Holy Shit - Arnold Competition Day

All the middle weight women at The Arnold.

I’m having trouble writing this because I don’t even know where to start. I guess at the beginning.

I want to start by saying that I came in feeling pretty intimidated. After all, I barely qualified for The Arnold in the first place. You can read about my trials and tribulation at nationals HERE.

That said, I was also more prepared for this competition than any other one I’ve done. The only way I could be more prepared is if I started training strongman before 2014. So coming in and seeing all the super strong looking women in the hotel lobby and check in lines was something of a trip for me.

I came with a job to do, though.

So the day starts around 9:30 and I’m in the first heat of the middle weight women. Initial heats were decided by drawing numbers during check in. In training I had never done more than about 4 in a row, but the shape of the Rogue circus dumbbell fit in really well with my hip-rest, split jerk technique and I was able to bust out 9, putting me in the upper-middle of the pack.

Split jerking the circus DB. This was texted to me, hence pic quality.

There were at least 2 hours between each event, since we had to go through the heavy weight women, then all the men before switching out equipment and giving us some warm up time.

Next up was the yoke. Generally, that’s my favorite event in training. But this time, I was having a hell of a time with it. I even had to set it down once close to the end of the second run. I was able to pick it right back up and get over the line, but that was shocking to me. I just couldn’t seem to get my stride rhythm right.

way harder than it should have been.

After that one I got some food and protein samples from my coach’s booth to get SOMETHING in my stomach. I just wasn’t feeling hungry, but waiting for hunger to hit would be a mistake.

Next were the farmer’s handles. These were more of a shit fest for me than ever in training too! But what saved me here is that. for some reason, the handles were a shit show all around. The majority of the women in my class were dropping them at least a couple of times before reaching the other side, which luckily multiple drops were allowed within the 60 sec time limit.

I had to set these down at least 4 or 5 times.

So by this point i’m sitting in 9th. Seeing as there were only 15 women in my weight class, going from 9th to 4th to make finals seemed pretty insurmountable. But whatever, the last event was deadlifting, which is kind of my thing. So I might not make finals, but I can still make an impact.

I had to be escorted off after this.

After the deadlifts, I pack up my things and linger a little bit. It becomes clear that they’re holding onto the results to give some drama to the announcements. So I gather my people (the manfriend, bother and dad all came out to watch) and we go grab a beer at an attached hotel bar.

What does it matter. I’d like to know where I stood at the end of the day, but the finals were definitely for someone else who did much better on the moving events.

While watching my Facebook feed, it becomes clear that I had won the deadlift event by a decent margin. Not only that, but I had out repped by a few places the people that WERE in the top four spots going into that event. Oh shit, what does that mean. I guess I’ll still finish this beer anyway.

BECAUSE BLUE MOON IS DELICIOUS WHEN YOUR MUSCLES HURT AND YOU NEVER LEAVE AN UNFINISHED BLUE MOON.

So I scramble my people and head back to the competition area to see this:

Final Results.

Holy shit.

I made finals.

That last event, with many women not getting a single lift on the axle deadlift, really scrambled the final standing in my favor.

Coming out here I was annoyed about having to get a room through Monday, so certain that I wasn’t going to move on to the next round. Upset that I would have to spend so much money on what, I thought, was a real outside chance.

I could turn this into some quasi-inspirational “don’t give up” speech, but I think I’ll just conclude with sometimes life just rewards hard work in great ways.