Louie Simmons said something to me several years ago that resonated with me. He said “Glenn, I have lived the life of a samurai”. What I believe he meant by that is that he had devoted his life to one thing. Louie’s one thing is strength, and the development of strength. He became a master in the development of strength, his one thing. I do not pretend to compare myself to Louie, but I have pursued one thing in a similar fashion. My one thing is weightlifting, the snatch and clean and jerk. I have given up a lot in pursuit of my “one thing”. A marriage, a successful business, and many of my friends. Even my relationship with my son has been strained almost to the breaking point. I have walked away from everything that didn’t fit in with my pursuit of producing a bigger total in an American weightlifter.
From time to time I question if it has been worth it, or if it will ever be worth it. I have one friend who I believe is as obsessed as I am with weightlifting. Donny Shankle and I have never spoken about the subject in these terms but even without speaking about it I know he would understand perfectly. He would understand because he is as obsessed as I am. Just the fact that a like-minded person is out there makes life easier somehow.