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Why We Lift

Hey there.

I know that sometimes sticking to your training program can be tough.

Sometimes life gets in the way and makes it hard to stay consistent.

Maybe you aren’t hitting PR’s.

Maybe you wonder why you even continue to lift.

Maybe, you’ve thought about giving up lifting in order to take up some other activity instead.

If that is the case, I’m going to share with you why I think you should hold the course, and keep putting the time in with the IRON.

I want to share with you what happened to me on Christmas Day

My family and I went to visit my folks a couple of towns over from where I live and when we came back home, it had begun to snow and stick to the roads pretty quickly.

As we came to the last hill that we have to climb before getting to the turn to go to our house, I felt the tires slide just a bit as I went around the slight corner. No problem though, I just lifted my foot off the accelerator and since we were going up a hill, the slide ended very quickly.

I continued about 1/8 of a mile and found out that someone else wasn’t so lucky. An SUV, very close to the same size as mine, had some how rolled over onto its side along the road. The tires that were up in the air, were still spinning, so I knew the accident had just happened.

I quickly moved over to the side of the road and left my family in the car. I began hustling down the hill toward the car and I saw a head pop up outside of it.

Are you OKAY?” I yelled to the guy.

NO!!!” he said.

I turned my hustle into an all-out sprint and as I neared him I could see that his head was covered in blood.

Is there anyone inside?” I asked him…


By this time I was right along the side of the car. The cut on the guy’s head was pretty severe and there was blood all over the place. I told him to sit down and cover his head and I would get everybody out.

There was a teen-aged boy inside the car and he handed me a toddler, who was extremely afraid. The image of his face, etched with sheer terror will be burned into my mind for as long as I live. I hope I never have to see that look in my kids’ faces.

“It’s going to be alright, little buddy!” I didn’t want to hand him off to his dad because I thought he would get even more scared when he saw how bad his dad was cut. Everything happened so fast, I don’t know what exactly I did with the poor little guy.

I helped the teenager out and I think he went and took care of the little boy.

Next, I looked inside and noticed that the driver was still in the front seat and her leg was caught under the steering wheel. I then noticed that I thought I knew this person. If it was who I thought it was, she and I had been in school together since first or second grade.

“Is that —–?” I asked the teen…


Now up until this point, I did not recognize any of the people in the car, so I was fairly calm. I actually knew exactly who the bloodied guy was, but it didn’t register for me until I saw the driver. That was when I started to panic, seeing a long-time friend caught in the car.

She was panicking a bit now and I kept calling her name and telling her who I was and that I was going to get her out.

Because she was stuck, I couldn’t reach her by just standing with my feet on the ground. I would have to hop up on top of the car in order to get to her, so I popped up there and told the teenager to hold onto my legs.

I was propped with my waist on the edge of the window and he was holding me down by my achilles tendon, so it felt like I was doing a sort of hyperextension / glute ham raise movement.

This got me close enough to her where we could see each other and communicate very well. She slowly shimmied around so that she could get her foot free and was able to position herself to get out of the car.

I had the teenager back away, I popped back down to the ground, and I had the lady put her arms up over my shoulders. I then wrapped my arms under hers and popped her up through the window. She had lost her shoes in the process, so I took off my coat and had her stand on it so her feet wouldn’t get saturated in the snow while I retrieved them for her.

She had been driving to meet her ex-husband to pick up her kids in order to visit her parents for Christmas Dinner. She was about 1/8 of a mile away from the meeting point, but the snow caused her SUV to fish tail and she said she was unable to correct it. She said the last thing she remembered seeing was a rock face coming at her and then the car was on its side.

What it looks like is that when she was headed toward the rock face, her tire caught a gigantic rut along the side of the road and dug in, lever-lifting the vehicle up vertically and then crashing it back down onto its side.

The gent with the gash on his head was taken to the hospital for treatment. His son, still very upset when I popped my head into the ambulance, also went along for the ride and to get checked out. My friend and the teen did not go to the hospital, saying they were feeling fine afterwards.

I must say the emergency personnel arrived on the scene very quickly and took charge of the situation in a very timely manner.

Ya know, in 1996, I met my buddy Smitty. Soon afterward, we were full time training partners.

I am damn glad that he made training seem so fun and rewarding back then. If he hadn’t I might not have stuck with it and been in the shape I am in today. Because of that I was able to help my friend and her family out when they needed it.

And THAT is why you should keep hitting the weights, even if you bomb out in competition or fail to qualify for that certification.

Someday somebody is going to need YOU.

They might need you to pull them out of a car.

They might need you to carry them out of a building.

It might be a friend.

It might be a stranger.

Or it might be your child.

And it will be up to you to be STRONG ENOUGH to get them out of there.

No matter what, keep getting to the gym. Keep putting in the hours, and keep getting stronger, because who knows when you might need to use it for something good.

I hope to hear soon from my friend how she, her fiance, and his son and brother are doing. I’ll keep you all posted.

All the best in your training.


Stronger Grip

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28 Responses to “Why We Lift”

  1. Dave DePew Says:

    You rock! Such a BST!!!

  2. Mighty Kat Says:

    Really like this, Jedd. Well done. And thanks.

  3. Samuel Johnson Says:

    Awesome story, Jedd. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Steve Says:

    Absolutely awesome Jedd, you the man! Mate there could not be a better reason to be strong, this post rocks!!!!

  5. Gregory Jimenez Says:

    This is why we train, You are inspirational Jedd. I wish you and your family and everybody a happy and safe christmas and a happy new year. Keep Training.

  6. Tom Says:

    For sure this is part of why I train. Bad things happen all the time and I think a man should be ready to deal with it.

  7. Todd Says:

    Nice, well-written post, Jedd. And it absolutely makes a good point. I’ve been slacking a little bit the last 2 weeks but was trying to psyche myself into a good heavy session tonight, this will make it easier. So Thanks!
    BTW, I’ve had a few situations over the years where I realized that being strong is definitely beneficial.
    Whether it was picking up my mom after she hurt her ankle or just helping my in-laws move their insanely heavy furniture for a LOOONG day, lifting definitely pays off in ‘real world’ situations. Plus, it’s nice to look good for your spouse (and vice versa); that can’t hurt things, either. 🙂

  8. gene pires Says:

    I started training regularly after me son was born. I made a promise to him to be healthy and a strong role model. Being strong to protect is also a good reason. thanks jedd.

    Just a word of caution though. One has to be real careful when getting people out of a car wreck due to the possibility of a broken spine. Due to adrenalin, not all victims will be able to recognize that they have a spine that is compromised. It could be damaged but the spinal cord is intact. When someone pulls out someone, that could be the action to tear the spinal cord. No one wants to do that to someone. So unless there is a serious hazard, getting people out should be a very controlled affair with assessment first. That is why those rescue guys have the “jaws of life” and other cutting tools to make the exit easy. It is all about the spine.

  9. Grip Strength Feats Says:


    You make a terrific point. I was so filled with adrenaline / scared / etc that I never thought of that. I will certainly keep it in mind if I am ever presented with the situation again.

    Thanks, everyone for the comments and support.


  10. Ben Edwards Says:

    Jedd, you are one of the most impressive guys I know. That is a great story and I’m glad (as the family is) that you were there on that day. I love reading stories like this. And if I ever need motivation to train I’ll read it again! Hope you don’t mind if I post this story on my blog and possibly on my Facebook. Or at least the link to it on both. Take care man.


  11. Must Read: Jedd Johnson – Christmas Day Great Samaritan « Goal Oriented Training Blog Says:

    […] […]

  12. Kevin C Says:

    Good story Jedd. Good job

  13. Grip Strength Training Says:


    Thanks bro. Still waiting to hear how everybody is doing.

    Thanks for posting the link around.

    Can’t wait to train this afternoon, it is going to be awesome.


  14. Dan Cenidoza Says:

    Wow, great story! Glad you were able to help these people. I’m sure they are thankful and your family proud of you.

  15. Thomas Says:

    Hi Jedd,

    There was the right man, to the right time on the right place.
    Thats great, not everyone has that luck.
    Maybe motivated through this, you will go and visite a first responder course 😉 What do you think about this?
    Perhaps with Smitty and the other Diesel guys togehter.

    Like gene pires was saying, it always depends on the situation, what to do. In this case i think you did everything right. Thats great Jedd!!
    One thing you should keep in mind is to always keep the spine under extension, never press the spine together, that could be bad if there is something with the spine.

    Thats one of the things that is showed in a first responder course here in Austria 😉 Also what to do if someone has a deep cut, the heart stopped and so on 😉

    I wish you, your family and the guys from Diesel a happy new year.

  16. Grip Sport Says:

    I actually have a great deal of First Responder Training. When I worked at my plant I was on the Emergency Response Team. My friend was moving her entire body all over the place quite vigorously when I looked into the car.

    Thanks for posting. Much appreciated.


  17. Grip Strength Says:

    Thanks Dan have a great day.

  18. Barry Gibson Says:

    Great post Jedd!!! What better reason to train!!!

  19. Thomas Says:

    Me again. 😉

    Thats great, that you are also well trained for first response. There are too much people out there who don´t know about those things and are afraid to help because they are afraid to do something wrong.
    You are a man of action, not only in your training, thats great!!

    One thing i forgot to write is that i´m not only training because i love it and i´m addicted to it. I´m also training because i´m a volunteer at the fire department (nearly all of your fire departments in austria are run by volunteers)

    Have a great day 🙂

  20. Rick Walker Says:

    Great read Jedd…the whole time I am reading it this morning I am shaking my head and saying, “Of course this would happen to Jedder!” Your “luck” is crazy…

    Why I train is simple: I want to make it home every night to my wife and 4 kids. It used to be about vain shit…now that I have 2 awesome baby boys it is all about survival. I want to watch them grow up to be men!

    Keep at it Jedd!


  21. Grip Sport Says:

    Thanks Rick. Keep up the good work.


  22. Grip Strength Training Says:

    Thanks Barry! Have a great day.

  23. Grip Strength Feats Says:

    Thanks again Thomas


  24. Mike Says:

    Wow great fucking job man! I’m choked up reading it. Way to be strong……

    I’m proud to be your friend.


  25. Nail Bending Says:

    Thanks bro. All are doing well from what I have heard, so that is the most important thing.


  26. Jerry Shreck Says:

    Great job Jedd! I am glad to hear that everyone turned out to be OK!

  27. nicholas liu Says:

    awesome story, u rock

  28. acie Says:

    Good job! very inspiring story!

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