I hope that reading about AC’s experience will inspire you to enter a local competition. Have fun and train hard. –Justin
I recently competed in the 2013 Georgia and Southern States Powerlifting Championships hosted by Josh Rohr and held at Meadow Creek High-school.
Started off the day well. Got roughly 7 hours of sleep the night before, which was a lot considering I was really nervous/anxious. It’s only inevitable to get some pre-game jitters. Everybody knows them well. You think about the excitement during the day of the meet. You feel that don’t you…that tingling in your balls? Big metal butterflies fluttering around your stomach? No it’s not testicular cancer; that’s your mind fucking you. Hope you’re wearing a condom.
Fortunately I slept well. Woke up around 6. Made my way to the meet. Checked in/Rack Heights/Equipment check. All done. I get to the scale. The guy looks at me and says 101.7. I stare blankly at him and say words Chris has spoken before “Hey man, I don’t do kilos”. He said I was over the limit. He urged me to go take a shit. I said NAY, I have already shat! The future plan is to compete as a 231 lifter at Nationals and the Arnie so I didn’t really care about weight. However this meant I was lifting at 2:30pm instead of 9:00am. Kinda fucked that one up. I re-weighed in around 12:30.
The other flights were taking a long time to finish. A 30 min delay which turns into a 2 1/2 hour delay. This sucks if you’re waiting around trying to stay calm and keep your energy levels up. Luckily I had a great group of people there to support me. Nelson (my chiro) had some extra energy bars that HE PLANNED ON EATING. He gave them to me. I bought him a 40 dollar Chipotle gift card as a thanks (for the meet and the free chiro work).
Warm-up time finally rolled around. I do some quick stretching/foam rolling, then on to the bar. Squats feel good. I hit my last warm-up at 500. It feels EZ. I’m ready for the platform. My dad let’s me know that I am 3 out. I stay ready for my opening attempt. I’ve prepared for several months for this moment. An easy smooth opener to get into the meet. I’ve tripled this weight before. No problemo.
I FUCKING MISS IT. Great. It felt off-center/mis-loaded. I almost fall backwards. I was ashamed/embarrassed. My family and friends had been waiting all day to watch me lift and I fucking blow my first attempt. Callahan and my dad say to move on. That’s exactly what I did. I ended up reducing my attempts so I could go 2/3. It was the smart move. My confidence would have been shot if I missed another one. They load it to 540 for the second attempt and I crush it. Felt much better. I take 551 after that. It was rough. Not a PR by any means, but my squats were not working that day. A guy named Chris was one of the spotters; he was a real cool dude. He follows 70’s Big along with some other great guys I met. He was right there in the thick of it trying to help and motivate me. It’s great to meet dudes like that.
I talk to Shawn during my breather in between Squat/Bench. Even though my squats didn’t go according to plan, we agreed I was the best looking guy in the building.
Time to bench. It feels way better from the start. As the meet moved on I felt my body and mind working together. We loaded the bar to 350 for my last warm-up. Joke. I go out to the platform with 374 loaded. Blasted it. My abs started to cramp, and I think it was due to some dehydration. I thought I had diluted my Powerade enough, but yeah I was fucking wrong. I take 391 for my second attempt. I was concerned about cramping up at this point. 391 is a PR and even though I’ve done more in the gym the goal was to PR during the meet. My abs cramp even more. Callahan gives me a lift off. I kill it. The commands were loud and quick. I wave my third attempt Bench because I was concerned about cramping. I really wanted to hit 402 on my third attempt and I think I would have been good for it, but I wanted to save myself for deadlifting in case I cramped. At this point in the day this is not where I pictured myself, but sometimes you have to roll with it and make adjustments.
I try to stay calm during my warm-ups. My dad knows I am on the verge of an emotional eruption. He tells me one word when he sees me. Calm. Over and over. I did 500 as my opener. It felt like nothing. My dad puts in 550. He looks at me and he says with a smile on his face “One more then let it all loose”. I’m trying not to cry. Not sure why I need to get upset in order to rage out. It’s mainly a huge stress relief for me. It’s just the way I get pumped up. I take 550 and it feels even better. I turn and look at him and say “Welcome to the fucking show”. I’m in a haze at this point. He says something along the lines of “We are at the show now baby”. My dad is all smiles. He puts in 600. I find a song to play before I am 3 out. Before I know it my dad puts his hand up. He is holding up three of his fingers. I tighten my shoes, pull my socks up, and tighten my belt. I walk over the the line and put on Dom’s death scene from Gears of War 3. The music times out perfectly. The head judge looks at me and gives me the thumbs up. Right when he does it the sound fades and Dom says “Never thought it would end like this, huh? Huh, Maria?“. The first piano strike of Gary Jules’ Mad World hits. Marcus screams “Dom no!”. I can’t stop crying. I scream and rush the bar. This was a moment in the making for over a year. The set-up is perfect. I grab the bar and it was perfectly smooth all the way up. I scream in excitement once it is gliding past my knees. It’s a huge meet PR for me. I let it down after the command and I scream again and hug my dad. Exactly how I wanted to end my day.
For the delays and the changes in weight class I had a great time. I couldn’t have had any better handlers and people supporting me. I went 7/8. 551/391/600. A total of 1542. Placed 1st in the 242’s and I got 75 bucks for placing 3rd overall at the meet. I can’t thank everyone enough. Thanks to everyone who follows 70’s Big. Wish we could train with all of you!
Here it is from Brooks Conway’s perspective (who had a pretty good meet). You can see the epic man hug post lift.
A few of the photos courtesy of GT All Sports.