I get asked often why Yashi and I do what we do. Obviously, it’s not for the money, so here goes. When I was 14, I got my first taste of Weightlifting from my coach, who opened his home gym to me. I was a sophomore in high school, and was being home-schooled that year. I had been an athlete my whole life leading up to that point, so my parents had found my coach, Jerry Arline, Sr. as a way for me to remain active. My father was the pastor of our small town Southern Baptist church, where Coach was a member. I consider myself extremely blessed to have been introduced to my coach, and learn how to lift at such a young age. This was back in the early 90s, when weightlifting was an even more obscure sport than it is now, and there was literally nowhere in driving distance of our small South Florida town of Pahokee, FL where anyone could train these lifts. Were it not for these circumstances, and the generosity and passion for the sport that Coach shared, you would not be reading this today.
At that time, the Olympic lifts were just part of normal, everyday physical training. Much of the training you see now that has been so heavily popularized, such as the high intensity, and interval type training you see, were part of what we did on a daily basis. I learned so much from Coach Arline, that I still apply to what we do here today. We worked on Weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, martial arts, speed training, agility work, plyometrics, endurance, track and field, etc. My whole purpose for all these types of training was to get bigger, stronger, and faster for football and basketball, since I would be returning to high school the following year. As a 5’5”, 115lb kid, I needed all the help I could get.
As I mentioned, the Olympic lifts were really nothing special at that time. Just part of our normal training, and I did not even know that it was a sport. It wasn’t until after my senior year in high school, that I discovered the greatest sport in the world. For me, personally, there is no greater individual sport than weightlifting. I believe it is the truest test of strength, speed, power, and athleticism. I was a decent lifter, and have had a decent career. Now I get to share my passion for weightlifting and athletic performance with those that want to have the same. All I want for these athletes is success. I want them all to be better than I could have ever hoped to be.
Every day, I get to spend the entire day with people of all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and desires. All of them with the same general focus, to get stronger, faster, and more powerful. Some of them just for themselves, and some of them with the dream of attaining the highest levels of sport. Regardless, they all share the same passions I have, and Yashi and I get to help them on their journey. One person in my life made such a difference that it literally shaped my entire life and made such a positive impact on who I am. I now have the opportunity to, hopefully, do the same for someone else.
Like I said, it’s not for the money, haha. Anyone that has spent time around weightlifting knows there is no money to be had. I do have a wife and 3 boys to feed, so I do have to charge dues to pay the bills. The biggest return I get out of this is watching other people develop the same passions I have, develop unmatched self-confidence, laugh/cry/bleed with training partners, forge relationships that will last a lifetime, and hopefully be that one person to someone someday. I love this sport, I love my athletes, and you are all family to me. This is why we do what we do, and we have the greatest job on the planet.
Dan Rose - Harrisburg Weightlifting Club