This past Saturday (December 13th) was the American Kettlebell Club Southeast Kettlebell Sport Championships. Held at Scott Shetlers Atlanta Barbell & Kettlebell Club.
Firstly, I would like to extend my thanks to Scott Shetler for offering such a great venue for the meet, your facility proved to be the perfect setting for what became an outstanding kettlebell meet. It was great meeting you Scott, you're a top bloke!
This competition was just littered with inspirational performances from some outstanding kettlebell athletes. I could write an essay on this weekends events, however, my time is limited of late so I'm gonna plough out as much detail as I can in a short space of time. I apologize if some of this is gibberish!!
For those of you who read my blog leading up to the meet, you'll remember my goal was to achieve my World Kettlebell Rank VII in both the traditional (jerk/snatch) and the long cycle in the men's 75kg weight class. As it turned out I went one better and achieved Rank VI in both, so I was a pretty happy camper!
The Jerk @ 2x 24kg's
My previous best jerk set was 48 reps in 8 minutes. In Atlanta I hit 67 reps and went the full 10 minutes. I was actually working toward 60 reps @ 6 rpm's, but the pace actually felt slow and I was so comfortable in the rack that I was able to up the tempo the last two minutes. I have to admit I did get a fairly big nudge from big Ken Blackburn though. All I could here the last to minutes was "come on Ross, up the tempo you've got plenty in the tank!" And in the last minute he hit me with "Again Ross, pop it!" Every time I came down into my rack position. I probably owe a couple of my final reps to you Ken, for that I thank you, you're a top man!
The Snatch @ 24kg's
Following the jerk I knew that I would be able to achieve my Rank VII fairly comfortably, only requiring 83 reps. So I decided to shoot for Rank VI instead which meant I needed to hit 96 snatches. I knew it would be tight but I figured just go after it and get what I could get! Thankfully I scraped my way to 98 reps and it wasn't pretty at the end. I was hoping for at least 60 reps on my right as I knew my left snatch would probably only be good for 30-40, but I was done on the right by 54 and had to switch. From here on out it was a case of batten down the hatches and hold on! Thanks to great support from the crowd and some excellent coaching from Cate Imes I eked my way to 44 reps on the left before I had to call it a day. Thanks for the advice Cate, it is much appreciated.
It was rough, but thankfully I was successful and I escaped with no hand tears, which set me up nicely for my strongest event, the long cycle.
The Long Cycle @ 2x 24kg's
Saved the best for last, my favorite! My confidence was high by this point and I felt strong going into this event. My plan was to go 4 rpm for the full 10 minutes which would give me 40 reps and Rank VII. However, I knew that I only needed 45 to make Rank VI. I stuck to the game plan until about 8 minutes and then started increasing my work rate a little, but I miss judged a little and found myself at 40 reps with only about 30 seconds remaining so it was overdrive time! I was the final lifter on the platform so all eyes were on me and they knew what I was after. The support was phenomenal, they cheered me on right to the final buzzer and I wasn't about to let them down. I somehow managed to squeeze in those final 5 just in time and it was just an awesome feeling! So my final count was 45 reps giving me my Rank VI.
What a day, it couldn't really have gone better for me, good times. To cap it off my numbers in both the traditional and long cycle were good enough to give me 1st place in both events.
First mention has to go to the Ice Chamber team of Steven, Maya, Jess, Sara, Heidi and Surya who as usual put on a clinic with respect to lifting technique and definitely displayed the coolest lifting shoes of the day, those Nike's are badass! Congrats to Maya, Jess, Sara, and Heidi on achieving the WKC Rank of Candidate for Master of Sport, an outstanding achievement! And to Steven and Surya on you're great performances and new PR's.
Left: Steve and I chillin between lifts. Below Me and the Ice Chamber Girls
Marty Farrell put on a gutsy display in the long cycle, just missing his Candidate for Master of Sport ranking by one repetition, but its only a matter of time now, I'm sure he'll hit Master of Sport at the Arnold in March. Marty is just an enigma when it comes to kettlebell lifting, I was just in awe watching him hit 43 reps with the 32's at a body weight of less than 70kg . He's a massive inspiration to me being a lighter lifter, gives me hope that I can perhaps one day hit some decent numbers with the those hefty 32's!
Me and my main man Marty....
giving it the double over hug!!
Andrew Durniat is just a monster! He made a valiant attempt at becoming the fist American to snatch the 32kg bell for 100 reps per arm, but unfortunately it just wasn't his day. 139 snatches with the 32 on an off day is a quite an accomplishment in itself! I know Andrew was disappointed, but it's only a matter of time. I for one felt honored and privileged to be there watching his attempt at making history, and even though it was not 200 reps it was still an unbelievable set!
Andrew on his way to 139 as the legend Valery Fedorenko watches on...
My student and fellow Team Edge member Dianna Pendleton definitely deserves a mention and plenty of praise. It was hard enough for Dianna to get up on the platform at all, she's a fairly shy individual so that was an accomplishment in itself. I can remember the last thing she said to me prior to her first lift "Do they have a vomit bucket, I think I'm gonna puke!" I told her she's was gonna be fine as I backed away a few paces. And she was more than fine as it turns out. Dianna finished 1st in the women's masters division in both the traditional and the long cycle for her weight class with the 12kg k-bell. She achieved WKC Rank V for traditional with I believe 86 jerks and 100 snatches, Dianna previous best on the snatch was something like 40 reps so that was unbelievable.
I am so proud of you Dianna, you have always been a pleasure to coach with a willingness to learn new things. It has been wonderful watching you grow as an athlete and a person over the past year or so. This is only the beginning for you, I have high expectations for your future and I'm proud to have you as a member of my team.
Man so many wonderful performances, I could go on and on. Congratulations to everyone on their awesome performances - all the wells family, especially little colin who was just unreal for such a little guy, and thanks colin for keeping my son Brayden company during the day. The CrossFit girls Sara and Tracy, you guys are maniacs! Great lifting from P-Hump, C-Duff, Mike Sherman, the list goes on and on. Terri Parker awesome display in the long cycle, it was great seeing you again. I could go on, if I forgot anyone I apologize. All I can say is safe to everyone did themselves proud.
Special Thanks to...
-Scott Shetler and family for putting on such a wonderful event
-Everyone who made the meet possible, that helped organize and run the event including: Lorraine, Cate, Ken, Matt, Nico, Valery and Eric. You guys are awesome, thanks for all that you are doing to help grow this amazing sport.
If I forgot anyone, my apologies.
Thanks to everyone for making this such a memorable weekend and a special thanks to my wife Sarah who even though she was too sick to compete still came out to support me with a smile on her face, I love you sweetheart. And to my son Brayden for being my inspiration and for being such a good boy all day at the meet (well for the most part anyway). I love you mojo.
My shy little boy pulling a fish face while his highly trained body guard Chris (Dianna's son) watches on to make sure all is as it should be!
Hope everyone had a safe trip home, hope to see you all at the Arnold in March!