We woke up at 5 a.m. to make it to weigh-ins in Blue springs by 9 a.m. I like to get as much time as possible eating, rehydrating, and getting everything prepared for the day. Everyone got weighed and I had my chocolate milk, nom nom nom. By the time we got weighed in, drove to the hotel, it was almost 11 a.m. so we just had some lunch at the 54th Street Bar & Grill.

I didn’t enjoy my burger too much, but Mandy and Drew did. Michael Greeno, Dustin Phelps, Jimmy Daniel , Brian Lawson, Justin Graalfs, and Jared Baxter all met us to help unload the ungodly heavy monolift. Everyone was pretty tired, so we went and took a nap at the hotel, which lasted wayyyy to long, but man was I tired.

Eventually, we went and got some food and walked around the mall to get the blood flowing. I hate just sitting around and doing nothing. I never do that before a heavy training day, so why do it before a meet? After about an hour of walking around, we decided to head back and get our mustaches done, yes I said mustaches. We had decided that as a team, we were going to all shave funny mustaches for the meet.
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WTF were we thinking, right? Man did we get some looks and comments. It was fun as shit though! There were a few more people who did it, but I didn’t have any pictures of them. We all decided to head to the BBQ place that was nearby. I ordered a half-slab of ribs, which I found out after getting them they were beef ribs. I had never had beef ribs and I don’t plan on it again. They were not my favorite. I much prefer pork ribs! Everyone had an amazing time. It was like back in the day when all the lifters would go out and eat when everyone was at Big Iron. It truly felt like a family outing, a new, but similar family, the Omaha Barbell family. A few people came after we had already ate and some the next day, but would have only made the atmosphere that much better.

It was pretty late when we got done eating, so everyone said to meet in the lobby to eat the continental breakfast at 7 a.m. We then headed back and hit the hay. At 6:30 a.m. we woke up...FML. I felt like hell, stiff as shit, and just wanted to go back to sleep and never wake up. Even though it was 60 degrees in our room, all I had was a comforter or a sheet, so I was either hot as shit or cold as shit, and woke up every hour. But in reality, how is that different from any other meet? The breakfast looked like inedible garbage, and the coffee tasted like liquid shit. I stopped by QT and got 24 ounces of Colombian Supremo—that’s some good coffee. All I had to eat was a banana because I started to get hungry before squats started.

After talking with Al Caslow, we decided to raise my opener from 501 pounds to 551 pounds. My last warm up was about 510 pounds which was very easy. I got my knees wrapped by one of the best wrappers ever, Brian Mull. Most people cry when he does it, but It makes my smile. I walked up to the bar, got set up and did it, very easy. What I didn’t realize was that I had set up in almost the same stance that I do for my multi-ply squat, which is WIDE. Mandy came up and told me I needed to bring my stance in. It was as wide as I used to squat with all my gear on. I figured she was over exaggerating, but I took it into consideration and decided I would bring it in next attempt.
My second attempt I went straight to 600 pounds. I wanted to get it in a meet and go for broke on my third since this meet is just about having fun.

I missed, I came up, got squirrely, and just couldn’t muscle it out. Mandy came up to me and goes WTF are you doing, you’re still too wide and you’re going down way to slow. I confirmed this with a few people and found out I was in fact squatting like a moron. I didn’t realize it until later, but my mindset was still in multi-ply, wide stance, and a slower descent. When you squat raw, you have to descend much quicker to get the rebound out of the knee wraps, which I knew, but failed to do in the meet, go figure.Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
For the third attempt I kept it at 600 pounds—I wasn’t going to miss this. I brought my stance in considerably and dropped it like it was hot, and smoked it! Well, it was fairly fast haha, I probably had 15 pounds or so left in me, maybe more if I hadn’t screwed 600 pounds the first time. I was pretty psyched to get 600 pounds in a meet and it set the tone for the day. After waiting for what seemed like forever, we started warming up for bench. I noticed my hands had swollen considerably from when squats started until now. I opted to take a token bench just in case. I didn’t want three attempts in the shirt because I wanted to pull heavy.

I went with an 132-pound opener followed by 473-pound second, which was my planned opener. 473 pounds wasn’t too bad. I got out of groove a little but on it, but it had decent speed. I went to 507 pounds for my third which would have been a meet PR. It didn’t feel right from the get go; my set up wasn’t tight and I felt like I lost my arch. With no confidence, I still went for it anyways. Due to the bad set up, it was a huge bitch even getting it to touch, and once I finally did I was stapled. It didn’t even move an inch. I don’t know if it was my training, if the squat took it out of me or what, but it just wasn’t there. I’m going to spit ball with Al about changing up when I go heavy on my bench cycle. Hopefully we can figure out what the problem was.

Onto the deadlift, the funnest lift of the day! Warm ups didn’t feel that great, but when do they ever, am I right? My last pull was 620 pounds, which was easy but felt heavier than it should have. I kept my opener the same and just assumed it was normal. 675 pounds went fast and easy, just like it should have been. It built a lot of confidence for my next pull.

For my second attempt, I decided to go 1 kilo over a meet PR because the previous attempt was so easy. This meant I was going for 722 pounds, which was an American USPA record, which was currently being held by the great Al Caslow. 722 pounds was a smoke show, sorry Al.

For my third attempt, I called for 749.6 pounds. I didn’t want to get greedy and go to 755 pounds, so I did the smart thing and made a smart and conservative jump. Since I was in record territory, I had a shot at a fourth attempt anyways. I made sure that I had my hands good and chalked, my straps were tight, but not excessively tight like my failed attempt in the gym. I walked up to the bar and smoked it, had slight slippage on my grip, but it was a good solid lift.

I called for a fourth attempt, 766 pounds. Since I was already second to last in the flight, this meant a fairly short break in between attempts. Luckily, Putt Houston was helping run things and told me he would buy me as much time as possible in between attempts. I knew everything had to be perfect for this to happen, perfect chalk, perfect baby powder, perfect straps, perfect belt, perfect EVERYTHING.Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Cam came up to me and said, "remember what you said about where true focus lies." A quote from X-men first class, “I believe that true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity.” I kept flashing back and forth between my dads face and visualizing the lift, back and forth, over and over again. I even got teared up, but I didn’t fucking care, I was not going to stop until I got this lift. I summoned all the anger and all the love I could, and got completely calm in my mind. I walked up to the bar and pulled it! One second longer and it would have dropped. I know for totals the fourth attempts don’t count, but that’s stupid. 600+473+766 = 1839.
Not a bad total considering my squat was raw, obviously my bench was shit, but you’re not going to PR in every lift, every meet. I will figure it out if it was due to training or because of my squat.

The support from Omaha Barbell was unreal. Between lifters, handlers, and supporters, I would venture to say we had 35+ people at the meet alone. I don’t know of many gyms that can say they have that much support. The only gym I can think of was Big Iron. Anyone who trained at or competed with Big Iron knew it was one-of-a-kind and definitely something special. Omaha Barbell is becoming something different, but very similar. Obviously, no one will ever replace what Rick built, but we can certainly build something new and equally as good.

Despite the fact there was the support of 35+ people, there was still a void, my dad. I did not get my morning text request to let him know how things were progressing. My team definitely helped fill the void though. It’s hard to be sad with that many people around you, but it still and probably always will affect me. I am the type of person that will try to take a negative and make it a positive. I will continue to use that void as a tool, a tool to help find that perfect mix of rage and serenity, to push me to limits I never thought were possible.

I have more, so look out for part 3!

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