should have great competitions if they stay focused. I am a little frustrated in that I can't verify if the hotel has received our payment for our rooms. The fax I sent out on Tuesday showed that it was received, but I haven't seen any charges on my card verifying that they have processed my payment. I emailed the contact today at the hotel, but to no avail. Today is the drop dead date on the rooms so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they have everything they need for our rooms.
Tomorrow is week 5 in our cycle and I believe Jesse is supposed to rep 600 in the squat and Kenzie should be at 455 for reps. This will be a really good indication if the cycle is going to finish well. Should be our first day in Bench shirts as well so I will have to see how that goes. Kenzie hit a triple of 195 last Saturday in her new shirt, but Jesse hasn't worked in his for any numbers yet.
Amanda trained yesterday somewhere in Wisconsin with Krogman and I guess he blessed here with a new nickname, "Puke Princess". I guess she had a slight accident during her squats and blew chunks on the platform during a lift. Nerves I guess in a new gym. :) Today she is on the road again headed south across the great plains of the midwest. As of 3:45pm today she has no idea where she is going to stop. I am guessing Oklahoma or somewhere in Texas. She should make it to Louisiana tomorrow sometime. She is lucky her sister chose to go along for company. Sisters can get along sometime I guess and Amy is a sweetheart for making the trip. One of those things Amanda won't have living down south.
I think the fundraising is winding down, but I hope to get in a few more bucks in before we leave. I and the kids have had some great luck with our repeat sponsors. They are great to have as supporters and truly are wonderful people that are willing to provide this experience to these kids. I hope each of our sponsors realize the opportunity they are providing, and I hope my kids will relish in the experience of this trip. I will do my best to ensure they do!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Moe No More

As parents we raise our kids and hope the job we have done prepares them for success in life and we hope that we have raised some one we would be proud to associate with.
Well coaching is very similar to parenting.
I have to say that with everything Team Idaho Powerlifting has going on this weekend, the live video stream at followed by further filming at Gold's Gym for future video segments, I am not looking forward to this weekend actually ending. It will end a wonderful experience I have had the opportunity to be a part of. One of my first female lifters that has grown up in front of me will be leaving Idaho for the great state of Louisiana to train and finish college at Louisiana State University, Alexandria.
Amanda started lifting as a very young 14 year old freshman at Skyview high school. She was kind of a band type geek and played a little basketball, but wanted to try powerlifting so we welcomed her into our group. As a coach I was always looking for new lifting athletes and especially girls that were willing to take on a sport like powerlifting. She caught on rather quickly and developed a great sense of humor along the way which was basically a requirement when you are the only girl in a gym full of testosterone ladened boys. I have to admit, I fell in love with her desire and commitment to wanting to get stronger and better at the sport.
In what seems to be 5 very short years, Amanda has become Idaho's first 4 time high school state powerlifting champion, one of the first to set a National and American Record, the first to win the High School Varsity National Championships and Idaho's first Sub-Junior World Champion. This year she will return to the World Championships for the 3rd straight time. She has been able to visit France, South Africa and this year Brazil representing the USA at the IPF World Championships.
Amanda, I will miss you every time Team Idaho is in the gym training. I will miss you coming in late rushing to get caught up on squats. I will miss telling you to get deeper on your squats(That has become less often by the way), I will miss your smile and the way you bounce around getting ready to lift. I will miss reminding you to keep your grip tight on the bar during benches and keeping track of how long it takes you to finish a heavy deadlift. It has been a distinct pleasure of mine to have been able to coach you and be associated with you over the past 5 years. You are truly a beautiful young lady and a great powerlifter. I wish you all of the luck and success you can ever hope to achieve as you journey southward and I expect to continue to see you at national and international venues. You will always be close to my heart and I will always consider you one of my favorite lifters. I am very humbled to say I was your coach. You are some one I would be proud to associate with. Love you girl!!

Friday, July 31, 2009


A nice little reminder for all of my lifters. What Would Rayborn Do? It has become the chuckle around the weight room while we are lifting as we discuss what the lifters are doing outside of the gym. I always try to remind them to make the right decisions when they are out on the town or hanging with friends so they have picked up on the whole acronym of WWRD. Kind of nice to be thought of in a similar light as WWJD. So to speak....
Big squats and benches in the morning. It will be a nice milestone to see where the kids are in relation to what I am expecting at Worlds in September. We will also be discussing what will happen at the live video feed @ next Friday afternoon. That should be fun for them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

7 Weeks Out

Everyone lifted well today, and after yesterday's Yard Sale event I am very pleased with the numbers we hit this morning. Mandy hit her squats for the day and they looked deep. Still have to work on her sitting back in the suit a little more so her knees don't drift over her toes, but she looked strong. Her new Inzer gear fit real well and she hit a quick 190 bench in her new shirt. That's the most I have seen her handle in quite awhile so maybe the new shirt might be the ticket. Her raw benches have been going real well and I expect that by time we get to Brazil she will be right on target.
Kenzie's squats looked great as usual, nice and deep and plenty of room for more. Her deadlift suit was too small so she will exchange it tomorrow. Benches looked good today. Still raw, but she is getting stronger on the bench. If she continues to develop her bench raw, I believe she will do some good things in Brazil.
Jesse looked great again. He continues to impress me with his raw strength. His form is next to perfect and I am looking forward to getting him in Titan gear for squats. I really want to see if that will make a difference. We put on his new Inzer bench shirt after his workout and he hit a quick 335 to make sure he could touch. Bar popped off of his chest like 135 and the touch was smooth. I know he is also looking forward to trying the Katana when it comes in.
From a coaches perspective all three lifters are right on target for September. Now if I can keep the reins pulled in enough that they don't sprint out too fast on this cycle. NO Over training!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Are All Yard Sales Successful?

I guess you pretty much have to expect some level of success every time you host a "Yard Sale" even if your expectations are not really achieved. Today's Fundraiser Yard Sale was a success and each of the lifters will net about $120-$150 depending on a couple of items still to be paid for. This was far less that we had hoped for, but at the same time we are very happy with the outcome as this was more than what we had started with and other than a few hours in the hot sun it was actually a fun day. Of course it's back to lifting bright and early tomorrow morning and everyone will be a little worn from today's work so hopefully we can hit our expected numbers in the weightroom better than we hit our numbers today at the yard sale.
Financing the trip to the World Championships is well worth the efforts we endure and the final product will be experiences for these lifters as well as myself that most people only just think about and sometimes wish for. You can't wish for this; you have to go after it and make it happen. A yard sale, no matter how successful is a small piece of making it happen and the continued work and efforts on all of our parts make this experience what it will be. The yard sale is like one of the weeks in the gym, a step towards a goal, if we stay focused the end will be in sight very soon and more than likely get here sooner than expected.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Joys of Fundraising!!

We are at the day before our Fundraising yard sale trying to raise money for the kids to travel to Brazil in September for the World Championships. 1st off, yard sales are always a hassle to begin with. That's why we only do them as a last resort and then we swear we will never let our crap pile up so high that we have to have another yard sale. But in this case we are actually going out and asking other people to donate their crap to us so we hopefully there will be enough crap to tempt the passersby to stop and take a look. Of course we only want the passersby to stop if they are serious about buying some of our newly donated crap to take home so that after the sale is over we won't have to take our crap along with all of our newly donated crap to the local Salvation Army so they can try to sell our crap.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all of the donations we have received so far and a lot of the crap we have received is excellent crap. It's just one more step in the process of getting to the World Championships. Can't wait to get to Brazil though!! USA will be represented very well!!