Strong(wo)man Nationals Recap

This meet didn't go as spectacularly as I had hoped. When I feel myself getting too down about my performance, I have to remind myself that ALL the events had something in it that was brand new to me (kegs? circus dumbbells? car deadlifts? What the hell??) and I had about four weekends to get that shit in my head and body.

As the competition started to draw close, everyone at my gyms were telling me how I'd kick everyone's ass and how I'm too strong not to do well. "You don't understand," I wanted to say, "everyone at this competition is the strongest girl at their respective gyms. Possibly the strongest PERSON there."

So off to Reno I go, butterflies, protein powder, straps, wraps, and all.

You can see the cars, the yokes, and the crowd.
Day One
Overhead Medley

125lbs keg once, 145lbs axle once, and an 80lbs circus dumbbell for reps. Like I said, kegs and circus dumbbells are brand new movements for me. I had no idea how unstable my wrists/ thumb grip was until I first picked up a mock circus dumbbell about a month ago.
Split jerk, it's what I do.
On game day, it took me two tries to get the keg over my head, the axle was a breeze, and I was only credited with one circus dumbbell rep out of the three overhead moments I had. I split jerk the dumbbell, (I split jerk life) and every time I went to gather my feet together the handle rolled towards my thumb and down it went.

This put me in the upper middle of the pack.

Yoke Walk

500 lbs. Every time I have done this at weight in training, usually at the end of the day, I would have to put it down at some point. Since we were only allowed one drop, I was cautiously smooth with it. Took me way to long to get across that finish line. Damn shame, I should have gone all out and then pulled back if I dropped it.

I told myself I wouldn't make that mistake again.

Carry Medley

150lbs keg for 60ft, 200lbs handles for 40ft, 225lbs duck walk for 20ft. The worst part about this one was the waiting. Since light weight women always went first, and I was in the middle of the middle weight women pack, and because they had to reset the implements each time, it was about three hours from when we got to warm up on the equipment to the time I actually went. I took a nap in my room.

When I started this one, I thought "I'm not taking this smooth and easy again" and tried to sprint with that keg. Lost my footing and dropped the keg. Fuck. Too much gusto. Lost time in chasing it down to pick up again. No dropping with the handles (yay!) and I did the bunny hop style of the duck walk for most of the distance.

Still middle of the pack.

Car Deadlift

Toyota Yaris. Was supposed to be a SMART car, so it was a little heavier than many people anticipated. After watching one girl after another strap in and not lift a single rep, I too started doubting myself. But my training had definitely prepared me for this. Jon's Deep Water approach means with something like this I can basically black out and rep out. In the end, I had 15 reps on the car, in an event where half the middle weight women didn't get one.
Reno lights, car deadlifts, normal Saturday.
This swept me up to fourth place. This swept me up to excited. Top four in the 180's get an Arnold Invite. Now I just have to stay here….

Day Two
Wheelbarrow

Heres one I never got a chance to touch before competition day. Luckily, the wheel barrow has two wheels on the front, so you don't have to worry about side to side balance as much. Just avoid the swivel that tends to happen when you go too fast for control.

If you dropped the wheelbarrow and it slid at all, you get a 2 second penalty. Jon and I decided that since I have a tendency to be binary with moving events (way too cautious, or way too out of control) we'll err on the side of no control and eat the penalty which would be less time added than if I did slow and steady. I did drop it twice in the course, and once over the line, but our strategy worked as it kept me in 4th place for the 180's.
Yelling across the finish line, Coach Jon intimidating the crap out of the wheelbarrow.

Keg Over Bar

Things got squirrelly here. Seeing as I only had two training session with my borrowed keg, I only really had one way that I was comfortable picking it up. At the contest, they didn't have access to the kegs we were supposed to use (125lbs, 150lbs, 175lbs) so we used lighter ones (100lbs, 125lbs, 150lbs) and they raised the bar another few inches.

I got the first two kegs over the bar no problem, after all, I had access to a 125lbs one for training. But then while trying to get the 150lbs one over the bar, I get to close and smashed my finger between the bar and the keg. Keg went down. From there I tried again and just couldn't get the height needed to clear the bar. I tried to pick up the keg in the way I was seeing other people do it, more like a stone, but unlike a stone the keg kept sliding down my legs.

The timer whistle blew and I didn't get the final keg over. I walked away from the scene and tried not to cry too much. I just knew that this performance had knocked me down too far to make get an Arnold invite. I gathered my stuff, gathered my bored boyfriend, and and started home.

Twist of Events 

I spent the the four hour drive home licking my wounds. Each stop, once for coffee and once for Korean BBQ tacos, consisted of eating my emotions.

Just before hitting the sack for the night at the old person bedtime of 9pm, I get a call from Jon. "So you actually came in 5th, even after the keg event. And Kristy Scott already declared that she'll be doing The Arnold as a heavy weight, so her invite is getting passed to you."

Holy Shit.

I wasn't sure how to react. Am I making this up because I was so freakin' tired? I basically laid in bed talking to my poor boyfriend (he's a freaking saint for putting up with me) and tossing and turning.

But sure enough, a couple other people who were helping out at the event let me know that, yes, I was in fact qualified for The Arnold!
My coach, Jon Anderson, and his family post competition. I just find this picture really sweet. 


Interested in Trying Strongman for Yourself?

Here are some resources to get started on your own Strongman Journey!

North American Strongman Association

Starting Strongman Website

Map of Strongman Gyms Around the World