If you have followed this blog, you know that my goal for this year was to make the top amateur ranking (Rank I) in Long Cycle Clean and Jerk at the 2nd Annual American Kettlebell Club Southeast Kettlebell Sport Championship, hosted by Scott Shetler at his club "Extreme Conditioning & Fitness / Atlanta Barbell & Kettlebell Club", located at 2830 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite AA - Duluth, GA 30097 (http://www.extreme-fitness.org/kettlebelltraining.html).
Let me start off by saying Scott is a class act; he knows a lot about kettlebell sport and physical training in general, he runs a great meet, and to top that off he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. I'm glad he's the kettlebell guru in my area.
The meet ran efficiently and on time. The competitors were all prepared and cordial, and surprisingly supportive of each other, even their direct competitors. Some of the biggest names in kettlebell sport were there, including Valery Fedorenko, Catherine Imes, and Eric Liford. I got to meet a number of friends I'd only talked to on various internet forums, and it was great to put a face with a screen name.
As for making Rank, I was pretty confident I'd make Rank, given that I'd made the numbers I needed in practice several times, and had even made my goal on a test day when I was pretty sick.
All that being said, I caught a bad cold several days before the meet, and it really sapped my stamina during the competition. I felt like I had no strength in my legs after 2:00 minutes into the set, and I began to doubt if I would make my goal (69 reps to make Rank I).
During the course of the set, other athletes would shout tips or words of encouragement. Chris Duffy offered his support, and even loaned me his wrist bands. David Elkins reminded me to drop the bells instead of just lowering them. And Valery Fedorenko himself gave me suggestions when I was two minutes away and a few reps shy of Rank. When he nodded with approval at one of my lockouts and said "good, good" I was so flattered I was speechless. Well, I was out of breath with the effort anyway, but even if I hadn't been I still would have been speechless. It was like having Robert Deniro watching you in acting class and telling you that you did well.
I ended up with 75 reps in 10:00, making Rank I, and won "Best Male Lifter" in the Long Cycle event.
I could not have been more proud.
Here is video of my effort: