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2016: Could not pick up socks 2017: Competed in my first powerlifting competition

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by ThanksToSarno, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. ThanksToSarno

    ThanksToSarno Peer Supporter

    I am grateful to report that last month, I competed in my first powerlifting competition. If you would of told me this would happen a year ago i would of laughed in your face and told you it is literally impossible

    I had minor back pain my entire adult life that always seemed to come and go for no reason. Around 2013 to 2016 it started to get progressively worse to the point i started to research on the internet and seek medical help. I had ceased all physical activity besides some light cardio and was doing PT every week for over a year. The medical diagnosis was damning: Hernaited discs, DDD and some other very scary diagnosis that i have since forgot.

    They convinced me something was wrong, very wrong and that I was fragile. The worst part is i didn't even know what i had done to deserve this. "Oh maybe you lifted too much when you were younger" or "Its probably from sitting all day". Seems everyone had their own theory that they just randomly would pick that could make some logical sense.

    I had given up most of the things i loved, stopped traveling and always had to baby myself. I used my back as an excuse to get out of many things. My character begin to change as well. I was becoming more timid and afraid.

    Early 2016 I was really becoming frustrated. I had grown sick and tired of living in a cage. I knew something had to change. I'm a young man 32 years of age and i refused to believe this was my future.

    I began to flirt with the idea of surgery and pills as the next step.

    Luckily, I never made it that far before reading Dr Sarnos book in around Feb or March of 2016. I had actually known about the book for about a year before reading it. I just couldn't believe that reading a book could heal back pain. It took me quite a while to come around to the idea.

    That started the journey. I would sit in a coffee shops for hours and read and journal every idea in the book.

    I took Sarnos advice to heart.

    I ceased all PT and begain excersing again.

    I started slow. Real slow. I gradually built courage and started to see what i read in the book was true.

    I've lived this journey every day since going further. Inch by inch. Centimeter by centimeter

    Finally, I'm living my dream of powerlifting. Here is a video of my first meet, I deadlifted 385lbs, Squated 292lbs and benched 220lbs:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BbbFCWCFZz4/?taken-by=brandonbb2323 (Instagram post by brandon hall • Nov 13, 2017 at 5:08am UTC)

    This is only the beggining of my powerlifting journey, I plan on going much further.

    All thanks to Dr. John Sarno. I owe you my life. I'm sad you passed away and i never got a chance to shake your hand, but you have changed the world in the most meaningful way.

    There is a 0% chance i would be doing this if it were not for your work.

    I should also add I consider TMS one of my greatest gifts. Its forced me to look at life in an entirely different way.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi ThanksToSarno,
    Our backs: the strongest "bone" in the body. Living proof. Thanks for posting this, including incredible video. Deadlifting 385 pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! May your journey deepen and take you where you want to go!
    plum and ThanksToSarno like this.
  3. Benjiro

    Benjiro Peer Supporter

    Awesome man, I went from a similar state of barely being able to support my head to now lifting heavy weights regularly. I never thought this was possible due to weak medicine until someone (Dr. Sarno) convinced me otherwise. Stay swole and here’s to an incredible 2018.
    ThanksToSarno likes this.
  4. ThanksToSarno

    ThanksToSarno Peer Supporter

    Thanks man, 500lb deadlift is on the radar , hopefully within the next few years
  5. bodybuilder123

    bodybuilder123 Newcomer

    Awesome story! Love to see other lifters with TMS have success!
    ThanksToSarno likes this.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    This statement really intrigued me and made me contemplate the very slow progress being made towards the integration of the mind-body connection in traditional medicine. There IS progress, but Dr Sarno's work still has the ability to make that connection instantly, for so many people. Without him, I don't have a clue where I would have been by now.

    My emphasis. This is THE key to success! Congratulations for getting it :joyful:
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
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  7. ThanksToSarno

    ThanksToSarno Peer Supporter

    Theres no money in it:)

    Cost 13$ for a book on amazon vs potential hundreds of thousands in my lifetime to the medical industry.

    Its a very interesting point Jan that i think about too. I often wonder where this "mental virus" originated from and how it has such a strong hold over society. Collectively, I feel like this society is being conditioned to believe it's much weaker and dependent than it is.

    I'm surprised how many middle aged men i talked to that have back pain and they all believe that they are permanently messed up. It's always a similar story and personality type. Successful, family, high stress lifestyle or job, probably suppressed emotions for years.

    They believe there pain is caused by (Insert story here) and it will never get better.

    I've noticed too that they're riddled with different superstitions and dire warnings that they want to share with people. Like don't twist this way, don't sit too long, don't stand too long, don't pickup stuff like this, don't do this exercise but do this instead, don't participate in this activity after a certain age and bla bla bla. The funny thing is that it's all made up stories. Either they made it up or someone else did and shared the story to them. This is part of how and why the virus spreads.

    It's very interesting now as an outsider looking in. But i remember years ago such interactions would cause fear and stress so i can empathize.

    Also, i go back and forth with should i share my story with them or not. I will mention Sarno but won't go too much into it. I believe this is something you have to be ready to accept and live.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
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  8. ThanksToSarno

    ThanksToSarno Peer Supporter

    Continuing to make progress, recentley hit a 430lb deadlift:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bjal4HZgyOL/?taken-by=brandonbb2323 (brandon hall on Instagram: “First video is 405lbs second is 430lbs. Very happy after amediocre squat session. Couldn't do it without @jasonmanenkoff165 and his…”)

    I consider my back to be one of my strongest body parts now. The "old me" seems like a lifetime ago, even though it was as recent as 2016.

    Thanks again Dr Sarno, for having the courage to think outside of the box. The only reason I am here is because of your book.

    TMS has been such an eye opening experience for the good and is now going much deeper.
  9. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member


    Isn't it funny that we don't sit our toddlers down and have a heart to heart talk about the right way to run, jump, lift and bend? They learn balance and lift what they can. They don't hurt their backs when something is heavy, they either lift it or know they have to get stronger. My little cousin is 5 and he can almost pick me up, well I promise you, he practices all the time because he believes he will be able to do it soon!

    Having said that, I know many of us TMSers began to feel with our bodies at a very young age. I'm hoping we can help the kids in our lives sooner than later :)

    ThanksToSarno, Trellis and JanAtheCPA like this.
  10. ThanksToSarno

    ThanksToSarno Peer Supporter

    I'm happy to report I'm 99.9% better at this point.

    My TMS is a complete non issue in my life now and something i rarely even think about , other than how incredible it was that the answer was in my mind the whole time.

    I found a video from the beginning of my TMS journey that i didn't think I'd share (Its a bit goofy watching it :D). This video was taken about 6 months after i finished reading John Sarno's book in 2016. The first few months after reading i returned to light weights and dumbbells. I still didn't think I'd ever do big compound lifts like the squat or deadlift again. It was hard to imagine since picking up my clothes presented a challenge at times.

    But i remember it dawned on me one day. If what Sarno was saying was true( and i knew it was i took this book to heart), then I had no reason not to squat or deadlift. In fact I HAD to squat and deadlift (proof not promises).

    So i started back slow, first just the bar. a few weeks later, up to 65lbs and so on.

    This video was with 100lbs. You can see how deliberate and unsure i still was. I set the bar on blocks because i still didnt want to bend all the way down. But it was such an intergral part of the process. I was building my confidence and faith:

    In my most recent power meet I hit an all time Personal Best 452lb Deadlift. This was just 2 short years later.

    It can be done. It just takes time, persistence and faith.

    Thanks again John Sarno .
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    Saman, cdub, Lizzy and 1 other person like this.
  11. ash86

    ash86 Peer Supporter

    You are awesome! I think its pretty incredible that you still come back on here and give everyone encouragement and hope. Thank you!
    ThanksToSarno and cdub like this.
  12. ThanksToSarno

    ThanksToSarno Peer Supporter

    Thanks Ash I appreciate that.

    My back was the biggest concern and source of negative emotion in my life for YEARS. Now, the only time i think about it is when i think about how lucky I was to go through this experience. Its completely shifted my perspective on life. Every time i think something is impossible in my life, i think back to my TMS journey and realize its possible. It's been my biggest blessing of my adult life, as crazy as that sounds because back then i thought it was a curse!

    Anyway i was walking the other day and thinking about why i got such great results from this book. I thought of about ten things i did that weren't in the book and aren't required, but I'm sure played a role in my healing. I hope some members here will find it helpful

    #1 Environment while reading and digesting Sarno's Words
    The first time i cracked open Healing Back Pain it was in my favorite coffee shop in the city. I had been dealing with TMS for years and this book was my last shot before seriously looking at the surgery route as had been suggested by one medical professional who looked at my MRI results.

    I sat down with my favorite Iced Green Tea drink and began to read. The pleasant mix of being out of the apartment, caffeine, dull sounds of others whispering, talking and laughing, and the smell of fresh ground coffee beans helped to quickly put me into a great state of mind. Sarno's words felt almost palpable like the were jumping off the page. I instantly took them to heart and knew what he had written was true.

    I would sit in this coffee shop and hours would pass as i would read and write the book almost verbatim into my notebook.

    Then, when it was time to go, I'd grab another green tea for my walk home. I'd would sometimes walk an hour or more and brainstorm about all the ways TMS applied to my life.

    I didn't plan it like this,but i could FEEL his words after going through this process. I KNEW what he was saying was true.I do not believe i could of replicated this feeling or the results if i just read this book in bed, or even around my apartment. I needed to get into this state of mind to recieve his words
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
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  13. Saman

    Saman Newcomer

    Amazing story of success bro !! I cant wait to read the book
    ThanksToSarno likes this.
  14. setzer

    setzer New Member

    I feel this deeply, your statement chokes me up. I also wish I could shake his hand and give him the praise he deserved.

    Everytime I get over a TMS incident, its always always a blessing in disguise.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  15. Mitch

    Mitch Peer Supporter

    Thank you for ur story, I have a similar story but at the moment am having a small relapse and needed to read a story like yours. Ur story gave me reassure I so needed at the moment.

  16. ThanksToSarno

    ThanksToSarno Peer Supporter

    One of these days I'm going to visit his grave to pay my respect.
    TMS is a part of you and will never be "gone".

    It's important to remind yourself that TMS is not your enemy it is your friend.I would challenge the language you use with yourself- "relaspe" has a negative connotation, which means your may still have fear over your pain and there is some resistance going on in your mind.

    It still speaks to me from time to time as well. Only difference is now i know what it is . I smile and greet my old friend. I listen to it. What is it trying to tell me? 10/10 its something thats been building up in my mind or life that needs to be dealt with. Its an opportunity to grow stronger.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  17. Iwilldeadlift

    Iwilldeadlift New Member

    Thx so much for sharing. I m in same situation you were and after reading the book im convinced its emotional based too. I used to be in super shape and be super athletic now... well i still go to the gym but i feel i ve to stretch all the time...

    Whats your routine at the gym? Do you stretch before? After? Never?

    Im tempted to stop stretching completely as it seems to go against the tms.

    Would like to hear more about your story and your journaling

    You are an inspiration
  18. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    The key phrase is "all the time". This indicates an unhealthy obsession with stretching. I'll tell you what my trainer recommends, which is a 5 minute warmup with aerobics only (treadmill, bike, elliptical) and 5 or 10 minutes of stretching after, but only for areas that really challenged me during the workout, for instance if she really worked my glutes. But sometimes I don't stretch at all.
    ThanksToSarno likes this.
  19. ThanksToSarno

    ThanksToSarno Peer Supporter

    Hi Iwilldeadlift, Thanks for the kind words. Based on your username I'd say we had very similar goals when starting on the TMS journey. To answer some of your questions:

    Stretching- After reading the book I knew I had to become a competitive athlete again. Stretching was one of the first rabbit holes i jumped down. I assumed my lack of flexibility and mobility was caused by not stretching, so i scoured youtube and fitness blogs for stretching routines and began to stretch an hour a day before weight training for close to a year!! It was a marginal help at best, and looking back it was not necessary.

    My take on it is now this- my lack of flexibility and mobility was not caused by "tight muscles" per se, it was a result of being weak and afraid to move my body. So my suggestion would be to focus on getting strong , and stretch when and if you feel like it. A warmup before training is important- but it shouldn’t take that long and definitely not something to overthink. Do what feels good and gets your mind and body primed to train. I like foam rolling for 5-10 minutes, you're able to cover a large surface area quick and efficiently, follow it up with some stretches that feel good to you and you enjoy- there are no rules here. Stretching can almost become a superstition, especially to those of us who have TMS and tend to overanalyze everything.

    Lately I've been stretching more than ever- but only because i've grown to really enjoy it, and it aids in increasing athletic potential. I think developing the strength in my body allowed me to become flexible and bend and twist into positions i never could. I might static stretch before a training session, afterwards, or if I'm just sitting around. Once again- there are no rules.

    Routine- I've been training mostly as a powerlifter the past 2 years so my routine is based around the squat, deadlift and bench press.

    The most impactful part of my journey has been hiring a coach/trainer. I was about a year in after reading the book when i found my coach. I was doing ok, but plateauing as far as making strength gains. I still had excuses deeply embedded in my brain i wasn't even aware of. That all changed when i met my coach.

    I'll never forget our first session. He wanted me to do barbell back squats(I hadnt been doing these yet). There was only 95lbs on the bar and i gave him the typical excuses of why i cant do squats (muscular imbalances, mobility issues, etc etc.) He looks me dead in the eye and says "are you able to squat down to take a s***", I say "of course" "Well then you're able to squat, now lets go". That was a lightbulb moment for me that would have never happened by myself. He cut through every story i had made up in my head with one sentence.

    If you're serious about deadlifting, i think finding a coach who competes or coaches competitors is a game changer. The best money I've ever spent.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  20. Trellis

    Trellis New Member

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