My US Strongman Nationals: LW Champ Ashley Lawrence

July 21, 2015


 I have been competing in Strongman since June 2012.  Last year I qualified for Nas Nationals and decided to compete in Reno.  I had never done a two day show before, and it took a lot more out of me than I thought.  I ended up finishing 7th in my weight class and 8th overall in the lightweight division.  I knew going into it, there would be some fierce competition, but I had hopes of performing a little better than I had.


Over the winter, my training went to crap!  I am the Street Department Supervisor in New Middletown Village.  This means when it snows, I get called out to plow.  Anytime and every time! And man did it snow last winter.  Between my crazy work schedule and lack of sleep, I was physically and emotionally drained.  I found myself grabbing whatever food I could on my way out the door at 2am and barely making it to the gym three times a week.  So I decided I would take this year off to get my rear back in gear.


 I train at Team BSS owned by my sister and brother-in-law, Brandy and Shawn Schumaker.  Since I had decided to take the year off the get stronger, I offered to help them out at the US Strongman Battle at TeamBSS on June 6th.  About two and a half weeks out I had a conversation with Mike Johnston about the show.  He asked if I was competing and I told him I hadn’t planned on it.  The last time I had trained events was in September.  I was too heavy for my weight class. The list goes on.  Needless to say he convinced me to do the show.  Oh hell why not? It’s at home.  My family can all come.  My grandpa finally got to watch me compete, on his 90th birthday! And I’ll just have fun with it. In those next two weeks I needed to cut about 10 pounds.  So I trained hard, pulled the sled for a mile 5 days a week and cleaned up my diet.  Mike also guided me through my first water cut, which wasn’t quite as terrible as I had imagined.  I may have sent a few “I’M HEAVIER THAN I WAS THIS MORNING! ARE YOU SURE IT WILL COME OFF!?!?” text messages, but I made weight!  I didn’t have my best day, but I qualified for Nationals. Which was only three weeks away! And I thought why not!


I couldn’t afford any time off before Nationals so I started my training back up on Monday.  In these few weeks I trained my butt off! Literally!  I didn’t have to water load this time around and weighed in at 130.1. The sweaty car ride with Brandy (who was enjoying her first water cut) probably didn’t hurt either.


 The first event was the yoke.  I felt pretty confident that I would do well in this event.  I had always trained heavier than contest weight so it shouldn’t have been a problem.  About half way through my run I felt off.  I dropped the yoke about 10 feet shy of the finish line.  Anyone that has competed on a shiny concrete floor knows how slick they can be.  When it hit the floor it slid forward. Crap!!!  I was sure I would get a two second slide penalty.  I quickly got back under the bar and ran it across the line.  To my surprise I didn’t get the penalty and still managed to win the event.


Next up was the log.  I dreaded this event. I had only been able to get 4 reps in training before I got dizzy and thought I may pass out.  Brandy who was in my class was on one end of the floor and I was on the other.  We had been pretty close in training but I had no clue how she was doing in the event.  I had