Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ATC Throwdown II - 2013 edition

I've linked a few pictures posted by others to Facebook, credit due mostly to Steve Burroughs, and to a grainy self-video of my set from the meet.

Cyrus Peterson and Advanced Training Concepts hosted the ATC Throwdown II on Saturday, a successful meet by many measures. It was well-attended and festive. There were attempts made at CMS, MS, and MSWC by several men and women, as well as first-timers and veterans putting up respectable scores. Most of these higher rank attempts actually failed.  Several people aborted sets early due to illness or injury. It was not an easy competition, even for this sport, as reflected in these few stories below.

I had a personal goal to lift 24kg Long Cycle, but was not able to meet that. I've referred to this May as my worst training month of the last 2 years. There's been 3 weeks of fever in my house and a band of pain across my T-spine that radiated into my abdomen and caused stomach cramps. That stayed with me until warmups at ATC, then followed me home for the weekend.

Ed. note: It was ironic that one ATC lifter aborted his set with stomach cramps, another with nausea, and neither one was me.

I am so tired of purple.
Several other lifters I know have posted their own thoughts online. One wrote this meet's entry in grey (instead of the template's white) on black, concluding shortly with "Disappointment is an understatement". Another ended with, "Lessons learned: guts, technique, and consistency leads to great kettlebell lifting, and I need a lot more of each." This is a tough sport, as much physically as emotionally, and I hesitate to say "emotionally" in the iron game.

Pure determination.
One young rookie had tears on her cheeks as the clock reached 10:00. That is to say, she finished 10:00 in both events of her first meet, despite the crushing frustration of it all. I had the privilege to share some tips with her between jerk and snatch, from which she immediately felt improvement. Once on the platform, she wavered between her unrehearsed new information and her weeks of training for this event, finishing on pure determination. Her applause was the loudest of the awards ceremony, and I expect to see her on the platform again.

I came to a reluctant peace with my results. I raised my personal record. I outranked another 70kg lifter and outscored a heavier lifter with 20s. I got light-headed and blurry around 7:30, surviving only on the cheers of my brothers in arms. I believe that was the first time I ever heard my own name shouted back at me on the platform. I'd have to call this meet a success for myself, regardless how bad I felt, regardless that I didn't lift 24s... again.

Next up, a few days off, and we start the cycle again. This is what John Wild Buckley calls "Stage 5", and it will be a brief one.  See you in the next post.

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