Girevoy Sport – 2010 Vegas Classic Results (Part 4)

girevoy sport success,vegas classic 2010,gompetition kettlebells,kettlebell biathlon,world kettlebell club,valery fedorenko“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” ~ Earl Nightingale

25,26,27,28…The guy down at the right end of the platforms is just cranking the reps…29,30,31…

I’m a couple minutes into my jerk set at the 2010 Vegas Classic and already I’m wondering if I’m going to hit that magic ten-minute mark or not.  I was feeling pretty pleased with myself at my planned 10-rep-per-minute pace, until I picked up the rep count from the other end of the platforms.  Holy S**t!  I don’t think I could run that fast, let alone jerk with that kind of speed!

Crap, where was I?  Was that 7 or 8?

“Jim, you need to go deeper on your second dip.”  Maya Garcia from the Ice Chamber had come over to the corner of my judge’s table and snapped me back to my own set.  9

My plan had been to try to get 100 reps at 10 reps per minute in the jerk.  I didn’t necessarily need to get 100 reps.  The rep requirement for rank III was only 70 reps for my weight class.  But the numbers I was hitting in training made me feel like I could hit 100 at contest time.  But here I was almost forgetting what rep I was on in the third minute and getting flustered by the Flash lifting to my right.

“That’s good.  Get that second dip.”  Maya repeated.  I chugged along through the 4th, 5th and 6th minutes.  Inhale, exhale.  Pop, dip, lock, breathe.  Drop.  Set, inhale, exhale.  Pop, dip, lock, breathe.  2010 Vegas Classic,Girevoy Sport,Competition Kettlebell,Jerk

I couldn’t hear the express train anymore and realized he was no longer on the platform.  Must have hit what he wanted and bailed.

7 minutes, 8 minutes.  Inhale, exhale.  Pop, dip, lock, breathe.  Drop.  Set, inhale, exhale.  Pop, dip, lock, breathe.

Minute 9.  Finally.  I hit 90 reps and my breathing was getting more ragged.  The seconds were ticking by.  Maya and my wife were calling encouragement.  I was the last one on the platform by then and still going steady.

Inhale, exhale.  Pop, dip, lock, breathe. 94, 95.  The digital clock crept by 9:45.  15 seconds left.  The crowd was cheering me on.  Me?  Huh.  That feels good.

Inhale, exhale.  Pop, dip, lock, breathe. 96.  Better hurry up.  Inhale, exhale.  Pop, dip, lock, breathe. 97.  Damn!  9:58… Inhale-exhale-popdip’10:00’lockbreathedrop. 98?  97.  Damn!  Wait a minute, 97!  Damn!

I leaned against the wall for a moment trying to get my breath before heading back behind the platforms to walk around and rest for a few moments.  Maya came back to congratulate me and take a picture.

Moses Dungca came by once I found a seat and congratulated me on my set.  This is really great! Before the Classic, I really had no idea how supportive our community of lifters could be.  But as the meet progressed, I saw more and more examples of sportsmanship, camaraderie and heart than I thought possible.

But let me start at the beginning for those of you who have never been to a Girevoy Sport competition.

The competition was held in the basketball courts of the 24-Hour Fitness facility on South Maryland Parkway in Las Vegas.  There were several rows of folding chairs for competitors and spectators, four lifting platforms with digital clocks and counters, chalk buckets, and lots of competition kettlebells in all the competition sizes, along with several of the StrongSport sizes.

vegas classic 2010,girevoy sport,kettlebell sportThe day starts with sign-in and weigh-in.  Once you’ve declared what weight kettlebell you’re using and discovered whether your dietary plans worked or not, the meet organizer assigns you to a “flight” of lifters, usually either of the same weight class or size of kettlebell.  Or both. Vegas Classic 2010,Girevoy Sport,kettlebell sport

Then you wait.  And wait some more.  Depending on how many lifters are competing and how many admin-type folks there are, you may wait even longer.  Just remember, stress is good.  It keeps you focused.

The crew from the Ice Chamber was lined up on the far wall getting ready.  My friend Max arrived, followed a bit later by my friend Linda.  Both were fellow Ice Chamber WKC grads from the September Cert.

Vegas Classic 2010,Girevoy Sport,Kettlebelle Sport,WKC,AKCAfter a bit, Moses and crew had the 11 flights finished and posted.  I was in the second flight (ladies went first), and had John Sweeney, Sean Hogue, and Rich Lopez lifting with me.

I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous in my entire life.  Having a friend there who was just as nervous helped me keep my focus on what I needed to do, but I was still pretty anxious as I tried to warm-up.

Once the first flight was done, we had about five minutes to chalk our bells and get set up on our assigned platforms before the announcer launched us into our jerk set.  The announcer let us know when we passed 5 minutes, when we had 2 minutes remaining (helpful if you’ve got enough gas left in the tank to up your rpms for a few extra reps), and the final 30,15, 10 and 5 seconds.

Finishing that first competition set was a relief and a rush at the same time.  A relief that it was over and a rush because I’d gone the whole ten minutes.

With jerks done, it was time to wait again.  And time to root on Max, the Ice Chamber team and the other lifters who were giving their “all” on the platforms. Vegas Classic 2010,Girevoy Sport,Kettlebell Jerk

After about 3 hours, I was up again for snatches.  My initial plan was to get 70 reps for rank III, but the competitive bug bit me after the success of my jerk set, and I thought that I could hit 90 reps for the snatch.  That would mean I would have to snatch at 18 reps per minute.  In my practice sessions leading up to the meet, I found that 16 was comfortable, 18 was hard (but not impossible) and 20 was damn near impossible.

I was still nervous before my set, but not as bad as with the jerks.  I was also very hungry and most certainly in an energy deficit.  When we started, I was a little slow out of the gate and only managed 88 reps for my right side before switching over to the left at the 5-minute mark.

Vegas Classic 2010,Girevoy Sport,kettlebell snatch

Unfortunately, my technique was not up to par, and I didn’t have the advantage of having Maya as my coach for the snatch.  I felt my grip start to go at about rep 55, and by 65, it was all I could do to hold onto the handle of the kettlebell.  I managed to get rep 67 up, but once the bell went down to the backswing, my fingers just let go and the bell hit the platform.

I walked off the platform disappointed that I couldn’t complete the set (I’d done so in practice), disappointed that I’d dropped the bell, disappointed that I forgot the rules that say you can swing the kettlebell between snatches as “rest”, and then angry when I realized that I’d missed rank III by three freaking reps!  I was so focused on my fading grip that I forgot my original game plan.  I felt like a quitter at that point and I was not happy.

By then I was starving (having only eaten a protein bar and a handful of bee pollen) so my wife and I went outside and walked across the parking lot to a nearby Subway for lunch.  After stoking the furnace, we returned and watched the remainder of the flights as well as the individual StrongSport attempts.  There were some great lifters present and many PRs achieved.

I was still feeling sorry for myself as the awards ceremony began, and was shocked to hear Catherine Imes call my name out for first place in my weight class.  Talk about bouncing between emotional extremes.  What had started out as a simple rank attempt (which I failed), ended with a medal and a kiss from a pretty girl. Vegas Classic 2010,Girevoy Sport,kettlebell sport,wkc,akc

Next:  Wrap up and lessons learned.

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