|Paramount Barbell Club, Shoreline, WA|
Today was the Paramount Winter Open 2015 in Shoreline, Washington. I ranked in the ultra heavy weights (no surprise there), weighing in at 88 kilos (193lbs-ish). While I didn't set any new records, I had a blast, learned a few valuable lessons, and thoroughly enjoyed my first Open.
My coach couldn't make it to this one. (A little secret about coaching, we'd love to attend every single Meet/Event of every single lifter/athlete - but we need time too, so it's not always possible.) Being my own coach was a bit chaotic, but fun at the same time. Don't forget, technically, I'm an "unaffiliated" lifter, so no one knows what to expect when I take the platform. - especially when they realize that I don't have a coach on hand. That means I either know what I'm doing enough to stand on my own - or I'm a complete idiot. I'm pretty sure my coach wouldn't set me up to fail (hasn't yet!) so I'll assume it's the former. It's fun to be the surprise platform - and show up. While I'm sure my affiliation will change someday, for now, it's fun to surprise folks when they ask where I train, and I say, "Mainly out of YMCAs."
|Standing with my heavy weights down the end at Introductions.|
When it all came down to it, though I just about matched my previous meet score, I'm actually happy with the way it went. My snatches were more solid than last time (and over the triple digit mark, which was NICE), and, though my cleans weren't consistent enough to allow me a new PR, I discovered a couple areas of technique I can still work on. My new set up isn't quite 2nd nature yet, and it showed as the lifts got heavier.
Although you'd think I'd want to see a significant increase from my November Trident meet (and it would have been nice) I am very satisfied with my performance. This time, I had a few unique challenges that it's safe to say none of the other lifters were battling. I was very much in control of everything (literally), from my warm up (and where I choose to make changes to it), to which weight was next and making sure I was on the platform on time. The event was really well set up and I look forward to doing it again some other year - and having my athletes discover the same amazing experience.
Unlike my experience at the Trident Open in November of 2014, this was much more intimate. With 3 platforms in the warm up area and 2 rows of chairs for spectators (with the warm up and the spectators only separated by a hanging tarp) - this didn't appear to be a well thought-out venue at first blush. After all, Trident had bleachers and 6 warm up platforms in the BACK- away from the action! But the intimate space made for great (unavoidable) interactions with other lifters and coaches. Being a coach and a lifter myself, it made for a more fun experience. Befriending a lifter from Oregon, I shared warm up space with her.
It's fascinating to watch lifters mobilize (stretch) and warm up. There is no 'right' way to do either. It all depends on the lifter, his/her challenges and his/her goals. Other than some minor back stiffness (and vaguely expected trouble getting up from deep squats) I was actually feeling pretty good overall - which showed hitting my first 2 snatches. The 3rd would have been a PR and I'm okay with missing a PR attempt.
My cleans suffered largely from an inability to adequately warm up. The order of lifters continued to change, which took my warm up time from 15 minutes, down to about 5-6. With that in mind it was a little but hard to get my head in the event - which showed as I hit my first lift with ease (fighting the squat a bit), but lost the next 2 in the Clean due to technical errors in set up (and a slight challenge with my balance on the last one).
All in all, it was a good meet though. Glad I went. Glad I pushed through the challenges (some simple - like being without a coach en tow, sniffling through some nasty allergies, suffering from lack of sleep since my wake up call for an 8am weigh in was 5:30am, still recovering from a previous hospitalization which lead to a huge dump of IV fluids to get me back on my feet, and one other unique situation - which I'll discuss at a later date on the blogosphere) and glad I came home with 2nd in my class. I found that especially heart warming as I lost to woman who's daughter was watching her. Whether she realized it or not, she was teaching her daughter that strength and power aren't necessarily masculine traits.
Me? I came home to the dogs (as seen here) having earned a new T-shirt (awards only given out for top 3 Sinclair lifters - something just about every heavy weight in the world suffers from), and having an Open score on the books. Can't wait to see what 2016 has to offer.