This past weekend I competed at Chad Cochrans event, Matriarch Melee in Shirley, New York. I heard about the Matriarch Melee, an all-women’s show that offered a cash prize for the division winners, right after USS Nationals. Yes, a CASH prize, for WOMEN! So I decided that I would make the 9 hour drive and compete as a 123. I also found out a few days before the show that this would be the first qualifier for the first ever USS Pro Strongwoman event! Talk about a little added pressure!!!
Friday night I weighed in at 123.4, right on the money!
The day started off with the log. My goal going into the competition was to hit a 160 log at 123. There were 3 other ladies in my class who all took their turns with the log. As I waited I got more and more nervous. I was the last to lift. I opened with a pretty shaky 140. I wasn’t very pleased with this weight but I only had to press once to win the event which meant I got to save a little energy for the rest of the day.
The second event was the farmers/ sandbag carry. The weights were 125/hand and a 125 sandbag, for 50 feet each. In training I always used the 150lb sandbag because, well, we don’t have a 125. And I figured if I was going to train the sandbag heavy, I may as well train the farmers at 150 also. Plus I like even numbers better anyway. In training I could never get my sandbag pick as clean as I would have liked. I would always overthink it and add a few seconds to my run. This time, my pick was clean, and I was very pleased with my time. A 16.37 run was good enough for an event win.
Next up was my favorite event. The car deadlift. And yes we ALL got do deadlift a car. Not a tire, not a frame with weights on it but a Toyota Camry. I was the last one in my class to pull, and 7 was the number to beat. I got strapped in, and started pulling. I hit 8 reps in 27 seconds. Eight reps was all it took to win the event so I quit there. I didn’t want to risk injury or drain myself with two more events to go.
The fourth event was a 125 pound keg over a 48 inch bar for reps. I trained loading to a platform, and most of the time I would basically throw the keg into the platform instead of on top of it. I worked on my explosiveness and extension with cleans, which paid off big time. Since this was my weakest event, I trained the crap out of it. A few weeks out from the contest I started finally feeling confident with it. I hit a PR with 9 reps in 60 seconds which was way better than I was expecting and also won the event.
The last event was a 15 foot duck walk loaded to 20, 22 and 24 inch platforms. I started out way too fast and got tripped up with the first implement, and fumbled it on the load. This cost me about 5 seconds on my run. I ran back to get the second implement and pulled my head out of my ass and finished the last two clean. I still managed to get second in the event, and won not only the 123lb class but the 132lb class as well.
So in one very long weekend, I won the LWW division, $500 cash, qualified for 2016 USS Nationals and qualified for the women’s Pro event! That long drive, and thinking I was going to die when I accidentally drove right through New York City, was sooo worth it!
I want to thank Chad Cochran for putting on an awesome show and giving women such a great opportunity with putting CASH on the line! Yeah, this guy actually gave prize money… to women! The show was very organized and ran super smooth and quick! I also want to thank the loaders, spotters, and everyone else who took part in making this show such a success! Hats off to all of you!!
I also want to thank Brandy and Shawn Schumaker for providing such a great gym to train at. Team BSS is always growing and adding new Strongman equipment. I couldn’t imagine training anywhere else!
Thank you Mike Johnston for all the training advice and helping me get into the 123 class… I never thought I would see the day! Or actually enjoy the journey to compete at a lighter weight class.
Last but not least, I want to thank Willie Wessels and United States Strongman Inc. for the AMAZING opportunity to compete at the first ever P