Meet Aaron, BlackBox’s newest coach!
Growing up in a small town doesn’t leave kids with many options. Growing up the younger and smaller of two boys, doesn’t make the path any easier. My athletic abilities were discovered early on. I was small, but I was fast and strong. Naturally competitive, I was constantly trying to be better than my brother. My senior year of high school my mom fell ill with leukemia. Giving up my chances to compete at schools I dreamed of attending, I stayed close to home and walked on to the Sam Houston State track and field team. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. As a freshman walk-on, I earned a scholarship, and helped build one of the best programs in the Southland Conference.
When I was 12 years-old, I sustained a back injury on a trampoline. After years of pounding and abuse, I was forced to stop running at the end of my junior season. Feeling lost, without something I had done for 16 years, I looked for new athletic avenues. I moved around a bit after college. When my daughter was on the way, I moved back to College Station for a more stable job in order to provide. Bored, and trying to stay active, I began lifting. Remembering how much fun I had learning to clean in college, I began to flirt with Olympic weightlifting. Roughly at first I taught myself the ins and outs of the movements. My first competition was a disaster but I was determined. Being an Olympic lifter at a traditional gym like Gold’s is unusual to say the least. From time to time, I would have someone ask if I could teach them. To my surprise, I loved coaching.
After a personal rough patch, including a bout with viral meningitis, I reinjured my back. In March of 2016, I was told I would never lift again. This also meant that I would no longer be able to do other things I love, like playing with my daughter or bow hunting. To me, this was unacceptable news. On August 29th, 2016 I underwent an anterior/posterior spinal fusion at the L5-S1. After 20 years I was finally going to know what fixed felt like. Since then it has been a slow, patient road of recovery, but I am once again lifting, doing what I love, and most importantly, living pain-free.
I have always wanted to coach, but prior to my surgery was timid to throw myself into it. Now that I am living the life I have always wanted to, I want to use my experiences and past struggles to help other people grow and be the best person/athlete/lifter they want to be.
Don’t forget, the clean competition is this weekend, and there are still spots available. Don’t miss out, it’s going to be a blast!