The Story Behind the 300 lbs Bench Goal
I think its been over 4 years since I first met John Lane, Team Owner/Manager/Leader of Chosen Few. Me, Derrick, and Richard were asked to join a team from New York to play in one of their local tournaments. The team also asked three members of Chosen Few, including John, to play with us as well. John and his team are famous among the asian basketball community. This team has won several national tournaments, compete at the high levels of local basketball in Hawaii, and is by far the most physically imposing team among the asian-baller circuit. Take another look at the picture above, the guys are huge! Most of them are at least 6-3 and look like they could serve as tight-end on the Dallas Cowboys (Jason Witten Watch Out). And they aren't just all size, the team is fast as it is strong. These guys are big, these guys are athletic, but more importantly they are good. Most of them played some sort of college ball with some success. In fact, John Lane has one of the most successful collegiate careers among the team which is probably why word of him and Chosen Few was all I heard about leading up to the tournament. So naturally, I was filled with both anxiety and excitement before playing with the famous John Lane from Chosen Few. I wanted to know what he did to become such a success. Even to this day, the way i approach workouts and training for marathons or basketball or anything else is by referring to the habits and stylings of those who came before me.
The day before the tournament, we met John Lane. I had my chance to learn from one of the greats. Our meeting took place in the Sauna Room of Foxwood Casino and Resort in Connecticut. We were there because our coach was a fan of the place and suggested taking a spa day before the tournament to relax. We arrived early and were already checking out the amenities before John arrived. It was a bit awkward, personally. Not my first choice for a meeting but we made the best of the situation. So there we were, Me, Derrick, and Richard sitting on one side enjoying the waters of the hot tub, and John Lane in shorts and t-shirt sitting above us on the opposite side. He did most of the talking that day; I didn't mind. Most of what he said was alot of what we already knew. He talked about how dominant Chosen Few is, the reasons why they were so dominant, and how we would be successful in the days to come. "Everyone knows their role," John explained. "Our team is successful because we are strong, talented, and everyone knows their role." Chosen Few is a team of specialists, certain players excel at certain things. This is all very intestering as I look back, but to be honest, I don't remember the specifics of this conversation, with exception to one thing...
"Our team is strong," he said. "Everyone of our players is not only big, but can also bench 300 pounds. No one can push us around on the court.." This line stuck with me. I never thought about how my bench press abilities would contribute to my success on the basketball court. But if John says it helps, it must be true. So ever since, I've been thinking about how I too could join this elite club of those who can bench press 300 pounds, and take my basketball game to the next level. But now that I've hit it, I'm not sure my game has changed all that much. I'm definitely stronger than I was during that tournament over 3 years ago. My fitness has taken a step forward overall, but my basketball talents have been waning in part because of all my other interests, and getting older. Besides all that, I am surprised that this of all things that weekend stood out most in my mind. It's funny how small things like that can just stay with you, grow into something and consume your thoughts until you do something about it.
Well, I did something about it. I am proud to say, at the midnight hour before 2016 comes to a close, I am proud to announce that I bench-pressed 305 pounds without assistance. I have witnesses, I have video documentation, this accomplishment is official. This makes 2 of 5 goals accomplished for 2016. Unfortunately, that leaves 3 unfinished. Looks like I'll be ringing in the new year with 300 burpees, an event that will be sufficiently documented as well. Here's to bringing in 2017 in style, and out of breath.
Happy New Years everyone!