My USS Nats: Ashley Elise 2x LW Women's National Champ!

June 20, 2016

 I want to start out by saying thank you to everyone who made this event possible.  The promoters, staff, volunteers and judges, you all kick ass!  300+ competitors and 5 events in 10 hours… that is pretty damn amazing if you ask me! I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of the largest Strongman competition in history!


Saturday morning was pretty crazy. Walking to the venue, you were surrounded by other competitors.  Anywhere that served food was packed with strong people.  A wave of strongmen took over 4th street.  In every nook and cranny you would find coolers, gear bags, and athletes foam rolling or stretching in preparation of the largest contest in history.


The first event of the day was 120 log clean and press for reps. Some of the 123 girls were putting up some good numbers and 10 was the number to beat. I must have looked like I was still half asleep because right before I stepped up to the log, Mike Johnston came over and smacked me in the head a few times.  That really woke me up and put my head into the game. I started out kind of slow, and had 9 reps with 10 seconds left.  I was able to bang out 2 more to win the event with 11 reps.

 The second event was deadlift for reps.  300 pounds on a bar with wagon wheels which brought the height to about 13 inches, and made the event look pretty bad ass.  In training, I always pulled 315 from blocks, and usually got about 18-20 touch and go reps.  I trained this event just a tad heavier because it was easier to just throw 3 plates on the bar.  I knew the up and down calls would slow me down a little but I finished with 23 reps to win the event.


 I was not very confident when it came to flipping the finger.  I had never touched the actual impliment before the morning of the contest.  In training, I used a log, an actual 10 foot piece of tree… which also wobbled from side to side while I was flipping it.  Although the finger was heavier than the log I used, not having to keep it from swaying made the event feel much easier than I anticipated.  I was able to flip the finger all 5 times in 47.36 seconds for my third event win.


By the time we started the conan's wheel, my hamstrings were screaming.  I was consistently completing 5 revolutions in training but always dropped it at about the 50 second mark.  I achieved my goal for this event which was to keep moving for the whole 60 second time limit.  I completed 5 revolutions plus 7 feet 7 inches which put me in second place in the event.


Last but not least was my arch nemesis, atlas stones.  We had a series of four stones weighing 135, 155, 175 and 200.  I knew every second counted in this event.  I was able to one motion the first two stones, which put me in a pretty good spot.  However, the 175 and 200 stones slowed me down just enough to put me in third for the last event.  I finished with a time of 17.67 seconds.


I knew going into Nationals this year, defending my title as LW National Champ was going to be pretty tough.  The lightweight division easily doubled from last year.  This community continues to amaze me.  The growth that I have seen in just the past year is incredible.  I loved competing with each and every one of you ladies! Cheering from family, both blood and strongman family, friends and fellow competitors definitely pushed me to do better.  I was headed back toward the athlete area after cleaning up from stones, when I ran into Mike again. I was a little surprised he could still talk after screaming in my face all day.


Our conversation went a little something like this…

MJ: Did you win?

Me: I don’t know?

MJ: What do you mean? Did you do your best?

Me: Yes.

MJ: Are you the Champion?

Me: Yes?

MJ: Then did you win?

Me: Yes!

 I am truly ecstatic to be the LWW National Champion for the second year in a row! Now it’s time to train for Women's Worlds. See ya in October Kentucky!



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