The Iron Sacrifice: How CT Fletcher and Ronnie Coleman Sacrificed Everything For Greatness

Putting everything on the line for glory.

Sacrifice. It’s something that most humans are accustomed to throughout their existence. Whether that means sacrificing buying those new kicks to make sure you pay your rent or sacrificing friendships to achieve a particular business goal, we all perform some kind of sacrifice at one time or another, big and small alike.


Some sacrifices can have a short term effect, a sacrifice for a moment in time and nothing more. Other sacrifices are much more long lasting, the kind of set back that will stay with you for years to come. Some can haunt you for the rest of your days as you wonder to yourself why you made such a sacrifice in the first place. Dwelling on the past isn’t the answer, yet that scar still remains whether physically or mentally. For both CT Fletcher and Ronnie Coleman, both former world champions in their respective athletic endeavors, sacrifice has been something they have grown to understand, embrace, and live with as they’ve faced by physical and mental trials that would crush most individuals.

No pain, no gain is an adage that gets a praise and flack all at once. But when you’re competing in a sport, strength related or otherwise, you’re going to have to battle through pain, through anguish to achieve true greatness. These are sacrifices both CT Fletcher and Ronnie Coleman understood well when they were dominating their respective sports.

CT Fletcher was a world record holding powerlifter with the kind of grit and determination that is often imitated, but rarely duplicated. With his 1995 world record bench press at 650 Lbs, CT Fletcher proved to the masses that he was a special talent. His intense and constant training also yielded a strict curl record of 222 Lbs showing his multifaceted strength.

But like so many of us who are consumed with improvement, time proved to be one of Fletcher’s biggest hurdles. His diet suffered because of it, not having enough time to maintain a proper diet with juggling a full time job while pushing to achieve his dreams in powerlifting. His diet would eventually catch up to him as he’s suffered multiple heart related issues.

Though he faced adversity, CT Fletcher made the sacrifices for what he truly believed in. He pushed himself despite not having all the best tools at hand and was able to achieve his dream because of it. Not only was he able to become a multiple time world champion in powerlifting, but he has also become a symbol for what hard work and sacrifice are able to accomplish.

In a way, CT Fletcher’s journey mirrors that of eight time Olympia champion Ronnie Coleman. When masses dubbed Ronnie Coleman “The King” it wasn’t hyperbole. The bodybuilder was truly a myth, a legend while he was still in his prime, something only a few athletes can lay claim to. To be considered the best of the best at what you do for eight straight years is a truly impressive achievement, particularly in athletics.

The sacrifice Ronnie Coleman needed to lay out was made in flesh as he pushed his body to limits that no one thought was possible.

The training Ronnie Coleman put himself through too its toll on his body, yet despite that fact, through his immense sacrifice, he was able to achieve a feat that many dream of and less than few achieve. Can we truly argue with the results? Perhaps when you consider what it cost, perhaps you could.

But though both CT Fletcher and Ronnie Coleman have faced adversity, they both have an iron will, a strength that keeps them pushing forward. It’s that same strength that pushed them to be champions in the first place. While CT Fletcher recovers from recent heart transplant surgery, Ronnie Coleman is recovering from an operation of his own that will hopefully help him to walk without pain once more. But both are showing the kind of impressive mindset that brought them glory in their prime.

NO MATTER WHAT … #ISYMFS

A post shared by The Official C.T. Fletcher (@c.t.ali.fletcher) on

Trying my best to get back in shape after my last 2 surgeries. One in February and one in March to correct a broken screw in my back. The screw broke immediately after surgery and recovery room. The nurse told me to just rollover so that she could see my bandages. As soon as I rolled over I heard a loud pop. So loud that Susan my wife heard it clear across the room, it also popped again when I rolled back over onto my back. Now the screw that was fixed in March has broken again and I now need another surgery to fix it because there is so much pain again in my back. Of course this all happened before I came back to the gym. Working out had nothing to do with either screw breaking. These screws are just not made for an eight time Mr Olympia’s back or maybe not just my back

A post shared by Ronnie Coleman (@ronniecoleman8) on

Ronnie Coleman and CT Fletcher made the iron sacrifice, paid a steep price for achieving greatness. If you asked them both now, there should be no doubt that they wouldn’t trade in those experiences for anything. They reached the summit and found glory there. As they enter this next phase of their journeys, both CT Fletcher and Ronnie Coleman hope to duplicate their past success, each with their own new battle. Something tells me that they’ll be able to taste that same glory as they set out to conquer these new challenges.

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Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.

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