4 years ago today, the Harrisburg Weightlifting Club was conceived. Yashi and I started the journey a few months prior to that by teaching other coaches the proper techniques of the Olympic lifts, the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. Soon after, we formed the HWC, bought some equipment, and rented space inside a local facility to begin a Youth Athletic Performance program, which is now called Rose Performance Training.
We started with 0 members, and set our sights on the college athlete market. What came to us was not college athletes, but rather an elementary school boy, and a middle school boy who were brothers(the oldest brother is a rising senior, and as of the date of this blog, attending the US Coast Guard Academy for admissions and football tryouts).
Soon after the brothers started with us, we were joined by our longest tenured athlete, and possibly the sassiest little girl I have met in my entire life, who was 11 at the time (1 month ago she won her first weightlifting National Championship). She will soon be 15, and is getting better every day.
Fast forward the 4 years, and we have seen some amazing things from our athletes. We’ve seen them try out for, and make prospective teams. We’ve seen one win the MLB NL Rookie of the Year award (as well as many other MLB awards). We’ve seen academic and athletic scholarships awarded. We’ve seen multiple collegiate athletic commitment letters be signed. We’ve seen one sign a UFC contract. Our weightlifting team has won multiple State Championships, a Master’s World Championship, 17 National Medals (8 of those Gold), and 3 individual National Championships. We’ve seen our own Coach Yashi become the ONLY female National coach in the state of North Carolina.
We’ve seen confidence grow in young kids. We’ve seen hurdle after hurdle overcome. We’ve seen personal best after personal best both in the gym, and on the athletic field. We’ve seen character grow, and relationships forged in people from all walks of life. We’ve seen kids graduate high school with honors, we’ve attended college graduations. We’ve attended weddings and seen new relationships start right inside the gym. We’ve developed and strengthened relationships with gyms, coaches, and teams across the entire country. We’ve seen the impact that my coach, Jerry Arline, Sr (the number 1 reason this gym exists) be passed through to me, and in to some of our lifters that are now coaches, and are passing it down now to their own athletes. Our gym has grown exponentially. We are making plans to expand again for the 4th time in 4 years.
We’ve seen failures, had our shoulders cried on many times, and shed a lot of our own tears. We’ve seen teams not made, shots missed, errors made, bomb outs at Weightlifting competitions, frustration mounting, and confidence shaken. We’ve also seen those failures and frustrations erased after hard work and dedication. The beautiful thing about the type of training in this gym is that it is centered on Weightlifting, a sport that can teach you so much about life. Life is not always sunshine and rainbows. It is a roller coaster full of hard work, many failures, and some success. Weightlifting teaches you how to keep picking yourself back up after so many failed attempts. It teaches you to keep trying until you get it. It teaches you how satisfying something can be after you have worked so hard to achieve it. It gives you both physical and mental toughness unlike any other sport I have been involved with.
We have seen so much success from our athletes here. What is it that all these people have in common that has made them so successful? Good, old-fashioned hard work and determination. Our gym is not big and fancy. We do not have all the bells and whistles and gimmicks. We do not have what a lot of the bigger, shinier facilities have. What we do have is a group of the hardest working, most dedicated people you could ever meet. All held together by the bond of love for the barbell, and the deepest seated desire to succeed.
If you have that same desire, and are willing to work hard, we want to do everything we can to help those desires become realities. Whether it is to make the Varsity team, lose a few pounds, get stronger, get that college scholarship, or whatever the case may be, we want to help you make it happen. I can’t wait to see what the next 4 years has in store for everyone here.