“Symbols matter. Uniforms, flags, banners- even mascots. They’re like pieces of your heart that you can see…”

One Year.
Two Years..
Three Years…
Four Years…….

Man time moves fast. Faster than you think really. And so much changes, but it’s not always bad. Some people fear change. I know I’m not a huge fan of it but I certainly accept it when it comes and roll with the punches. No this isn’t a Chin down, Hands up, Keep moving post. It’s really the opposite.

Four years ago I made a choice to start working in the fitness industry. It was a path that would eventually lead me to Crossfit. And after getting involved in the program it led me away from my time with the Fire Department. I found a new career and made the goal to some day have my own Program and run my own Gym.

Three years ago during a rough spot in my life, myself and a group of friends pulled together and formed the West Seattle Barbell Club. I started designing my own programs which were geared a little more towards goals we had in strength, fitness, and competition. The Club turned out to be more than just a lifting crew and I really started to discover what the Iron had to offer mentally as well as physically. Those lift sessions back in the basement squatting in socks on a concrete floor seeing your breath in front of your face are still some of my favorite training memories.

Two years ago I came to my current position as a Head Trainer for a gym where I have been able to really institute a quality Strength and Conditioning Program that I could be proud of. But more importantly I tried to bring the grass roots lifting I was used to into the gym. So for me that meant bringing West Seattle Barbell Club with me, which I did. I’ve talked about what the Club is and means before and I’m not gonna get off track here with it now. But I will say the Club does, has, and will always stand for one thing: Brotherhood. Yes ladies you’re in the Brotherhood, all my ladies know I love them.

One year ago this site went up. Yeah, it’s been a year. It’s been one crazy year. In that time we’ve seen the Club shed its “West Seattle” title and become the Old Country Barbell Club. Now not only did we have a name and a program, we had an ideal. A way to live life, a way to view strength and how to stand against the tide. We’ve celebrated lost friends, the beauty of strong women, some rowdy Club outings and general nonsense from movies to eating challenges. It’s been a Crazy year.

So what’s next?

More Change…

As most of you that follow us here know, I just returned from a trip to Russia to truly learn where kettlebell training started. Kettlebelling is a huge part of my life. I’m as much known for my kettlebell Coaching as I am for my Barbell training. The trip was a once in a lifetime experience and really left me with a lot to think about. The different style of the Russian kettlebell “Sportmen.” A lot of their methods were foreign to me. But my training, diet, etc. was just as foreign to them and the other participants of the 5 day certification. We were oddities to each other.

Those that follow what Old Country does seem to find themselves in that boat a lot. We can’t really claim to be “Crossfitters” even though our program follows the CF model. While we do squat ourselves out of our jeans, we can’t call ourselves “Powerlifters” as we vary our program for different goals outside of competing in Meets. We definitely aren’t Girevoy “Sportsmen” but we do love our kettlebells. So what are we?

It finally came to me and it seemed so simple. We’re weightlifters.

We take the Iron and our bodies and move them through space to learn more about ourselves. It’s not just about the barbell. It’s about the Iron. Be it loaded on a barbell when you pull that PR deadlift, or in your hand when you finish the last rep of your Kettlebell snatch test, maybe its moving the sinewy Iron of your body over the rings for your first muscleup. It’s more than just the Barbell. The program is more than just the Barbell. The Club is more than just the Barbell.

So now I’m announcing the big change, a change I never thought would happen three years ago. I’m accepting that we are more than just the Barbell.

We’re the Iron, we use it to harden our bodies, strengthen our minds and build our friendships.

I will be laying to rest “Old Country Barbell Club,” it will be burned like a Viking Captain on his Long Boat. And from the fire we forge something new.

The Old Country Iron Club.

Changes are coming and it all starts here. Wear your Colors with Pride.

Posted by: Z

15 Responses to ““Symbols matter. Uniforms, flags, banners- even mascots. They’re like pieces of your heart that you can see…””

  1. southwellj Says:

    The iron never lies…

  2. We just watched Xmen 2 and Magneto broke out of jail because Mystic injected iron into the guards bloodstream. Put that in your pipe and smoke it

  3. What’s the bucket list playa? I wanna get initiated!

  4. Can you diiiiiig it?????

  5. Powerplant… I still vote for Powerplant somewhere in theses names.

  6. Glad I didn’t get that OCBC tattoo on my neck

  7. Love it Z! Chase it down coach, ur on to something. Don’t forget us softies though…A huge part of the positive change you’ve created in the community (I’d say 90%) is from making unfit people quite fit or fitter and happier than they’ve ever been (also serves to keep the lights on). Can’t say enough about our progammer, though sometimes it’s negative and obscene muttered under my breath while strapping into the erg.

    still soft in mind and body,

  8. Good stuff always happens when Coach comes raging back into town. Have you ever noticed the 12′ radius gravity free zone around him? It has a 12 foot radius and lasts a couple weeks so take advantage and hit those PR’s

  9. Iron Club…
    I. C…
    I See..
    Most have eyes, but can not see. Truly See…
    After being influenced by Coach Z, I See…
    I. C…
    Iron Club.

    Not a Haiku, but what were you expecting from a ‘dirtbag’?

    • It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.

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