Memoires of a Silverback: My time at OCBC

“Hey fucker.”

I can remember the day I walked into the gym and uttered those words to Zach nearly 2 years ago. I was coming in to start working out after an extended break from exercising, I had previously trained with Z at another location and liked him enough to sign up for more. I didn’t know that I would find a best friend, a family away from home, a safe haven for mind, body, and spirit, and start a new chapter in my life that has been unforgettable.

With Z’s training and help from everybody I’ve done things in the gym I never thought possible:
Squatted over 500 lbs
Front squatted 425, nearly my college back squat max
Cleaned 300 lbs
Benched over 350 lbs
Pressed 225 lbs over head
Climbed a rope again
Worked until I nearly passed out and puked

Those are all the physical things I’ve done, but the magic of this group isn’t in the physical, its in the people. I’ve blown out my knee and come back stronger than before, I’ve had pain in my personal life and leaned heavily on members of the club, I’ve had professional set back and embarrassment and had club members pick me back up. No matter what happened the club never wavered in showing me unconditional acceptance. People should be so lucky to have a group of folks like that.

I’d say I wasn’t complete when I first came here, through shared misery in the gym and shared joy outside the gym, I think I have healed from what was ailing me. I found something I was missing since I left college athletics behind. I found people who don’t judge, who genuinely want the best from each other, I found what I consider to be love. I love this club, I love the people, and I love what we stand for.

I’ll be pursuing other athletic avenues but I’m sure I’ll see everybody from time to time, I know we’ll share some drinks and Tom Foolery. Friends are a reflection of character and with you as my friends my character must be strong as an oak. Mainly I want to say thank you, thank you for helping me when I couldn’t fully help myself.

Next time your under the bar or pushing a weight and you feel yourself going down, there is gonna be a little Silverback on your shoulder yelling in your ear “get up! You son of a bitch, cause Johnny loves ya.” I’m off to a different jungle now, but I’ll throw some OCBC hay when I get there.

Posted by: Johnny

14 Responses to “Memoires of a Silverback: My time at OCBC”

  1. ricepaddielegs Says:

    let the dogs out johnny

  2. 🙂


  3. Happy Birthday, JW!!!!!

    I am trying to find a happy place about this news, but this is all just.too.much. 😦

    Change can be good. Growth is always good. But there’s too much f*cking change going on and I don’t like it; not one bit. But I don’t have to like it, that’s why they call it “growing pains”.
    So… I’m going to put my big girl hat on now…. & keep moving forward.

    I’m so excited for you to follow the next steps in your athletic pursuits. I will participate & support this exciting venture in any way I can. You’ve been a great coach, an inspiring lifter & a humble athlete. And a good friend to both Gogo & me.

    I will greatly miss you in the gym, but knowing that your still within shouting distance makes me feel alittle better.

  4. I am selfishly sad for the loss of this Silverback. *wipes tear.
    I will miss your energy, enthusiasm and coaching commentary.
    The only flip side i can imagine, is …. that I’ll see you at the Whore!
    Love you, Johnny!

  5. This is a shock and a sad day for OCBC. You will be missed Johnny. We would have to combine several of our existing members to replace you. I’m thinking Amy+BeastMode+Link. Until we figure that out there will be a hole where you stood.

  6. I’m gonna miss you around the gym Johnny. Your encouragement, drive, enthusiasm, positive personality, and friendship have made a major impact on me as an athlete, and I think the gym’s as a whole. One major reason the gym is such a fun place to work out and hang out, is because of you.

    Good luck on your new athletic adventure. You are one of the good gorillas.

  7. Gonna miss seeing you around the gym Johnny. You were the first one to give me shit and if Im not mistaken, give me thy nickname.

    And you were also the first one to utter the words “porn” and “gay porn” in front of my daughter. So I want to thank you for that as well. I look forward to returning the favor some day.

    • i remember that and it was super funny. also the first time i ever saw Capt. Awesome get serious.
      John, those little nuggets of knowledge you were always dropping are gold and they were always appreciated brother.

  8. Like the shirt Zach 😛

  9. Johnny– love ya kid. I’ll be seein’ ya. I don’t know what else to say. I’m gonna miss you hollerin’ things at me that I don’t know exactly what they mean. I’m gonna miss joking at stretching time. I’m gonna miss your growl during bear crawls. I’m gonna miss seeing you squat the MF HOUSE!

  10. John, this is most unwelcome news.

    I’ve really appreciated your coaching and fantastic attitude.
    Like everyone else, I’ll miss seeing you in the gym lifting ungodly amounts of weight.

    Thanks for teaching me how to climb a rope right and giving me a pretty good nickname.

    Whatever your next pursuit, I’m sure you’ll kill it. I’m glad I met you and I hope to still see you around WS!

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