Eight weeks ago today I saw that Scott Shetler was hosting the AKA/IUKL Georgia State Kettlebell Championships. I started training for the event that night, and the next day I registered and paid my entry fee.
Many of you know that I took off from kettlebell sport training for most of 2012 to run for DA in my district. I drastically reduced my workouts and intensity, and essentially was de-conditioned for almost a year. After winning the election, I resumed more rigorous workouts, but I had to take it slowly, and I wasn't training for kettlebell sport. Mostly, I worked on improving my squat and ran in charity 5k road races.
All that changed 8 weeks ago when I saw the comp was scheduled. I paid the entry fee just to make myself train for the event. I knew that otherwise the demands of my job and family would keep me from serious sport training and I'd do something easy and "sensible". Merely paying the fee made me train, even when I was tired or it was inconvenient.
It became very clear early on that my endurance had suffered greatly since last year. I had difficulty lifting the 24kg bells beyond 5 minutes, and I couldn't hold the same pace as I did before.
Still, I lifted as often as possible (even on vacation at the beach) and I ran on the other days. Today was the comp, and I was fortunate enough to win the amateur men's heavyweight division for long cycle with 77 reps of 2x24kg. While that result is 20 reps shy of my personal best, it was good enough to earn a Rank I from the AKA/IUKL, and win the amateur division. It's also 1 rep better than when I won Best Male Lifter in 2009 at the Southeast Championships. I'll take it.
So what's next? After successfully returning to competition, my next step is to begin training towards a pro ranking with the AKA/IUKL, and enter some road races to make me improve my overall conditioning. I'm running another 5K on Labor Day, and I hope to order some 32kg bells soon. For now, I'll leave you with photos of me and my friends Scott Shetler, Josh Dunn (who won the pro division and best male lifter), and Mike Sherman (who won best male lifter for biathlon):
I am a 46-year-old married father of three, and a career prosecutor. My wife and I (and our kids) are very involved in our church.
My one real hobby is lifting kettlebells. I lift at home, in my garage, after we have put the kids in bed and made their school lunches for the next day.