Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fail in the rep, not in the rack

This was a good meet and a good end to a good season. That said, this was a seriously tough experience. The end of my set crept up from under a blister on one hand. I did not see that drop coming, and it took a moment to realize what had happened and why people were cheering.

Note: all three lifters this flight were named John, John, and Jonathan, so the video is 7 minutes of people screaming my name. I will never forget this gift from the meet coordinators.

That disoriented moment was humbling for me. I was snapped back to reality by this little sweat angel in the cloud of chalk dust, the first I had ever seen from one of my sets. It was a quick reminder that I had gone higher and longer than ever before. I remember meets gone by when I got dizzy and frustrated in the rack and set the bells down without failing a rep or hearing the buzzer. Those decisions haunted me, because they were decisions. Today, I would leave it all on the platform. Today, I would fail in the rep, not in the rack.

Over the 2013 season, I stated a goal to lift the greens with the grown men... and the Russian teenagers. Toward that end, I put on 10lbs and improved my running. I added 9 reps to my 20kg score and 13 reps to my 16kg score. I competed 24kg for the first time and earned a modicum of respect, self-respect at least. I was failing at rep 5 two months ago, and I failed at rep 20 today.

Josh Dunn on his way to CMS
In other news, Josh Dunn weighed in 2lbs over his expected weight class but earned his CMS anyway at the higher numbers. I'm just going to let him get heavy before I try to lift reds. He's the last thing I need at 73kg anymore.

Team Kettleguard was well represented, with Teri Stabler, Jason Sanchez and myself sporting colors and bringing home gold. I was the only one not to make rank, actually. Kettleguard provided some gear for prizes and promotions, and I'm thrilled to see the brand sponsoring the AKA/IUKL affiliate here in the US.

Frankly, Punch Gym in Sarasota plundered this meet like so many Russians, and good for them. We've finally developed a community in the Southeast. I knew at least half the lifters this time, and some of us grabbed snacks and drinks after the meet before cleaning up and going to dinner. One of the lifter's spouses said she recognized people from last year's meet, which was much smaller overall, and saw huge improvements all around. These are the words of a familiar spectator, so we should take them to heart.

Best of luck to those going to the IUKL US Nationals and the WKC Championships in the coming weeks. I will be in the squat rack, adding ounces of bounce to my knees. I'll see you at the Ice Chamber in February, where I plan to bring home one of those "3" pins. There, I said it.

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