Last night I lifted in Palm Springs California at the American Open Weightlifting meet. This is my second year competing in the event and it was really interesting to be able to compare and contrast both experiences. I will say, I had alot more fun this year than last. Probably the biggest reason for that due to the relationships that have been built over the past year, getting to know more weight lifters and CrossFitters meant that there were a ton of familiar faces around. Also I will note that their were a huge number of CrossFitters participating this year. I believe overall number of lifters jumped by something like 30%, and I suspect that’s largely due to the CrossFit community’s presence. Hell, even Dave Castro was in the house, coincidentally.
A huge contrast to last year was that I didn’t train for this meet. After the 2011 Games I essentially halted my CrossFit training and prepared for the American Open for months on end. This year I have trained like a competitive CrossFitter in the off season, following The Outlaw Way, lifting how we lift, doing what we do day in and day out year round on Outlaw. No special meet preparation whatsoever. Using this method I was able to add 20kg to my total from last year, and frankly it could’ve easily been 30kg but I missed a snatch and got red lighted on a Clean and jerk. As a result, I’m feeling great about the strength and technical gains I’m seeing in my lifts while still maintaining the focus on my primary sport.
I was pretty anxious coming in because my lifts aren’t exactly where I want them to be. It was a bit challenging feeling excited to lift and get my head where it needed to be given that it hasn’t been my training focus. However as I was rolling out in my hotel room prior to the session I started to think about how fortunate I am to be healthy and have the physical capability to lift here. All the worries about making weight and PRing sort of fell into perspective. I get to join with a bunch of other people who love the sport of weightlifting and just give what we have. That’s it, just get out there and do what you do. I’m very glad that I was able to come to that place of calm before lifting. Our session was running about an hour and a half behind schedule. By the time I finished lifting it was at least 10pm, which meant I had been up traveling, lifting etc for over 24 hours. Not the ideal circumstance for optimal performance, but I think that moment of perspective that I had in my room kept me collected and allowed me to enjoy the experience. That, and the great team of people I had around me supporting me and getting me through. Big thanks to Angie Sorenson, Roger Nielsen, Jessica Rodriguez and Rudy Nielsen.
This is my final lift of the night. 105kg (231lbs) clean & jerk that was red lighted for pressing out the jerk. No matter, I got the taste and I’m looking for that 250# in the next year.
Today we move into the CrossFit portion of the weekend with the Outlaw Open. Follow the action here