John is 50 years old and is a Master’s lifter in the 220 lb weight class. John began his lifting career at Purdue University in the early 80’s at 148 and then on to 165 lbs. Following college he did not competitively lift for over 20 years. His first meet back was the 2005 Ohio State Championships where he won the M1 title at 181 lbs. He then went on to lift in the 198’s and now has settled into the 220’s.
After the 2010 BGL and the 2010 Master’s Nationals John had a set back as he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Following an operation in early November and following his prescribed treatment, John has been given the “all clear”. He still receives CT scans regularly to make sure the cancer does not come back. Determined to not let cancer hold him back he set his sights on the 2011 Battle of the Great Lakes as his comeback meet after his battle of his own. John wanted to prove to himself that not only could he compete but he could lift at a National level. John entered the meet in the master’s and open divisions in the raw competition. He wanted to show that his illness was not going to win over his determination and fight. John not only won his weight class as a Master but won the open class as well and was named the meet’s best raw lifter. He also broke the M2 Raw American record in the bench at the meet as well.
John used his “set back” to motivate him to train even harder and prove that he could get back up after being knocked down and be even stronger. His advice is to stay focused on the positives. Since his battle, he not only enjoys lifting even more but his family and friends too. John says “it not about being knocked down but about what you do when you get back up”.