Mixed feelings about doing the write-up this time. I’m in quite a bit of pain while typing this one up. But I want to keep things open and I feel putting my thoughts out of my head seems to help with moving forward. Frustrated at a lot of things but I guess I’ll save it until the end.
Been some time since I’ve done a show that I could wake up at a normal hour on Saturday and be there in time to lift. I wasn’t really planning on this contest as it was close after the Pro/Am show. The show was being run by a friend and since I help promote his gym with my training log, I decided to do the show if I could do my normal workouts again in time. Turns out I was feeling fresh enough and put in for the show. Trip wasn’t really eventful other than the one restroom break in Amish country with dueling graffiti about what types of animals the Amish like to bugger (the answer is sheep). As we got closer, the rain started and I was not happy as this could mean a change in the events and not for the better.
My dad and I arrived and it was in the middle of a downpour. Novice class was still going and it looked like most of the contest had been outside. I got inside the building and it was packed with competitors and spectators trying to get out of the rain. No way were any of the events going to fit inside. Despite that, I signed in, weighed in (262.9lbs) and got warmed up. Six competitors in the open class. With the weather, they were trying to delay the other events to see if the storm would pass through so the last event became the first event.
The first event of the day was the hummer tire deadlift. It is not like the Arnold Pro show one as this bar doesn’t flex nearly as much. Never done well on this particular implement and it was not a good one to start the day with. Initially last man standing but changed to rising bar 3 lifts and you are done. I went with 600lbs as my opener as I had done 550lbs for my last warm-up. It was tough but no sense in repeating myself and the higher my opener, the better for points. This meant my attempts would be 600lbs, 650lbs and 700lbs. Opener was rough and only one other HW went in at this weight. I knew that there should be no reason to miss my second attempt. I went at it and it was slow but up it came. A small 10lbs PR for me but not really happy with that as the last time I did this was well over two years ago. I was in extreme pain as soon I as I walked away from the bar. Something was up with my SI joint on the left side. Despite that, I gave 700lbs an attempt but wouldn’t budge. The winner managed 200lbs more than me and almost had 905lbs. Tied for last with the guy who opened at the same weight as me. Not a good start.
Up next was the Viking press. 60 second time limit for as many reps as possible. 320lbs was the listed weight but it was 270lbs plus the weight of the apparatus which was being counted as 50lbs. The pain was really making it hard to concentrate. I took a bunch of Ibuprofen and tested out lifting the apparatus. Felt pain just holding the thing at my chest but it didn’t feel any worse pressing so I went forward as planned. The number to beat when I went up (they were going same order all day) was 15 reps. Not happening haha. I set the pick height low as I knew I’d need to use a lot of leg drive. First rep was rough but I got into a rhythm and got out six reps before I missed. Got to that point where I try to press it out in front of me rather than over my head and I couldn’t recover from that. I gave it three more attempts to get another rep but no go. My effort was another last place.
The third event was the conan’s wheel. About 720lbs for this event. The sky had cleared up and the rain was gone. I wasn’t worried about this one. Why should I be; I’ve fixed whatever was causing me to pass out on this thing in training right? It was the same one I’ve been training on for two weeks. Hell, I was doing 180lbs over the contest weight. This was where I was to make my comeback and pick up point. Wrong. I picked it up, started walking and passed out just shy of half a lap. Johnny ran over and caught me and held me until my body stopped convulsing. So angry, confused and embarrassed. I knew I would be near the bottom on the deadlift and overhead but not here and not like this. It really didn’t help with people coming up and asking me if I was okay and then offering their explanation of why I passed out. Bad pick, dehydrated, belt too tight, all in my head. Really hard to come back from this mentally with hip/lower back pain and negativity. Even with my pass out, I still managed a fourth place here as two other competitors also had a bad time with it.
The next event was the arm-over-arm pull. The rain contingency was to be a parallel yoke squat. If it had been that, I would have pulled out of the contest after the conan’s wheel and gone home as I knew that would be the absolute worst thing for my hip and back and I wasn’t sure how many more blows to my self-esteem I could handle today. Finally had something go my way and the arm over arm pull was still on. Unsure of the length of the course but it would be safe to say between 50’ and 60’. JT’s Dodge 1500 was loaded up with 11 people in the bed of the truck. The time to beat was 17 seconds flat set by the guy right before me and he did it with pretty much just his arms once he got it moving. I was worried that my hip would keep me from doing my thing. I took as much slack out of it as I could and went to work. I felt like I was flying with it and just laid back as I waited to hear my time. I did it in 16.38 seconds to move into first. My time held up for the event win.
The final event the one I was looking forward to; the hercules hold. I had been trying to get a chance to try it out before the contest but it was not to be so I came in to it blind. Not a bad thing to do something completely new for a contest. I had a feeling I would do well here as it is grip intensive and I tend to be good at those events. By this point, the scores had been tallied and we were going in reverse order so that meant I was in fifth place going in to this event. I really wasn’t sure what to expect on this as I watched other weight classes go. It was strange watching as a lot of them seemed to struggle to just stabilize them weights at the start and I was mentally preparing for that. The whole time I’m hearing that the weight is going to be heavy. I get set up for my turn and gave the nod for the handlers to release the weights. They let go and I felt nothing. I mean, I felt weight but it wasn’t like it was against me. I looked at the promoter and said it was too light. Not sure why I did as that is kind of a dickish thing to say. I guess I was expecting to feel like the handles were trying to escape and feel like the weights would tear me apart. Around the 30 seconds mark, I felt my left hand start to slip. I think I could have re-gripped it if I shrugged my shoulders and pulled with my arm to get it back in to place but I didn’t as I’m certain that would have been against the spirit of the event and not be allowed. I let go at 37.9 seconds. My time was eventually eclipsed with ease by the eventual winner. Second place here.
I knew I had no shot of qualifying for Nats after the first three events but I thought it might be possible to move up some spots. Turns out I was stuck in fifth out of six even with the comeback placings in the last two events. Disappointing all around for me. I took more Ibuprofen and had a nap in the car. Even without the SI joint injury, I still would have been near the bottom with the field of competitors. I guess I don’t deserve to be at Nats this year and I have no idea how long it will take to be back at it from whatever is going on with my hip/back. I put in a ton of work on my weak points and still have very little to show for it as I’m still at the bottom, while the stuff I excel at take little attention and I have no reason to train them which makes me sad as I enjoy them. I feel like I’m standing still and I’m being passed by everyone around me. My dad is offering to get me a deadlift suit to help me. I don’t feel good about it though. People keep telling me to gain weight like it’s that simple. Still tired I guess. Maybe I just need to take a break from this until I’m actually strong.
Sergio Oliva, Part Two - Norman Zale (1975)
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