In his powerlifting career, Jefferson High School alum Tim "T" Moon has won so often that sometimes he makes it look easy.
Moon — who graduated from Jefferson in 1982 — himself will tell you that it is not, but his latest triumph in one of the world's most prestigious events, was definitely not in the "easy" column.
Moon, a multi-time National and World Champion and National and World record holder, overcame a nagging shoulder problem and two accidents to win his fourth-straight Mr. Olympia benchpress title in Las Vegas on Sept. 13. He picked up yet another Best Lifter Award along the way.
The 55-year old Master's lifter successfully pressed 342.5 kilograms/755.08 pounds to take home the championship, despite having been hospitalized until early in the morning on the day of the meet.
"I've always been competitive, even as a child," Moon said. "Most people's athletic adventures are usually behind them by the age of 45 but little did I know I was just taking it to the next level when I started a new friendship with (IronDawg teammate) R. Garry Glenn, and that it would lead me down a new path in my life."
"First off, I consider myself to be very blessed and I take nothing for granted," Moon continued. "I am asked all the time, 'When will you quit this insanity of laying under ridiculous amounts of weight?' Every year I do wonder myself if this will be my last. This year has been no different."
Moon said this year's Mr. Olympia was his first competition of 2019 due to shoulder tendinitis from a fall he suffered in the spring. He had been training around this soreness for months, and even considered not going because of the pain. Two weeks before the competition, he had what seemed to be another setback, falling down his basement stairs and crashing through a wall at the bottom of the stairs.
Moon feared he’d have to withdraw, but made the trip to Las Vegas anyway. He weighed in on Thursday at the convention center at 299 pounds, which is nine pounds below his weight class limit but heavy for him individually. After that, his traveling companion and training partner, Landon Jameson, and he got an Uber to go back to their hotel and were rear-ended on the drive back.
"'Geez' I thought, 'Here's another set back.' It hurt my neck and my back,’ Moon said. “I was transported in an ambulance to get checked out. I lay there at the hospital reflecting on what I had already been through in this preparation for the competition only to get more frustrated.”
Moon wondered if he’d be able to compete or be released in time to do so.
But imaging showed no fractures. The medical personnel explained to Moon that he would be sore for days, and he was told to follow up with his doctors at home. They finally released him at 2 a.m.
"My psyche had been dealt a heavy blow, not to mention my body," Moon exclaimed. "But if you know me, my mama always said I'm hard-headed and I was not going to be denied one more opportunity to compete at Mr. Olympia. I came this far and I'm here, so let's get it done."
He got it done indeed and on Friday the 13th at that.
At the end of the day Moon was awarded “Best Lifter," with the highest score in the meet, determined among all the lifters by body weight and amount lifted in a formula.
After that, Moon left the lights of Vegas to go home to sit on their front porch "with my beautiful wife, drink some coffee and relax on her birthday. Life is truly a blessing. God has made me strong."