These days, the component of my olympic lifts that is getting the most focus (because it requires the most urgent fine-tuning) is the first pull. During the early years of my lifting practice I definitely picked up the very common “grip it and rip it” habit – and it makes sense why we do that, because when you’re worried about how to get this heavy bar over your head, you don’t feel like there’s a lot of time to waste and a zealous start feels very important, right? It’s another time when I see the lifts as an excellent metaphor for any task – and life in general. Balance is key in all phases, but in the beginning the other essentials are focused tension, and patience. The latter is especially crucial, and hard both inside and outside the gym for so many of us. My takeaway at the beginning of this new year is to be dedicated to a good first pull – grip and rip it (or a plethora of aggressive “new me!” style resolutions) will only reduce power in the later phases, so: deep breath, proper setup, and focus!