Jeff Guller's 2019 in Review

TAGS: 2019 in review, Happy New Year, Jeff Guller, programming, MEET, powerlifting

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It’s been an interesting year. It seems that many of the goals I set for the year have not been met. I have, however, had some good results, and if results are the measure of a year, it was good.

I tied my own WRs at the IPA Tennessee State Championships in May and tied my own WR squat at the IPA Worlds in Nashville in October. Too many “as-goods-as” and not enough “better-thans.” I participated in two one-event meets with 365 Strong and was able to set WRs in the raw deadlift and single-ply bench press.


RECENT: Even More Conjugate For A Little Old Man


Meets like these are fun, and I don’t seem to get beat up as badly. I did not, however, make many of the numbers that I should have. I intended and have the ability to do better. There is an old saying in powerlifting: “You win or you learn.” I am very fortunate to be able to do both.

My biggest competition is what I have previously done. Even if I don’t hit my numbers, as long as I don’t bomb out, I usually win. There just aren’t too many crazy old men in the little old man class. In those meets where I did not as well as I expected, I did in fact learn. I learned:

  1. Respect the weight! Don’t take an opener for granted, even if you’ve done it a hundred times before.
  2. Set up, set up, set up! The set-up is the most important thing in every lift. If you don’t set it up properly, it won’t come up.
  3. Concentrate! Wherever your mind is, get it back. Concentrate on the weight and what you are doing. Do not be distracted.
  4. If you have a coach, listen. I know these things are axiomatic but are nevertheless crucial to success.

One of the coolest things this year was that I investigated to see if I had any national or world rankings. I was more than pleased to find that I was ranked very, very high in the world and in the top-10 of all time. I shall endeavor to climb higher in the all-time list.

Understand, this is the little old man class, and there are not too many competitors. I still think it’s pretty cool.

I have tried all my life to be a very good athlete. I have tried swimming, baseball, softball, football, rugby, tennis and racquetball and now powerlifting. I reached high levels in some of these but was never fast enough, big enough, or a good enough athlete to have been really good.

I have attained a world ranking by not being a good athlete but by attrition, by staying the course while others my age have resigned to the golf course or the recliner, not by speed or strength, but by attrition.

Another project this year was to try and put a team together to compete in the IPA Worlds in Nashville. I was inspired by teams like Nebo, Flex Gym, and Rhino Gym, all of whom field great teams.

I talked to a number of men and women and had five agree to compete. Three men, two women, and a little old man. I was very fortunate to have a dear friend from Canada sponsor us by providing us with custom-made hoodies.

Unfortunately, our two big guys, 308 and 275, could not go. However, the other four Morganton Misfits, as we called ourselves, each won their respective divisions and one was awarded best lifter. I am very proud of each of them.

In my brief 10 years in the sport, I have met some wonderful people. They have all been helpful and friendly, free with advice, and ready to take advice. As a member of the elitefts team, I have been recognized at meets and complimented for some things I have written. It’s been a very cool experience.

I have heard about haters and assholes out there in the sport, but I had not run into any until recently. At the IPA Worlds in Nashville, one guy proved what an asshole he was by trying to bully a 132-pound young lady and me. Interestingly he tried to pick on a 78-year-old man and a slight young lady. I didn’t see him try to pick on a super heavyweight. I am somewhat proud of myself for not responding. I guess I’m too old to care or have matured. A few years ago, there would have been a helluva fight.

I understand how serious some people can be. I understand being within one’s self, even anti-social behavior. But I don’t care who you are or where you’re from or what organization you are with; there is no excuse for being an absolute asshole! There, I needed to get that off my chest.

While this article won’t be published until December 17th, I’m still eating leftover turkey. In addition to all the things for which I am thankful, I am also thankful to be part of the elitefts team and for you who take the time to read my ramblings.

This sport has been great, and as long as I can get my old ass up to the platform, I’ll be there.

It is that time of year when federations make their schedules. We need to make our own schedule of our plans to compete. I have made my plans for the spring in the federations in which I compete, in March and May. It won’t be long before we are in meet prep mode.

First, we have to get through the holidays without moving up a weight class. To that end, let me wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever other holiday you celebrate. And a Happy New Year filled with health, wealth, and PRs.

I don’t make resolutions. I am always trying to get stronger and lose weight. It has been a life-long struggle of mine. But at the beginning of each year, I try to up my game. Actually, I’m doing that as I write. I don’t know, at my age, if I can actually get stronger. I certainly am going to try. I do know that I can improve my technique and make more efficient use of my equipment and that’s what I shall do. My reminder phrase is not to repeat the previous few sentences but to simply remind myself to KICK ASS.

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