Champion Series Strongman Invitational Write Up

TAGS: event, Amy Wattles, strongman

The week prior to the competition was just awful. I was scraping the bottom of the barrel to join the living on Saturday and was pretty upset I wasn’t struck by lightening, had a fever, or broke a bone that would let me stay home in bed and try to get some rest. None of those things happened so I had to find a way to just make it through the day. I was shooting for survival and for the end.

I was trying to dig deep to find some energy or motivation but it just wasn’t there. My reserves were empty and I thought I was in trouble. I was hoping for an adrenaline rush to help push me hard. This competition had six events rather than the typical five, so I needed to step it up.

I went through the motions, sort of warmed up and stretched out. The log press event was up first.

  • I opened with 160, easy.
  • 180, no problem.

Lacy and I had the same attempts so at this point we were tied. My options were to go for 190 and hope Lacy missed her next attempt or shoot for 200 pounds. My goal for this competition was a 200 pound log press, so I went for it. Points were secondary to my goal. I was able to get the 200 to the top of my head and couldn’t get the last "umph" to get to lock out. The 180 was a competition PR so it was all good. Lacy also got the 180 and missed 200 pounds, so we were tied for points.

Next up was the 160 pound sandbags. You had to carry the sandbag 40 feet, load it over a bar, run back and repeat with a second sandbag. I didn’t test the sandbag during warm-up, so I had no strategy for the pick and carry. In hindsight I should've taken that opportunity, but I didn’t. Lacy and I ran them together. She scooped hers up and was off. I was back on the starting line trying to figure it out and she was almost to the end of the lane. I grabbed the sandbag and carried it with my hands closed in fists holding on to the ends (go-go grip strength) and decided I would figure out how to position and load the bag at the end of the lane. I loaded the bag over the bar and Lacy was already back getting her second bag. I ran back and knew I wouldn’t catch her time. I was ahead of Amy Simmer, so I played strategy and stopped there for a second place finish.

Lacy was ahead of me by a point and now I was feeling some pressure to get my head in the game. I just couldn’t find anything deep down to muster through the competition. I had time until my next event and couldn’t find any coffee in the place. I was salivating at all the people walking by with Dutch Bros coffee. At that point had I smelled a mocha, someone would have been knocked out and their coffee stolen. Plan B was to talk to the guys. They were handing out samples and I asked them if they had any samples of an energy drink or something to help me out. I was handed two packets of something, I still have no clue what they were.

We all discussed which packet I really should take, I double checked the dosing instructions which said it was one serving size. I opened the package up and there were literally like 10 pills in there. I really didn’t want to take 10 pills, that’s just sort of gross. We discussed it some more. The consensus was the red one was probably the fat burner but just in case I should take the whole package. I downed it all and then had the worst stomachache ever. I was able to grab a burger (but no coffee) which made everything okay. All of this happened between one event. Here’s the funny thing - it totally worked.

I felt awesome and was back in the game as far as strength goes. The negative side effect was that as the competition wore on, I got pretty short tempered and just mean. That stuff messes with my head. Whatever THAT stuff actually was. The mean didn’t wear off until dinner time, although some might argue that it’s there all the time and completely unrelated.

Next up were the power stairs, 170, 230 and 260-ish pounds. Each implement had to be loaded three steps to the top and there were three sections. Basically that means nine steps to load. Amy loaded the first implement the first series of three steps and Lacy didn’t finish the second series due to shortness, not strength. I decided to pull out the “one up is good enough” plan for this event because Lacy’s strong events were yet to come and I wanted to preserve what was in the tank.

I got to the second implement, loaded it up two of the three stairs, stopped, looked across the room at Lacy and gave her a smile, thumbs up and a wink and loaded the implement to the third step on the second run. I stopped there. Now in my defense, at some point I heard Lacy shout out a giant, “Whatever!” and I was just returning the love.

Suitcase farmers were next, 190 pounds. I went 120 feet, turns at 40 feet. This was a lot shorter than I anticipated but I was concerned about dropping the implement on my foot. I took first in this event and was now a point ahead. The 305 pound axle deadlift in a minute was next. Amy Simmer rocked it on her DL banging out 14 reps. I banged out 16 and stopped for the event win. I was confused about how many I actually did and didn’t want to make a mistake. At this point I was comfortably in the lead.

The final event was 200 pound atlas stone over bar for reps. The score to beat was 5 reps. I did 7 and stopped. I really had a nice little groove going on with the stones and a great hip pop pushing it over the bar. After the competition I tried loading the 300 stone over the bar. I was able to load the stone to the bar and then dropped it. My body positioning was poor and had to walk in the stone which made me blow the attempt. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to get it over. It couldn’t have been any closer.

This competition was the Cadillac of strongwomen competitions. There were competitors from around the region who throw down some serious weights. It was nice catching up with some old faces and meeting new ones. Jay Hagadorn put together an awesome contest and like always took excellent care of his competitors. A promoter’s job is never easy but he did an amazing job and I am grateful for his hard work and the opportunity.

Overall I did well and I'm ok with it. I struggle with the idea of trusting in the program, especially with my pressing. Like always, the program worked. My patience and belief that I need to beat myself up every training session is something I still need to work on. I was just shy of my 200 log press goal but the program is working, bottom line. For this competition, I played the strategy game and hit the numbers I needed for the event win and stopped. I haven't reconciled if that's a good strategy or if I should be using these opportunities to really push things and set some PRs. I am still thinking about that.

Heading into the comp, there was some smack talk about how I planned on eating steak dinner with the short sword (second place trophy). Eating dinner with the big sword was challenging and if you notice in the pic, I even needed some help to hold it.

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