This past weekend when all you yags were watching OU vs. Texas and Edgar vs. Maynard, yours truly was in Bumfu@k, Texas competing in the Copperhead Open Olympic Weightlifting Meet.
This late in the season (nationals are 1st week in December) people start getting crazy aggressive at these things trying to improve their totals and qualify for big, invitational meets. Both as a spectator and as a competitor, these are the most fun to witness and this one did not disappoint.
50 competitors: juniors (under 13 and under 20), women, open, and masters (over 35).
8 or 10 weight classes
I competed in the mens open at 105 kilos (from 207 lbs to 231 lbs). I weighed-in at 217. I could have easily made the 94 kilo (207 lb) weight class, but the two divisions are virtually identical in terms of national rankings so why cut weight?
It's always fun to see all these different groups compete: 12-year-old kids, hot chicks, 70-year-old dudes -- very inspiring. Then it's showtime. My group had some bruisers in it, including several national-level lifters and one, Bryan Fox, who is about a half-notch down from Olympic calibur.
I had a solid day, and very nearly a perfect day. My goal was to total 250 kilos (the combined weight of your two best lifts). In the snatch, I opened with 95 kg, hit it easily, and opted for a big jump up to 105 kg (a 22 lb jump). I nailed 105 (231 lbs) with what was my best lift of the day and again opted for a large jump to 113 kg (249 lbs). I don't know if you've ever grabbed a 250 lb bar and tried to throw it over your head in one movement, but it ain't no joke. I had a great pull, caught the bar a little behind my center, corrected my stance, and made the lift. What an amazing feeling. There is just so little margin for error on these things and it all happens in half-a-second -- it makes for an incredibly tense moment in time and some enormous emotional ups and downs.
So that was basically my dream shot: 3-for-3 and end with a 14 lb PR which puts my goal of 250 kg within reach.
The clean and jerk is my strongest lift. It is also a less technical lift that relies more on strength and speed. I feel pretty comfortable here. I opened with 120 kg (264.5 lb) just to get comfortable on the stage. I made a big jump to 130 kg (286.5 lbs) and nailed it. This was probably my 2nd best lift of the day. Really felt nice and perhaps, in hindsight, I should have opened here to give myself more attempts at the big, 50/50 weights. My final attempt was 137 kg (302 lbs) which would result in a 250 kg total and a top 50 national ranking. I was a little shocked at how easily I cleaned the weight. I caught it high, in a good position, and rode the weight down to the bottom of the squat to catch a bounce and head up for the jerk. As I hit the bounce and changed directions with my front squat, the bar slowly and unstoppably slid down my sweaty shoulders and out of my hands. Devistating mistake. No chalk on the chest/shoulders. Didn't towel off between attempts. Just rookie stupidity and it cost me.
I did total high enough to take 2nd in my weight class and improve my national ranking from 111 to around 70th, but knowing that I had it in my hands and lost it, not because I couldn't do it, but because I was careless, is a hard pill to swallow. Regardless, another good meet and a lot of fun, with lessons learned.
Here's a highligh of my lifts. I'll have a full recap and a big, full-meet highlight up on SouthCentralBarbell.com in a day or two.