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I had the July blog post written and ready to publish this morning. Reflecting on some of the reasons we lift, I tied together Bunkie Knudsen, of Pontiac Motor Company fame, hot rodding, the world in which we live, and picking up heavy stuff and putting it back down. I was satisfied with my finished product – it was going to be a fun read.

Here I am 1 July at 0200 with my eyes wide open up in the room of my hotel on Rhode Island Ave in the heart of DC – starting over. Bunkie will have to wait for another day. After 3 days of seeing some of the most riveting monuments mankind has produced I was reminded of a few things.

  • 56 Revolutionaries held beliefs so strongly and so passionately that they put on the line, literally, everything that they held dear. They had no precedent to sight, no past examples of success from which they could draw lessons, and no readymade road map to victory drawn for them. They were deep into uncharted waters with only their intellect and their guts to guide them. The options were sink or swim. Much to our sublime fortune they swam. Today, as result, we enjoy thereunto unknown freedoms and unbridled opportunity.

  • We are the reason there is hope in the world. This country is freedom’s beacon and untold numbers of mankind look to us as the light of righteousness when darkness descends. They do so with good reason. We saved the world from the evils of tyranny and fascism in its most dire hours, have freed the oppressed in every clime and place, and have blazed a path to independence for the rest of mankind to follow if they so choose.

  • In this country, for those willing to work opportunity abounds. Property rights, both physical and intellectual, unlike the rest of the world, are guaranteed in such a way that if one is willing to work their hands to the bone success will follow. Though many in this country are blind to it the rest of the world gets it. Nobody is trying to sneak across the Russian, Cuban, Iranian, Chinese, or Venezuelan boarder seeking ideological and financial freedom, are they? It is the monuments to our great leaders to which the rest of the world flocks. Not the other way around.

  • Visiting our Nation’s war memorials is an amazing reminder of how petty and insignificant the majority of our current societal tensions are.

What kind of people were our Founding Fathers? We know they were from every walk of life and of varying means. Some were large while others were of a more diminutive physical stature. Some were outspoken, others less so. Some were of an agrarian background and some had more intellectual leanings. From 26 years old to 70, battle hardened veterans to those yet tested by fire, theirs was quite the mix. Their ideas on self-governance were as varied and disparate as one can imagine. They were unified only by an absolute belief in their right to self-determinism and the fledgling promise of freedom.

They were the kind of people that were willing to sacrifice all.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Our Founding Fathers would be proud of the UNLEASHED, and those of like minds in gyms across our great nation. We follow in their tradition.

We relish hard work and never shy away from a challenge.

We share unbreakable bonds forged in the crucible of sweat and suffering.

We band together for causes greater than ourselves.

We work until the mission is accomplished.

We look to lift those around us when they need it most.

We do things the right way, at the right time, for the right reason.

We remain firm in our principals and core beliefs; stand as the rock against which all others must break.

We are willing to sacrifice to achieve our goals.

I say the UNLEASHED and our like-minded brethren are the direct descendants of our Founding Fathers, if not by blood then by spirit and conviction. Borne of the risk and hardships that they were willing to bear, we embrace the very essence of what they sought to establish when they declared independence and decided to rise against British rule. We are the embodiment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We have created a pluralistic society where all are free to work hard and reap the rewards of their own labor. Our weights and KB’s hate everybody equally. White, black, red, yellow, brown, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, male, female, gay, lesbian, straight. No matter the skin color, race, creed, religion, or political beliefs they will crush mercilessly those that don’t work hard. For those willing to work beyond what most are willing to give, they will reward endlessly.

We set goals and dare to achieve beyond what many once thought possible. From meager physical means we have become giants. What was once the purview of only the elite athlete, we now embrace with regularity.

We take care of each other and are stronger for the community that we have formed. Lending each other a physical, mental, and emotional hand has become the norm. Fingers are easily broken, but a fist is a powerful tool. Banded together tightly we have seen how easily a fist can endure almost any beating.

Does history make great people, or do great people make history? I couldn’t say. I know that in either case the UNLEASHED and our compatriots in the iron game are the ones that will rise to the occasion when the future calls, or chart a course when a new direction is needed. Enjoy your Independence Day and your hard earned freedom. Our Founding Fathers would be proud. And I’ll bet they would love to crush a WOD with us.


Semper Fi,

Coach Robby

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