I just switched to a new gym. I wanted to get out of the mainstream gym atmosphere, so I joined a somewhat hardcore gym that a bunch of powerlifters frequent. I am 6'0" 220 lbs at about 15% body fat (not huge by any means, but bigger than most guys). I was the smallest guy there easily. I was intimidated as hell, but this is why I joined...I wanted to be around When I walked in met a powerlifter and struck up conversation with him. I told him that I was looking to start powerlifting and wanted to know if i could watch them and get a few pointers. Of course he said yes. I went over to a spot out of the way to go stretch and foam roll (still feeling very very very tiny).
A great big tatted up dude poited at me and waved me over to the squat rack where everyone was huddled around. He wanted me to watch the guy who was about to squat. It was a guy who I later learned was Henry Thompson. He first squatted 950 for a double, then squatted 1000 for a double. I was obviously in awe.
After this, the first guy I met introduced me to the rest of the group. I was scheduled to deadlift today...I was figuring out my max to begin 5/3/1. I got some pointers, but overall they were very pleased with my form (thanks to T-Nation). I managed set a big PR for me (425). I went and some assistance work instead of going home mainly because I was so excited by all the pieces of equipment. What ultiately made my day was they invited me to come workout with them sunday morning (you bet your ass I'll be there!)
The whole time I kept thinking of Tates article, "The education of a Powerlifter and his quote "You can never be what you're in awe of".
I was surprised at just how friendly and helpful these guys were. From prior experence, the big guys in the gyms I'd been to were bodybuilders nd they always kept to themselves and weren't very personable....kinda condescending even.
That being said, (without sounding too gay) I know I need to get my mindset in order and know that if I work very hard for a long time I can one day be like the guys I met tonight.