The greatest lesson that I’ve learned about Olympic weightlifting is that FAILURE is acceptable, if not encouraged.

How do you know in lifting that you’ve met your maximal potential if you don’t miss a clean, or bail on a back squat, or need a spot on the bench? These moments of failure lead to our greatest success because it forces us back to the drawing board to find ways to improve.

It is during these times we focus on the variable we can control in hopes that those misses, those failures, eventually become successful lifts.

What makes these lifts so special, is ones understanding of the hard work it takes to finally make those PR’s. The early morning trainings, the ones at home when nobody is watching. Day in and day out without waiver.

Early on in my life, I figured out someone special about weight training, and that is exercise is a microcosm of the real world. Life is hard. It has setbacks. There are mistakes and failures we make all the time. Those that succeed in life are those that don’t give up, they go back to the drawing boards. Work on themselves. Fight through the resistance. They accept nothing but the best.

Coincidentally I have found that when I start to get soft on my training, I begin to get soft on life. I begin to lose passion, ambition, and happiness for the things that once brought me pleasure.

Which is why I will never ever ever stop training. – Mario Ashley