Our Breakthrough Spotlight Member for May is Wes Dickson! Wes is one of the most supportive training partners you could ask for! His positive mindset and willingness to learn were big factors in his recent success at the Tactical Strength Challenge, and we can’t wait to see him keep getting stronger and reaching more and more exciting goals!
Breakthrough: Thanks so much for sitting down with us today, Wes. You’ve been training here with us just a couple of months now, and have accomplished so much in that period of time, so I’m excited to have you share your story! Can you talk a little bit about how you were feeling and what was going on with you before you started your training here?
Wes: Right before I started I was recovering from a couple of knee surgeries after having been hit by a car. So I wasn’t doing anything aside from physical therapy at that point. Prior to that, I was working out, but nothing with any kind of focus or goal oriented training. So once I recovered from the accident and got released from therapy, it was time to come here and join my strong friends!
Breakthrough: And here we are! So now that you’ve been training for a little bit here, and even competed in the Tactical Strength Challenge a few weeks ago, how are you feeling?
Wes: I feel great! It’s awesome… The TSC was just an amazing event for me, and I was probably on a high for about two weeks! And it wasn’t even the deadlift I’m most excited about – I wanted to hit over 350 pounds on that and I did. For me the best part was those kettlebell snatches! Being able to get 103 snatches in the five minutes, was just awesome for me. I really thought I was in the 70 range, which would have been ok for a starting point. But getting over 100 was bigger than anything! And I can even see progress coming along with my pull up… So the TSC really helped keep me focused and grounded, and wanting more!
Breakthrough: Yes! I know I always get so much more out of my training when I’m training for an event, or with a specific focus or goal in mind. And it’s so great when you just let the training plan do its job, and you surprise yourself by doing something you weren’t even sure about – like the kettlebell snatches! Is there anything else about your training here that has surprised you, or something you didn’t expect?
Wes: Well, we’ve had this conversation before… There are a lot of gyms and trainers that do things in a way that’s “cookie cutter” and everyone is supposed to be the same. But people are all individual and are dealing with different things – like I had my knee injury. So here, it’s a much different approach than just throwing some weights on a bar and the trainer saying “see you later”. You coaches are around checking in, and making sure everything is done properly. And there’s a great synergy here. I tell all my friends I have a great group of people I work out with – there’s just a ton of love and support, and that goes a really long way. When you do something like the TSC you can really feel that with everyone cheering you on, and everyone wanting you to succeed.
Breakthrough: We feel so happy that all of our members want to see each other do their best, and really do support each other.
Wes: And you feel that. At other gyms, it’s a little cold. And I don’t mean that to be rude to anybody, but there’s that feeling that you are supposed to fit into that “cookie cutter” like I said before. Here it’s not like that. From the coaches and the other people training, it’s just a really positive energy.
Breakthrough: I’m so glad you are experiencing that – that’s always our goal!
Wes: And I also really love that I’ve learned a little bit different mindset about lifting. It’s not about just throwing weight on the bar and seeing what you can do that day. I think guys, myself included tend to feel like everyday is supposed to be a “max” day. But it’s not about that – it’s about staying safe and injury free, and can you progress and eventually hit a certain number…
Breakthrough: On the day that you need to hit that number…
Wes: Right, at the TSC for example. So it’s really changed my mindset to look at it as a progression. And I remember I had a day in training that I was supposed to do a lift 5 times and only did 3, and it took me a week or so to shift my mind to see that not as a negative, but a positive because I learned something about myself and now I can build on that. Everyone is here to learn and help each other get better.
Breakthrough: Absolutely! One of our core values is to always learn and improve. We always try to approach our training with the mindset that we can keep learning and getting better, and we want our members to have that same experience as well. And we really do appreciate that you come in with an open mind, ready to learn and give your best, as well as support your training partners! OK, so, can you share a little about your “why”?
Wes: I love lifting weight. I always have, but I’ve never done it in a way that’s very focused… or with a group of people that are so focused. So that love for lifting that was already in me has just blossomed, and that feels really good. Obviously there is the aspect of getting healthy and losing weight, which I’ve been doing. But that feeling going back to the TSC… getting that opportunity in a competition to see how much you are capable of, that just fuels me. Now I’m focusing on the powerlifting meet in July, and already looking at the TSC again in October. I’m already thinking I know I can get more than those 103 snatches! I’m in it now – I can’t let my strong friends down! I gotta do it for my strong friends.
Breakthrough: Right, so when you are taking care of yourself, and working to make yourself stronger and healthier, it does have a positive impact on others. You are able to be a stronger source of support for those around you. That’s a powerful “why”.
Wes: And it comes back around… like when I have times I can’t be in the gym for work or personal things going on, there are people here that will check in with me, and see how I’m doing and that goes a long way. That’s a lot of love you don’t get from other places.
Breakthrough: Well we sure appreciate all the love and support you bring to the Breakthrough family, Wes! Thanks so much for sharing with us today!
Wes: Thank you!