Life Lessons from My Father

One of the special presentations at the 2022 SWIS Convention was Krystal Poliquin’s tribute to her father, Charles R. Poliquin.

Krystal traveled the world with her father while he gave seminars and trained Olympic and professional athletes. She experienced his love of teaching first-hand and enjoyed many dinners hearing their stories along with those of her father.

Krystal shared her father’s love of sports, participating in karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, volleyball, and track. As a sprinter, she competed in the state finals for three years. She did countless squats and pull-ups along the way and learned that the time spent in a gym should be devoted to getting stronger, not making friends.

In this brief presentation, Krystal shared some passages from the Strength Sensei’s daily journals and grateful logs. Here is how he described the grateful log: “Before you go to bed, write down at least 10 things you are grateful for. Every sentence should begin with either “I am grateful for…” or “Thank you for….” This simple practice is very calming for the mind, helps you look at the world in a positive light, and prevents your mind from racing all night.”

Krystal Poliquin sharing passages from her father’s journals.

The following is a journal entry dedicated to Sensei Web Corcoran, the karate instructor who helped Charles R. Poliquin become the second-youngest black belt in Canada. One Saturday morning, the future Strength Sensei walked to the gym for his lesson – he walked because a snowstorm prevented the buses from running. When he arrived, he was surprised to discover that he was the only student. Corcoran told him the class was canceled because of the storm, but he could give him a ride home after he finished lifting weights. The young student asked if he could lift with him. “And that was the start of my wonderful love affair with the field of strength training.”

Here is one of Charles’ R. Poliquin’s journal entries about Sensei Web Corcoran:

“I am grateful to Web for coming into my life because:

  • He taught that weight training does not make you slower. Now everybody knows that, but not in 1973. He did not give a hoot about what other coaches were saying. He taught me, “you want to hit harder, lift weights.”
  • His teaching was passed many times; it has manifested itself in athletes like World [and future Olympic] Shotput champion Adam Nelson, who is probably the shortest World champion ever.
  • He taught me to be tough with athletes but fair.
  • He taught me the value of focus, the value of repetition, and the value of mastering the basics.

Web, thank you for showing me the way I had to take in life. For all the success I have ever had with athletes, I am forever grateful for showing me the ‘Do.’”

Krystal at the 2022 SWIS Convention with two Iron Game legends, Ed Coan (left) and Bill Kazmaier.

Those in attendance would agree that Krystal Poliquin’s emotional and thought-provoking tribute to her father was unquestionably a highlight of the 2022 SWIS Convention. If you couldn’t attend, pick up a copy of the video presentation and rediscover why Charles R. Poliquin is a strength coaching legend. (TSS)

[Krystal Poliquin’s complete video presentation at the 2022 SWIS Convention can be purchased at]

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