So 314 is a pretty big number; I never thought 314 people could compete on one street with 5 events getting done in 10 hours.. that's kind of a massive feat, so kudos to the USS promoters, judges, and volunteers throughout the day. I was crazy impressed with how smoothly the show went and the courtesy that was shown to me and my fellow athletes.
I did a 10 week cycle going into this comp, written by my coach, Sabrina Provoast. She's a great powerlifter who won't let me whine too much, and tears the hell out of my lifts in a technical sense, which is exactly what I like! I owe Sabrina and her gym Catalyst Training Center, a lot of credit for my mild success this year.
My day went fairly well, and I was very happy with how I ended up in the standings (third place) out of the 12 girls who were in the 165 weight class. We decided before conan wheel that we were indisputably the best weight class of the day too, so that should be noted. I competed alongside some badass girls Saturday, and had a blast making some new friends.
The first event was a 140# log clean and press in a minute. I got 4 reps in the first thirty seconds and pretty much gassed and got cotton-mouthed so only ended up with 6 total to put me tied for second. I typically am a pretty good presser, but the cleans between presses felt like burpees to me and tell me I probably need to condition more in the future.
Last years nationals left a bad taste in my mouth after I zeroed out in the car deadlift. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to find a good deadlift coach, then found Sabrina in Grand Rapids and got sold on her coaching when I saw her 500 pound raw lift. Between Sabrina helping with my form, Beth Thomas and Rachel Zipsie helping me find a suit, Cory Schutter lifting me off the ground to get INTO a suit, while Aaron and Stacy West are giving last minute advice, I lucked out big time and ended up getting 5 reps with a weight only 10 pounds away from my PR.
Fingal Fingers is where stuff got fun. Deadlift - the nemesis - was out of the way, so I relaxed and got my 300 pound finger done in 47 seconds. A lot of girls were struggling with this event, but my best lift is the clean and jerk, and I'm tall, so this was absolutely something that played to my advantage. I additionally have been down to St. Louis to train with Willie and his crew a couple times for extra practice and help on the finger which was awesome for getting some experience under my belt. Buffy and I were really close for first on this event - she kicked ass all day by the way! It's going to be tough to compete with her for that first place spot in coming years, she's a pretty seasoned and tough competitor.
By the time I got to conan, I was pretty tired. I didn't lock my lats down right and ended up getting a couple steps short of 4 turns. I was expecting 5 so I was disappointed and started to doubt I would get a podium spot.
The 46" for stones was kind of upsetting for me because I looooove loading to 50". I think that's the make or break of an athlete, so this final event was actually too easy in my opinion. I loaded my 4 stone series of 155, 175, 200, 220 in 29 seconds. The first one felt as difficult as the last because there was so much tacky!
Overall, I had a lot of fun with these true strongman events, met a lot of new friends, and was able to be competitive on meet day after all the help from my Catalyst Training Center peeps, Willie, and my family. I don't think I would have done as well in almost all of my events without Mike Johnston screaming his head off at me to pick up the damn weight, or my friends Amber, Lieza, Cory, Sabrina, and my ole man in the crowd yelling at me too. Hell, even my competitors were screaming at me, and I for them. Really that's what this sport is about - empowering people, supporting friends, lifting heavy shit just to be able to say you did it.. what else do you need? I love my strongman family, and I can't wait to watch it grow with the sport.
Women's Open MW 165, 3rd place at 2016 USS Nationals