On December 10th, 2011, the most incredible surprise in my lifting career took place. There was an unsanctioned meet in Pelion, SC. It was held at American Muscle and named after me. It was to honor my contributions to powerlifting here in South Carolina and the 3,000 lb Total. I wanted to invite all the people that have trained with me over the years as well as every High School & College/University Strength coach I knew in the state. However, I was sure they had better things than to do that day instead of coming to a meet way out in the deep country of South Carolina.
For months, the meet director, Will Millman, kept telling me he had a huge surprise. I never really grasped what that meant until that day. I get there and they shuffled me to the back warm-up area. The lifters were all in on it so they had the guy surrounded. As soon as I got back there, they all moved to reveal………..LOUIE SIMMONS!!! He drove all the way from Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio to give me an achievement award. He was there all day and answered lifting questions the whole time to any lifter that asked him. Now, how many strength coaches in this state would have liked to been there for that???
Then to top it off, Richard Sorin from Sorinex equipment, was there too! He presented me with a plaque. He and his son have been to dozens of my four-hour squat and bench sessions just soaking up the atmosphere involved with world record training attempts. Many times they had to chip in and spot because there were not many lifters there when I trained.
Never in my life have a felt so honored than to have these gentlemen show up and support not just Powerlifting but ME! Louie told me he came because of my dedication and sacrifice as a lifter all these years. And I actually listened to him on what to do to be the best. When they asked him come down to SC and present me the award, he never hesitated. He just said, “I had to do this for you!”
Competitive Powerlifting is over for me now, but that is going out with a huge BANG!!!
You just never really know who you will run into in the middle of nowhere all in the name of STRENGTH!
God Bless and I will see you on the platform.
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You Never Know…. by Donnie Thompson
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